Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tales of Brave Ulysses - The F. D. O.

We almost always had a boat of one kind or another.

Our first was a West Indian built (probably in Tortola) wooden monster. It was about 14 feet long. It weighed so much we named it 16 Tons after the song written by Merle Travis and made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford in 1955. We didn’t keep her for long.

The second was a little fiberglass run-about with an 18 horse Johnson named The F. D. O.

The third was an aluminum boat we never really named but that we sometimes referred to as the Tin Can.

And our fourth was an 18 foot Swedish double-ender we called the Squarehead.

We will concern ourselves, for right now, with boat number two.

The F. D. O. had originally been the “dinghy” for Laurence Rockefeller’s private yacht. (We will refer to him from this point on as LR) Dad worked at Caneel Bay (LR’s private luxury resort hotel) as the maintenance manager. Anything that was even remotely mechanical and/or electrical Dad was in charge of keeping in good working order. So Dad was in a good position to buy the “dinghy” when LR decided he wanted something new, or something different, or something bigger, or maybe something more flashy. Who knows why the wealthy do what they do. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the little run-about and it was perfect for us.

F. D. O. stands for Father’s Day Off. And, for the next unknown number of blogs, I will be relating tales of our brave Ulysses and our many Odysseys in the F. D. O.

Below are the first pictures of the F. D. O. If they weren’t taken on “launch day,” they should have been.

Here she is, ready to go, on the Sears trailer, which is being pulled by our faithful Yellow Dragon.

Here we are untying her at Number Seven. Number Seven was the name of one of the beaches at Caneel Bay. I don’t know if it’s still called that or not. Number Seven was also the name of one of the cottages where the likes of Richard Nixon – while still president – stayed. Can you tell who’s who? I’m the little one on the left. Erva’s in the middle and Mom’s on the right. What was nice about the F. D. O is that two of us, say me and Dad, could haul her up onto the beach by ourselves, it was that light.
Ta-da! Launched.


  1. I note that no one has commented yet, but then, here's proof positive of our "Idylic" childhood in a place that had not yet seen any major spoilage by mankind.

    Next trip to the VI, you'll have to take some shots from the same area as these so that folks can see how this one place has changed over the last 50 years, because, dearheart, it has been that long since Dad took these wonderful pictures!

    We STILL look great, and the memlories are "evergreen"!!! Loved this!

  2. I love boating and water sports.

    Great launch photo :) thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the names you gave your modes of transportation! :0)

    Great pictures!

  4. What a great boat! This makes me miss the little tin boat we had when I was growing up.

  5. Why am I sooooo envious? Sigh. Love these old stories and pictures. I think I may write a lemonade story in honor of your Lemonade Award. Thanks, Bish.

  6. Oh Erva, so many FDO stories! I hope to share as many as I can.

    Kim, those photos almost bring tears to my eyes. We were all so...young.

    Christy we always had like naming things. The Yellow Dragon, the Castle, the Bee Hive, Safron the Schizophrenic Yello Jeep....

    The F. D. O. took us many adventures, Adrienne. She was a pip, that one.

    Thanks Vijaya! I love the idea of a lemonade story!

  7. I love the name of your boats...and can't wait to learn more about them...Hugs...

  8. I fınd myself feelıng nostalgıc here and I didn't have anything like this!

    What a charmed childhood you had. It must be so hard to go back there if it has all changed.


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