How the heck is a famous American Astronaut tied to the LF2SF crew?
Wally’s Anchor refers to the 43 pound Danforth now sitting off the port stern rail of my sailboat; and this is the story of how the LF2SF Crew came to be its caretaker- keeping the anchor in the family and on a sailboat as a family heirloom.
Mr. Wally Schirra was an American Astronaut and space pioneer who was a member of the original seven American Astronaut’s to go to space, to infinity and beyond! He passed away in 2007, but not before meeting Tulum III in the early 90’s on a dock in Southern California as they were prepped for their circumnavigation, chronicled in their book, 18 Endless Summers. Being who they are, my dad and Wally Schirra struck up conversations and my dad accepted an anchor that Wally was getting rid of. That Danforth anchor was then carried around the world on Tulum III, my parents 1978 Peterson 44. After circumnavigating my parents settled in a small house but couldn’t bring themselves to get rid of that anchor; so it has sat in their backyard by the same tree since 2012. Upon us buying Tulum 5, my dad had offered the anchor, but we only accepted it in September because of the move and all we had going on. After seeing the anchor sitting on my rail losing paint and looking lonely, I decided it needed to be “saved” with a paint job and a little love. If it’s going to become a family heirloom, we’re gonna have to keep it in shape. Here’s what it looked like at first: After some steel brushing and some paint, I think it looks like a world of difference.
I guess you can’t really tell in the pictures- but I know there’s a difference. And the anchor’s gonna be put to use. It’s will be rigged on our rail to become our “kedge” anchor, a system set in place to help us get ungrounded if needed and if we have time and presence of mind to use it.
Wally’s anchor and our family heirloom is now painted (restored) and back on the rail, to stay in the family at least as long as I’m around and hopefully beyond. Yep, we’ll drag is around with us even after the boat trip and make sure it sits against another tree until needed again by another seagoing family member.