Following are the last pages of the Helen Log Book. They recount, briefly, a trip to Fishers Island, off the Connecticut shore near the mouth of the Thames River near Groton and Stonington.
DICK: “We spent a couple of summers on Fishers Island in Long Island Sound with the Burnham’s”.
The Burnham’s were neighbors of Grandpa and Grandma when they lived on Larchmont Drive. in Mount Vernon. They had a cottage on Fishers Island. I suspect that the entire family went to the Burnham’s cottage on Fishers Island, especially since Dick has memories of spending time there. Grandma would drive with the three younger children and Grandpa and the boys would use the Helen as their mode of transportation.
Trip to Conn. Camp during 1931 occurs here.
Trip to L. I. In 1932 comes next. Neither were written up.
Fishers Island Trip – Aug. 1933
Sat. – Aug. 5
Commodore not well. Crew had packed the night before. Got off to late start at 11:00. Weather fair – sea not rough. Had bad motor knock develop before reaching New Haven due to oil loss. Bilge needed care every couple of hours. Cut way out to center of Sound. Passed Faulkner’s Island going strong. Hit bad squall off about Cornfield Point. Trip not very eventful – night navigation as we approached the Island. Guns heard from Island. Turned into West Harbor in high spirits. Found a light missing but found dock at Burnham’s about 10:20.
Sun. Aug. 6 –
Helen tried to sink, water up to carburetor in morning.
Mon. to Sat. night – spent time trying to repair Helen’s leaks. Prepared for return trip Sunday.
Sunday – Aug. 13 –
Fog – steady wind from S.W. Helen doesn’t leak badly. Got off quite late at 12:05. Cut across close to Connecticut shore, followed it from Pt. to Pt. Sea rather rough. Fog lifting, wind increasing. Motor running perfectly. Waves getting big at Sachem’s Head. So large that we chugged up one side, slid down other. If we took them head on we would have been swamped. Tide now against us. Finally reaching New Haven but took interminable time in passing it. Getting dark as we neared Stratford Pt. Waves going down a bit. Just inside the Milford breakwater the motor, getting wet, fired only on 2 cylinders, and with tide against us we “trickled” along to arrive at French’s Dock at 10:30, too late to intercept Mr. Burnham who stopped to see if we had yet arrived.
Commodore, well this time, had acquired a most beautiful beer nose, with a two-cheek accompaniment.
This empty envelope (found in the inside cover of the Log Book), addressed to “The GuionClan”, c/o R B Burnham, Box 413, Fishers Island, NY, dated August 8, 1933, leads me to believe that Grandpa might have gone to Fishers Island with the older boys in the Helen, the first weekend, went back to work in Bridgeport (he had his own printing and advertising company) and then returned to join the family for the following weekend and the trip home with the older boys in The Helen.
This is the Return Address from the envelope.
The story of the Helen in the Log Book comes to an end. It sounds to me as though the Helen provided, on at least four occasions, great memories and wonderful bonding time between Grandpa and his three oldest sons.
Ced provides the last chapter of the Helen and the Guion family.
“Arnold Gibson’s father, stepfather actually, was an old seagoing man. I guess he had been in the Navy. He had a Sea Scout troop and Dad said, “You know this boat is getting beyond us. Why don’t we give it to the Sea Scouts and maybe they can get some fun out of it.” He gave it to them and I don’t know what they did with it.”
My hope is that you have enjoyed reading about the adventures and mis-adventures of Grandpa, Lad, Dan and Ced during the years they owned The Helen. I believe that memories fade and we may, without realizing it, fill in blank spaces from a different memory. We continue to retain the new memory and that is the only thing that continues to exist. Lad, Ced, Dick and Dave all have a few memories of The Helen. Although each memory does not exactly match the Log Book, which was recorded at the actual time of the event by an adult, the essence of their memories ring true.
Tomorrow, the government of Venezuela joins in the paper chase prior to Lad entering their country as an alien.
On Sunday, more about Marian (Irwin) Guion’s ancestors.