In eight pages of color next week SPORTS ILLUSTRATED sets sail with the brigantine Yankee on the most recent of her six round-the-world cruises.
A brigantine recalls a bygone era when wind and sail were the key to intercontinental trade. According to Commander Irving Johnson (USNR), its owner and skipper, the Yankee is one of the few remaining ships of this colorful rig still sailing the seven seas. Its square-rigged foremast and the big, comfortable lines of its hull are in marked contrast to the sleek modern thoroughbreds of ocean racing like those which appeared in full color in our May 16 and June 13 issues.
Leaving Gloucester in November 1953, the Yankee followed a leisurely, off-the-beaten-track course through the West Indies, Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands and the South Seas to Bali and Zanzibar, and home via St. Helena, Ascension Island, Barbados and Bermuda, until after 18 months she sailed again into Gloucester, where a crowd of 15,000 welcomed her.
The Yankee carried as crew 18 young men and women. Green as seaweed at the start of the voyage, they were seasoned sailors all at the end, full of the almost-vanished experience of sailing a square-rigger and of the sights and adventures which attend the unhurried visits in 115 ports of call.
As if sailing a brigantine around the world were not sport enough, the trip included excursions into such uncommon activities as a "Nantucket sleigh ride" behind a whale that the crew harpooned, the capture and beaching of an 18-foot manta ray, and an unorthodox version of aquaplaning on a boatswain's chair dragged in the bow wave of the brigantine under full sail.
And to these experiences, reported in full color, SI adds many more as seen through the excitedly observant eyes of one of the crew—Miss Lydia Edes of Plymouth, Mass. Excerpts from her diary of the cruise accompany the eight-page color spread. As you read, you'll sail around the world with the crew of the Yankee in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.