In 1971 I was a sophmore at Kalamazoo College. I took the spring quarter off to sail as a deck hand on the Romance. We sailed a number of week long cruises out of Charlotte Amalie Harbor. I can't remember how many. We then sailed to San Juan for Dry Dock where the hull was scraped and painted. I had so much paint on my clothes and in my hair that the regulars in the dockside San Juan bars called me "El Pintor." I started as a $2.00 a day deck hand and was pulling down $2.50 a day before I went back to college. There was one other Kalamazoo College student on board at the time. His name escapes me, but I don't see it listed below. I believe he later went on the South Pacific Cruise. I remember great pangs of envy.
I have attached a scan of a Romance paper place mat. I can't believe that I still have it! What memories that brings back. Foxy's Tamarind Bar on Jost Van Dyke, where Foxy Callwood used to poor drinks with more rum than coke because it made people happy and I think made economic sense too - coke was more expensive than rum, or so he said. He would also serenade couples with ribald calypso songs recommending that they pump water for each other in the Romance's shower. I guess he knew the close quarters and how hard it was to pump and wash at the same time. I hear Foxy's is still running.
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