S/V Mandalay was the fourth Hussar built for E. F. Hutton.
In 1923 the three-masted schooner was launched from the Burmeister Wain Shipyard in Copenhagen sporting lavish furnishings, including gold faucets,
Hussar IV a grand piano, and marble-rrimmed fireplaces (with hollow steel masts for chimneys).
She was sold to American shipping magnate George Unger Verlesen in the 1930s and renamed Verna,
and in 1934 she established an unofficial record of 10 days, 10 hours for crossing the Atlantic under sail from Montauk Point,
New York, to Bishop’s Rock, Ireland.
When World War II began, Verna was donated for war service, stripped and turned over to the Coast Guard for coastal patrol.
Later she was a floating dormito ry for the US Merchant Marine Academy, then abandoned on the mud flats of Staten Island, New York.
Captain Kennedy, a ship master from Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, rescued the 30- year-old yacht and refined her as a charter vessel.
Columbi a U niversi ry’ s new oceanographic insrirure, the Lamont Geological Observatory, became Kennedy’s first customer for a research cruise in 1952.
The Universiry then purchased rhe schooner, whi ch became the most producti ve scientific ship of her rime.
Hussar IV NMHS member Robert Gerard writes:
“I sailed aboard Verna on many cruises between 1954 and the 1970s, first as a member of rhe scientific parry and later as chief scientist.
My first cruise in the swnmer of 1953 lefr from Piermont on the Hudson for Bermuda, theAzores, Casablanca and Lisbon.
“Motoring southeastward in a beam sea, Verna was rolling 3 5 degrees as mal de mer spread among the new members of rhe scientific parry.
I recal l asking the bosun if this was normal behavior for the ship. ‘”Sure is,’ he said. ‘She rolls like a ripe watermelon.
You’ll see, when the wi nd picks up she’ll heel right over and stay there.’
“One night as I was settling into my upper bunk, rhe vessel did indeed heel to leeward and senle there.
However, I awoke with the ship rolling and lurching violently and a steady drip of salt water falling on my bunk.
from the seams of the teak wood deck overhead.
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