Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hope





This is the boat I originally intended to visit on that Friday afternoon earlier this month. Built in Greenwich in 1945, Hope is believed to be the last oyster sloop built on Long Island Sound. Unfortunately, I know little else about her. Caught up in the moment, I entirely  forgot to ask Norm Bloom any questions regarding her. To the best of my knowledge, she has been owned by the Norwalk Seaport Association since the 1980's.

Last year, I read an old New York Times article that discussed oystering under sail. A man named Philip Teuscher filmed an oral history of the men in Norwalk and Bridgeport who had worked these last remaining boats. The documentary was to be entitled The Last Drift.
Sadly,I have been unable to locate the film. My emails to several local historical societies remain unanswered, and  google searches only provided me with more information on Vin Diesel than I would ever want to know. Perhaps the film was never completed. Nonetheless, I will continue to look for it.


* Update: David Berkowitz of Bridgeport was kind enough to email and inform me that the University of Connecticut has copies of Last Drift. I am now in the process of contacting them.
THANKS DAVID!!!  

19 comments:

Ocean Girl said...

The New York Times article was an interesting read. Thank you.

Hope looks good.

Bursledon Blogger said...

Nice post and what a great boat. Interesting to compare to our indigious (formerly) oyster sloop.

http://www.favourite.org.uk/sails.html

Erin @ I Heart New England said...

What a beautiful boat!

Steve Borichevsky said...

She looks to be in great shape. Thanks for showing us.

matthew houskeeper said...

Bursledon,
The more famous version in the States would be the Chesapeake Skipjack.

Steve, OG,
She seems solid structurally, but she needs cosmetic and detail work.

Thanks Erin!

Cindy said...

Beautiful ship; looks sleek and lean.

蕭子 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PeregrineSea said...

Great pictures. Hope is interesting in that she appears to have "hard chines" and is not round bottom like Christeen. That is how the "shipjacks" on the Chesapeake were built. Do you know if she has a centerboard?? I am guessing she does. Great series Matthew!

matthew houskeeper said...

Thanks Cindy!

Peregrine,
I read somewhere that her centerboard is about 850 lbs.

Me said...

Beautiful boat and a great blog. Always an interesting read. Thanks

matthew houskeeper said...

Thanks Me (aka NG)!

TVBX said...

The Tiger has the more famous history. If you ask Norm you might be allowed to spend an hour or two taking oysters under sail.

We bought the trip at auction for the Maritime Aquarium some years ago. This is something every water rat needs to do at least once.

matthew houskeeper said...

TVBX,
Thanks! Last I knew, the TIGER was up in Bridgeport.

PeregrineSea said...

More about TIGER??

matthew houskeeper said...

Peregrine,
Ha!!
It's everywhere

PeregrineSea said...

I've been got! (I think)

Anonymous said...

"The Last Drift" is kept on file at Yale University

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Old Greenwich. We sailed out of the old greenwich harbor. When we were kids (75'ish) we rafted up with HOPE a few times. The owners son was in my k-6th grade classes, i vaguely remember....we used to swim & jump off the bowsprit. HOPE had many parties, with our parents eating, drinking and listening to acoustic guitars late into the night.....really neat to see this blog on her.....wow

Charlie

Anonymous said...

I Stumbled across this site while looking for recent news about Christeen. I was first introduced to her in the late 80's in New London derilict at a mooring a day or so from sinking. The shag carpet she was outfitted with was the least of her worries. Volonteers, meager donations, and a strong desire to save a piece of history kept her afloat for the next couple of years. At the time the economy was tanking and few people were interested in investing in an old oyster boat. She was brought back to sailing condition (sort of) and when Oyster Bay offered to take on the challange we set off to sail her to her new home. We took her first to Bridgeport where we met up with Hope. They challanged us to dredge under sail. Being Oysterman they beat us handily but it was great fun. The event was filmed by a local news crew. The following weekend we sailed into Oyster Bay and turned her over. Kudos to those who have worked so hard that we may continue to enjoy her hopefully for many years to come.