Join me on a field trip to visit the Felicity Ann during the week of December 5. Get acquainted with the little boat that proved that she was not too small to make a voyage across the Atlantic in 1952.
Ann Davison, a native of the UK, was the first woman to sail singlehandedly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1952 on a 23-foot wooden boat named Felicity Ann. Ann stopped over in Portugal and the Canary Islands before heading across to Antigua. Due to storms, she eventually landed in Dominica and subsequently sailed to New York and a hero’s welcome celebration. She wrote an account of her historic voyage, My Ship Is So Small, which is still available at some online bookstores and in some libraries. I’ve picked up a copy myself just recently.
Although Ann died in 1992, her small boat has traveled through many owners and has now landed, maybe for the last time, at the NW School for Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, WA. I visited Felicity Ann recently and although she is undergoing planking, there is still enough of her identity to see how small her cabin is and to see the bronze kerosene lights still intact on the bulkheads. The original intent was to restore her to her original lines through the work of the students at the school. Unfortunately, through budget cuts, the cost of the raw materials to complete the job had to be dropped from the school’s budget. Now her fate is up in the air. The cost is estimated to be $35,000.
A former student at the school, Annie Teater, is trying to find a non-profit to help with the financing of the Felicity Ann refit. Ideally it would be a sailing foundation that could eventually use her as a sailing platform for students, or even a youth program. Also, her savior might be a nautical museum or institution that would like to have her on display or even an individual owner. The School is a 501c(3) organization. Tax deductible contributions can be designated specifically to the Felicity Ann Restoration. What a great way to celebrate our pioneer women in sailing.
Check out the Wikipedia pages separately designated for Felicity Ann and for Ann Davison.
If you have any ideas for saving this little boat, please either give me a call at 360-437-9350 or e-mail me at newlan2dl@aol. We’re very concerned she might end up in the woodpile….what a shame. Pioneers should live on forever and a living legacy certainly helps.
Please call me or email if you are interested in joining us for a visit to see the Felicity Ann at the NW School of Wooden Boatbuilding at Port Hadlock. The specific date to be determined during the week of December 5.
Linda Newland firstname.lastname@example.org