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39 Liberty Ship Way, Sausalito 94965 Page 76 •
• May, 2010
COURTESY THE MARINERS' MUSEUM
Service of the Month
Yankee Tar will become a museum exhibit. Yankee When famed stage and film actor Hal Holbrook sailed the 1980 Singlehanded TransPac on his Gulf 40, Yankee Tar, he wasn't 'in it to win it'. "I finished the race in just under 22 days, a few hours after the official deadline," he wrote to Latitude back in '06. "I was new to singlehanded ocean racing and, with my 30,000-lb sloop loaded up for a trip to the South Seas, was not much of a competitor." Holbrook had bought Yankee Tar three years earlier, and would spend the Dixie Carter on her maiden voyage aboard Hal following three years Holbrook's Gulf 40 'Yankee Tar'. sailing her around the Pacific before bringing her back to the West Coast. During that time, Holbrook met Dixie Carter on a film set. They married in '84 and spent the ensuing years enjoying time aboard Yankee Tar. "Dixie made every adventure glamorous and great sport," Holbrook said of his wife of 26 years, who passed away on April 10 of endometrial cancer. She was 70. Prior to Carter's death, she and Holbrook were enthusiastic supporters of The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia. In addition to lending their celebrity to endorse the museum's objective of preserving maritime history — such as their building of a full-size replica of the Civil War 'ironclad' USS Monitor — Carter and Holbrook donated their own piece of history to the museum: Yankee Tar. Plans are now in the works to turn Yankee Tar into an exhibit as a tribute to the couple's sense of adventure. "The boat paralleled the course of Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter's relationship," said Lyles Forbes, chief curator for The Mariners' Museum (www. mariner.org). "When they donated the boat, we asked them to mariner.org leave their personal effects aboard so visitors can feel like they are really aboard Hal and Dixie's boat. That way, it becomes less about the boat, and more about these people cruising around the Pacific." Though the exhibit is still in the planning stages — no date has been set for its unveiling — Forbes says they'll be incorporating interviews with A plaque aboard 'Yankee Tar' — seen here Hal and Dixie filmed in Tahiti — quotes Edna St. Vincent Millay: aboard the boat into "Searching my heart for its true sorrow; this is an interactive display. the thing I find to be; that I am weary of words " T h e y r e m i n i s c e d and people; sick of the city, wanting the sea." about their seafaring adventures over the previous 20-some years," he noted. "It was clear that the boat was special to them both, and that they had shared a lot of good times aboard. Now, a museum visitor will be able choose whether to hear fascinating tales of their trips to New Zealand, or Tahiti, or Samoa." Holbrook has suffered a monumental loss, and he has our sincerest condolences. But it's comforting to know that the love of adventure he shared with Carter will live on.
COURTESY THE MARINERS' MUSEUM
The May 2010 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.