Yesterday, just before 1 pm, the schooner Windfall II motored into Silver Lake harbor. Somewhat smaller than her namesake, but with her trademark black hull (and soon to be fitted out with red sails), the Windfall II made the voyage from New Jersey under the command of Captain Rob Temple and a crew of two. The captain, at 65 years old, was the youngest on board. When I met the boat at the dock I commented that they reminded me of the crew of the Anna R. Heidritter, a four masted schooner that wrecked on Ocracoke's beach in 1942. Captain Bennett Coleman was 73 years old. His crew members were all over 65 years old.
Built in Bath, Maine as the Cohasset, the Heidritter burned to the waterline Jan. 22, 1907 while in Baltimore Harbor. Rebuilt in Maryland as the Anna R. Heidritter, she was re-launched in 1910. She survived a U-boat attack in WWI & carried bullets in her masts from the encounter. While carrying log wood from Charleston to Pennsylvania, she hit a storm off Ocracoke & was washed on a bar May 2, 1942. With her back broken, the crew lashed themselves to the masts. All were saved. Captain Coleman died in a car accident in New Jersey 9 days after being rescued.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter celebrates colorful islander Don Wood (1936-1998). You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042610.htm.