8 thoughts on ““The Traveler” – Old Boat Needs lots of Love

  1. I worked as crew on the Traveler alongside Fred Douglas in the mid 1950s. Artists Alden and Mary Bryan of Rocky Neck owned her then and I often sailed Cape Cod Knockabouts with their son Smokey (Alden Jr.). Fred and I sanded and painted and varnished, then we sanded and painted and varnished, then we sanded and painted and varnished. Then, once a summer, we went on the cruise to Maine. Mary had relatives living in NE Harbor on Mt. Desert Island. It would take us about a week to get there because we anchored for the night at just about everyplace between here and there; well, not really because there are hundreds but we always hit Isles of Shoals, Boothbay, Pulpit Harbor and all the other popular Maine stops this side of Somes Sound. I loved that cruise and learned a lot about using electronics (the beginning of the present era in navigation and communication) and ship handling. When we got to Mt Desert, Mary would stay ashore and visit and paint and the rest of us would work on the boat. Then we would take another very long trip home to Gloucester. We would have to be here for the Bass Rocks tennis tournament because Mr. Bryan always wanted to play in that and was a formidable competitor. After the Bryans died, the boat was owned by a couple of people before the present owner (I assume still) Mark Collins. The owners after the Bryans did not maintain the boats to anywhere near the previous standards and she went downhill considerably, to the point that Smokey, my sailing friend who became a judge in upstate New York, was quite disappointed having grown up aboard in our sand and paint and varnish era.
    By the way originally the boat was built and used as a rescue ship for downed military aircraft in WW2. She was very fast driven by aircraft engines. The Bryans replaced those with conventional diesels when they purchased the ship surplus and she was no longer a race horse. I do not remember her cruising speed but it was in the 10-12 knot region. Many of the systems on board would probably be considered antique today but she was advanced for her era.
    She tied up at the Heritage Center for a couple of years when I was the dock master there so I became re-aquainted with her to some extent, but she was not the same lady I knew in 1957.

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  2. Thank you very much for your history lesson. That’s just what it is for us too, the history that might have been lost if not for the first hand knowledge of old salts such as yourself. You done good.

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  3. i worked with mark collins in the late 1990’s up thru 2009. also have been on this boat one time. it was in serious need of maintenance but mark was living on it in gloucester harbor, much to the harbor masters dismay.
    sadly, mark’s family found him missing in sept 2013 and reported it to the police. police divers found his body in the water. i don’t know what became of the boat.
    mark was a good guy. gone now 7 years. rip mark collins.

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