s m i t h s   a t   s e a   :   i n t r o d u c t i o n

To a sane man the North Atlantic does not seem to be a place for small boats. However, it calls, and some of us wake up somewhere in the middle. This is a story of what can happen. I include the pictures to prove it.

The Nova Espero is 16 feet waterline length; she is 20 feet over all, 6 feet 3 inches beam, and draws 2 feet 10 inches. She is a gunter-lug rigged sloop, has an ordinary open cockpit, but, in order to make her sea-worthy, we built a 7 foot pram dinghy and lashed it upside down over this with inch and a half manila rope to form a cabin. When all the stores, water and equipment were aboard, we had a space 6 feet long by 4 feet wide in which to live, our headroom was about 3 feet 6 inches.

She was designed by my brother and me on board the Aquitania as we sailed out to Canada in February, 1949, was built by us in Halifax, and, as soon as she was completed, we sailed from Dartmouth, Canada, to Dartmouth, England, without trials, owing to lack of capital. Also, through the same lack, we sailed without a proper sea-anchor, without a chronometer, without a log, without oil-bags, without oilskins, but not without hope!

My undying gratitude is due to my brother and shipmate who contended so serenely with both the dark moods of the Atlantic and my own. Deep thanks also to all these who made us feel so welcome home.

Stanley Smith, May 1951