Honoring the memory of a great ship and the men who served their country in
mascots are legendary, and those which
have graced the decks of the Eastwind are noble contributors
to the lore. Never obviously sanctioned by command, many a captain
allowed that, if they were taken care of and contributed to the
morale, they would not be disallowed. Never listed with the
rest of the ship's compliment, and never officially "owned" by
any one person, often it was a few key people who saw to their
daily needs. In keeping with their popularity, their companions and caregivers were basically everyone on board.
below is "Skunk", enjoying the fresh air on
the fantail, estimated at some time around 1947. Skunk
is said to have enjoyed the high points of both ship-board
activities as well as liberty, nearly as much as his shipmates.
One yarn has
it that he regularly accompanied George Seeley, both aboard
and on liberty. As the story goes, when George went ashore,
Skunk went along. While he would accompany others on their
rounds, it was usually George that was his untethered
And sometimes of course, Skunk escorted
it was time to 'heave to' for some liquid refreshment,
it was George who insisted that,
as a member
Skunk's 'duty' post . . .
. . . has been identified as the top of the port capstan
on the fantail.
The geography in the background,
however, is a little more demanding. The view is
basically north, and consensus has the location somewhere
not very far south of Thule, Greenland, perhaps
in the southern reaches of Baffin Bay or the northern
reaches of Davis Strait. (See maps ['coming'])
Note: The time of day
is estimated at late morning, not
by the sun angle, but more by the understanding
that this is the time of day when most hangovers
begin to lift. Skunk clearly seems to be recovering
well, enjoying the quiet location, and perhaps even anticipating a little solid food.
the crew and honored shipmate, Skunk was to be treated
the rights and privileges that appertain thereto," and
thus he was to sit right up to the bar, right next to
him, on his own bar stool. In a crowded
place, this often brought comments to the contrary, but
once that issue was settled, the call went out: "Barkeep!
A beer for me and one for my friend!"
it was George who first refused to drink at any bar
if the bartender refused to serve Skunk. And
not only that, the brew had to be served in the same
kind of vessel (glass, stein, or mug) as George was
served in or Skunk wouldn't touch it.
most bartenders would allow themselves to be humored and
went along with
Skunk was no tea totaler, either. When
stepped out to wet his whistle, it
at least two drinks, and
oftentimes, three or four. And Skunk is said to have kept right up with him.
It is well known
buddies' of the maritime variety often support each other (sometimes literally)
on the way back to the ship, and after a number of ports
of call, begin to know each other well enough that they
begin anticipating one anothers needs and even adopting one another's mannerisms. Some shipmates report
it came time for George and Skunk to 'way anchor', the two
of them, without a perceivable signal between them, yet in
perfect unison, would quietly slide down off their respective barstools
and amble out the door with a clearly synchronized nautical
The time and circumstances of Skunks demise have not yet been uncovered. Considering that the Eastwind spent 70-80% of its lifetime underway, it would be reasonable to presume that he was buried at sea, and certainly, with full honors.
served the Eastwind from time to time, and their
stories will be added as they are located. However, it should
be noted that, in traditional Eastwind fashion,
Skunk seems to have set the bar high.
who may have contributions (or perhaps 'clarifications')
they would care to share are invited to do so by contacting
the webmaster at the address shown on the home page.