SAVING THE AMAZON
MONTAUK, NEW YORK, 1978
The night of May 8, 1978 under a dense fog, the sea was rather calm as the waves slowly rolled on to the beach in the coastal town of Montauk. Life was typical on shore. Just off shore about 1:30 AM in the black of night the 72 foot Sparkman and Stephens AMAZON was slicing beautifully through the gently rolling sea heading towards Boston. The melodic cadence of the rolling waves were violently interrupted by dull bumpity bump bang bang thug of the 105,00 pound steel hull weaving its way through small rocks at the breakwater just east of an area known as Ditch Plains. In less than a minute, the AMAZON amazingly stood upright nestled in the rocks. The owner/captain and two members had arrived at the desolate and mysterious land known as WHERETHEFOOKAREWES. They launched the lifeboat and within a minute walked to the beach.
In 1971, the Sparkman and Stephens design 2084 was built at the famous Camper and Nicholson shipyard in Southampton, England. Commissioned by a John B. Goulandris, a Greek shipping magnate and named in honor of his daughter the AMAZON was I.O.R. (International Offshore Rule) meaning she was in class of sailboats for ocean racing. Woman warriors, fierce, independent, fearless, strong, ruthless, aggressive “win, and take all “females were known in Greek and Roman mythology as Amazons. They were not to be messed with. In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a nation of fierce female warriors, descendants of Ares, the god of war. The Amazons were usually pictured fighting on horseback with bows and arrows, spears, and axes and carrying a crescent-shaped shield. Scholars disagree on the meaning of the name Amazon. Some say that it means "breastless.” This comes from the belief among the Greeks that the Amazons cut off the right breast of each girl so that she could handle a bow and arrow more easily.
This a great salvage story but too long for FB. Was the $750,000 AMAZON salvageable and what did it cost? Montauk has a history of shipwrecks and like beached whales the events are rare but they draw a good crowd. I photographed the entire 30 day process including its fitting and design in Marmanack, NY. In 2012, I spoke to the salvage engineer and traced the AMAZON down. I spoke with the new owner in France and is currently berthed and racing in the Mediterranean.