Sailing a New Course in the 21st Century
When the big schooner with the tan-bark sails rounded up and dropped anchor late last fall off St.
Croix, the locals cheered in a way the crew had not experienced before.
Schooner Roseway has spent the last dozen winters running sail training and educational programs out of St. Croix.
When back-to-back hurricanes devastated the Virgin Islands in fall of 2017,
Roseway’s crewmembers were not sure what they would find when they made their way south for the winter, or even if they should go.
But, Roseway’s story is one of ambition, resilience, and hope.
Her history reaches back to the era of Grand Banks fishing schooners of the 1920s and can be traced through a number of careers in her working life,
but her current mission and the experience that students gain under her sail is unparalleled.
While Roseway’s history is colorful and varied, the details have proved difficult to verify.
It is known that she was designed by John James of the J. F.
James shipyard in Essex, Massachusetts, and launched in late November of 1925.
The schooner was overly built in comparison to other vessels of her time: drifts between the ceiling planking, slightly larger scantlings on the frames and beam-shelf, for example.
Her owner, Harold Hathaway of Taunton, Massachusetts, maintained a reputation as the proverbial sailor with a woman in every port.
Some speculate that Roseway’s name came from one of his mistresses,
but the vessel is just as likely to be named after Roseway Bank—an offshore shoal south of Roseway Head, Nova Scotia.
Station outside the harbor, waiting for inbound and outbound shipping. Shortly after the United States entered World War II,
Roseway and Pilot where both taken into service by the Coast Guard; their pilots were made temporary reserve officers.
Painted gray and carrying a 50-caliber machine gun on deck, Roseway guided ships to safety inside the protected harbor through waters devoid of lights and navigational aids, and defended with antisubmarine netting and minefields.
For her service as a Coast Guard Reserve vessel assigned to the First Naval District (New England),
Roseway, designated as CGR-812, was formally recognized by the USCG for outstanding wartime service.
After the war, she continued her work as a harbor pilot and served in this capacity until 1972.
Roseway was the last sailing vessel serving as a pilot boat in the United States when she retired from this duty after more than three decades of service.
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