I crewed on the Romance in the spring and summer of 1971. I was a sophomore at Beloit College, a source for many crew members at that time. Beloit had a field term program and the write-ups of other studentsí experiences attracted me to this taking this option. As a land-locked Midwesterner, when else would I have such an experience?
In the Fall 2007 note on the Square Sail website, I am the crew member listed as David "Stucker". My name is actually David Stricker and I live in the Boston area. I recall the other crew members mentioned: Joe Rivedi and Bill Turnbull. I believe Bill was known as "Dutch", though there was fourth crewmember whose name I donít recall. Perhaps it was Roger Conrad, who wrote a note recounting a set of experiences that I recall. Here are a couple of the many additional experiences I remember.
Gloriaís cat took comfort in the furled mainsail one morning until we hoisted the sail. With a blood-curdling scream, the cat was ejected from the sail and flew overboard. Skipper did as quick a come-about as the Romance could manage. We dropped the dingy and rescued Gloriaís beloved feline.
I recall our sail to Puerto Rico for hauling into drydock, about 24 hours after I first stepped on board. We set sail at sunset. I will never forget the image while I was at the helm of the sun ever so slowly dipping into the horizon with the square sails looming large before me.
On the return trip, into the wind, we motored for probably about 24 hours, but this was the trip when I discovered I was prone to seasickness, brought on particularly with the combination of rolling in 2 axes diesel fumes, and trips below decks. I wonít describe the bodily fluids that exited my mouth during this trip.
In the fall 2007 news entry, Ruth Helmich remembered that a film crew shot an episode of a syndicated show called "The American Adventure". It was produced an aired in the January of 1972, as I recall. My family bought a 16mm copy of the show. About 15 years ago I had a copy saved to a VHS tape. Just a couple of months ago I had a copy put on DVD. Unfortunately the original film faded, leaving little more than a rather monotone of red, to the point that it may be better viewed in black and white. The studio that made the DVD is making a stab at improving the quality. The film shows Romance in her glory, and captured many scenes bringing back those memories we all have. I donít currently have the tools to do it, but I could make DVD copies available if enough people express an interest. Iíd certainly contribute a copy to this project. I hope the restoration attempt is successful, though after putting a few hundred dollars into it already, Iím not too interested in spending more of my own money.
I recently attended a Beloit College reunion. While a small percentage of my class came, this was a cluster reunion of the classes of í71, í72, and my class, í73. As we reintroduced ourselves, we discovered that 4 more alums of the Romance were there beside me: Arthur Thexton, Ken Bryant, John Reichert, and Tom Dudley. We didnít know before this encounter that all of us were aboard the Romance at different times. It was this meeting that spurred me to convert the "American Adventure" film to DVD.
Iíve attached several pictures from these days to this email. These were taken by one of the passengers on a cruise. She is a woman in one of the photos. I am sorry but I donít recall which woman. I it is up to the Webmaster to post them as he pleases. I would be happy to email any of them to anyone who is interested.
I echo othersí sentiments that the experience I had aboard the Romance will always be strongly in my memories. It is a part of my life that is unique from the experiences I have had before or since. Though I have not ventured in this nautical direction nearly to the degree that others have, the ship could not have been better named.
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