Wednesday, August 25, 2010
What a treat! Due to a crewman who happened to read The Why Book of Sailing (buy my book!) on the tall ship HMS Bounty, which is in Chicago right now, we got an extra special tour from the Captain!
Bounty was built in 1960 or so for the film Mutiny on same staring Marlon Brando. The plan was to burn the boat at the end of the film. Brando said if they burned this beautiful wooden boat he'd not finish the movie.
At some point Ted Turner bought all the MGM movie rights. To his surprise he also got a mooring bill from a yard in Florida for the Bounty which came with the movies as a prop!
She's been used in the Johnny Depp Pirate movies and other sailing movies. The wheel has been in every Mutiny on the Bounty film. Every time hollywood needed a wooden sailing helm they picked the same one so many famous actors have stood watch at that very wheel.
We got to see the galley and the work room. MANY spare parts as you might imagine. Capt. Robin is taking her to Milwaukee next and then to Erie Pennsylvania (Enee Marie was there in '05). Sometime after that they are sailing her to Europe. Interestingly, Capt. Robin has bent to some modern conveniencies for safety but when they are underway on a longish passage gps, radar, etc are off and they use celestial navigation and ded reckoning. Why not? The ship can only be sailed via brute effort by the crew of 20. No electric winches or similar.
The pier was packed with people to view and get aboard these fine old ships. Sailboats have been and looks like always will be quite a draw to people. Why not? The whole damn planet was explored via wooden sailboats!