Hi Tony:

A random, late-night search brought me to your web page. I can hardly believe I've made contact with the old Brigantine Romance!

I crewed on the Romance for about 3 months in the spring of 1969, while a sophomore at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. We were based in St. Thomas and took eight-day cruises through the British Virgin Islands. We did make one overnight trip to San Juan for an extended drydock stay.

My fellow crewmembers included Mike Moore (first mate), Chal Beaver, a Canadian fellow, Reed Taylor, another college student from Beloit College in Wisconsin, and a guy nicknamed "Slippery" but whose real name I've forgotten. (Last I heard, the poor fellow was reduced to selling his blood in San Francisco to make ends meet.) The next year, my brother, Tom Hardy, served as a crew member for several months. He had the good fortune to make a trip from St. Thomas to Grenada.

My time aboard the Romance was everything I'd hope it would be and more. As a fresh-water lake sailor, I had no idea what to expect aboard an ocean-going, salt-water square-rigger, but I took to it and sometimes wish I'd stayed with it. I'll never forget my last day in the VI before heading back to college: Mike Moore and I were sitting at Trader Dan's in St. Thomas drinking rum; there were several notices on the bulletin board advertising crew positions on ships. One was on a large yacht bound for New York. Another was for some kind of freighter delivering airplane fuel to a town on the Amazon River. As an ex-Romance crew member, I would have been welcomed on either ship. But I was responsible and chose to go back to school. Bad choice!

The Romance's effect did not completely wear off, however. Today, I am president of The Society of International Railway Travelers, a 2,000-member organization. We sponsor international railroad tours all around the world -- just got back from Africa -- as well as put our members on other folks' train trips, such as the Venice Simplon Orient Express, etc.

It's after one here, and this sailor must repair to the foc'sle. Again, thanks for bringing me up to date with old friends.


Owen Hardy
1929 Lowell Ave.
Louisville, KY 40205

(502) 456-1028

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