Wednesday 14 January 2009

New Charleston Mosquito Fleet

Edwin Gardner writes from Charleston, South Carolina, in response to the post on Joe Dobler's Crestwood gig, a 34ft gig designed for easy construction by youth clubs.
The New Charleston Mosquito Fleet was founded to get inner city children involved in boatbuilding and boating, and has proved a great success - read more here. Note the thole pins.
The original Mosquito Fleet were the African American fishermen of Charleston, who rowed out in the morning and sailed back in the evening with the sea breeze. Of course, they would arrive just as the mozzies came out to play.
The New Mosquito Fleet goes out at dawn up to three times a week as Edwin lyrically describes:
Hello Chris,
Sending you a couple of shots from a recent sunrise row (we go out every Mon, Wed, and Fri at dawn.) We live for these foggy mornings, getting out of sight of the shore, navigating by compass, listening intently for approaching engine sounds, watching the gradual lightening of the fog as the sun rises unseen.
New Charleston Mosquito Fleet was founded in 1995 in Charleston SC as a mentoring program for inner city middle school kids. Little appreciation has been given to the rich African American waterman culture of the Old South, a tradition every bit as colorful and deep as New England whaling and lobstering. (Recommended reading: Jeff Bolster's Black Jacks, Africqan American Seamen in the Age of Sail, and David Cecelski's Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina.) We built two Joe Dobler designed pilot gigs with the kids, and we've been rowing them ever since. All visitors are welcome any time.

You've got a great blog. Keep it up. Maybe it's your destiny to pick up the thread where Open Water Rowing left off.....?

Edwin Gardner

I hereby resolve to get out for pre-breakfast rows as soon as the weather warms up a bit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahoy! Me be Pirate Edward Lowe First Mate of the Black Watch of the Charles Towne Few. Me be looking forward to serving with ye at the George Towne Wood Boat show in October.
See ye there!