One of the things that caught my interest at the Western Reserve Historical Society was the Tinkerbelle:
I saw this small boat, saw its name, and had some vague memory about a trans-Atlantic, solo crossing. The story is, back in 1965 Robert Manry sailed this boat single-handed across the North Atlantic, then wrote a book about his experiences. Years ago, I read the book and was captivated by his tale. The reason Tinkerbelle is in this museum is that Manry was an Ohioan, and he was a copy-editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer when he set off on his adventure. His story is now a part of Ohio history, and it only makes sense that the actual boat would be on display in this museum.
When I got home I went online to see how much more I could find out about Robert Manry and his adventure. I was very surprised to learn that there is a website devoted to this man’s story and adventures. There is even a website where his home-movies have been turned into a 52-minute video that is viewable online. I was also surprised to learn that the book, Tinkerbelle, is available for online reading. I re-read the first couple of chapters and found that in 1965, when he made his journey, he had a son that was about my age. That sparked my interest even further. What would have been the experience of a 9-year-old boy when his father set out across the ocean, alone, in a 13 ½ foot boat? I pursued this question further and found that the son is still living in Cleveland and is an artist.
One one hand, you have to question the judgment of a man who would set out alone to cross the Atlantic in a 13 ½ foot sailboat. On the other hand, you have to admit some admiration for a man who would pursue his dream in the way Manry did.