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    The sinking of the Marques
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Jun 2, 20:21 -0700

    In the early morning hours of June 3, 1984, twenty-five years ago, the 
    sail-training vessel Marques was lost just north of Bermuda sinking in less 
    than a minute with the loss of nineteen young people and their instructors. 
    Nine who were on deck at the time survived. Dan Parrott's "Tall Ships Down" 
    provides an excellent, detailed account of the sinking, and I highly 
    recommend it.
    
    The Marques was engaged in a tall ships race. She had won the first leg of the 
    race, and the second leg would take them from Bermuda to Halifax, Nova 
    Scotia. While some sources attribute the loss of the Marques to a rogue wave 
    or a micro-burst so fierce that no vessel could have survived, dozens of 
    other traditional sailing vessels did survive the night, and the sinking was 
    probably due fundamentally to the serious instability that resulted from the 
    changes in rigging in the vessel's later years and also the large, open 
    cargo-loading port which allowed Marques to flood rapidly after she was 
    knocked down.
    
    Many NavList members have heard the story before. Others who have not will 
    recognize the name of Susan P. Howell who was lost on the Marques twenty-five 
    years ago. Sue Howell wrote the very fine textbook "Practical Celestial 
    Navigation" which is still available, though now a bit dated, and helped 
    teach celestial navigation at the planetarium at Mystic Seaport, which was 
    where I worked with her (while I was in high school and college). Don 
    Treworgy, who navigated the first leg of the race and left at Bermuda, has 
    continued teaching celestial navigation at Mystic Seaport using Sue's book 
    for all these years. The memorial fund established in her name, funded by 
    revenues from her book, has helped finance the "Celestial Navigation 
    Weekends" in 2006 and 2008 which I have organized as well as a couple of 
    seminars on lunars in 2004 and 2005.
    
    If you've been to the planetarium at Mystic Seaport, recently re-named the 
    "Treworgy Planetarium" in honor of Don's decades of service there, you've 
    probably noticed that the planetarium classroom is named the "Susan P. 
    Howell" classroom. There is a coincidence in naming a few buildings away. The 
    apothecary exhibit at Mystic Seaport was named to honor Dr. Natalie Sheldon 
    who was lost in the sinking of the sail-training vessel Albatross under 
    remarkably similar circumstances back in 1961 (this sinking is also discussed 
    in detail in Dan Parrott's book).
    
    As I was driving through Chicago today, I was approaching an old landmark 
    church on Ashland Avenua, built in 1869. Their carillon was playing a hymn 
    which I thought I recognized over the sound of traffic. As it came to an end, 
    I knew the words... "for those in peril on the sea." I can't say why they 
    were playing it, but it was fitting for my memories.
    
    -FER
    
    
    
    
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