I first boarded the Mystic Whaler off the coast of Long Island several years ago on an educational excursion set up by my wife. We took LIRR out to the Long Island Sound and walked to the dock to board the Mystic. I thought we were getting on the Clearwater for one of their ecology programs but found out that the Whaler did charter sails to help spread the message. I can’t say that I didn’t look disappointed that night, having thought I would be getting on the ship that felt like home to me. I had been on Clearwater many times as a kid when it would dock each year in Newburgh and our entire elementary school would trek down the hill to board. Living in New York City I was excited to have what I considered a taste of home. We boarded and were met by a great crew, who took us out into the Sound and informed us about the ship, about Clearwater, and about sailing in general. The captain must have left a pretty good impression.
I did this drawing the day after the flotilla arrived in Newburgh Bay in early June for the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage. Clearwater and the Mystic Whaler docked in Beacon for two days as they took students and charter groups out on sails before heading up to the next celebration port. As I was drawing a bearded man emerged from below deck and at once I realized this was the ship I was on nearly ten years prior—all the stories and the whole night out on the Sound flooding back. The bearded man was Captain John Eginton, who has owned and operated the Mystic Whaler out of New London, Connecticut (just south of Mystic) for 14 years. I would never have thought that one day I would be standing on the docks, back home, drawing both ships.