Jane and I went in search of its history with information we obtained from the Federal Documentation Office, and here is what we found;
In 1947 on the banks of Albemarle Sound at Manns Harbor, North Carolina, and a short distance from Kill Devil Hills, the spot of the Wright brother’s historic flight, a very special creation was brought into this world. Clarence Holmes contracted Belove Tillet to build a forty two-foot party boat.
The boat was built “by the rock of the eye,” with special care since it was designed to spend its life in and out of the most treacherous inlet on the East Coast of the United States; Oregon Inlet at Cape Hatteras. The talent that went onto this special vessel can only be appreciated by a person that has piloted it through the crashing seas of a deadly raging and unforgiving inlet…like a little duck in love with the water, the Secotan bounces and bobs along in the wildest of torrents…trust me for I have been there.Secotan arriving at our dock in St. Augustine, Florida, 1980. George Tappin is standing on the bow and Jane on the stern.
What we were about to do next was not for everybody.
With our seamanship, navigational and boat building abilities, and a desire to do something totally different and exciting, we put our newly built dock to the perfect use.
We acquired a commercial fishing vessel.
This was not going to be like the good old days when any hayseed could drag some nets around and make a living. Cheap fuel and plentiful shrimp were gone.
The timing was right; we had the boat handling expertise and our youthful exuberance.
Jane and I had just finished constructing a dock in Hospital Creek at a piece of property we were developing adjacent to the “fabled Fountain of Youth”. Hospital Creek is where Ponce de León sailed up on April 2, 1513, when he was searching for the Fountain of Youth and discovered Florida.
For the rest of this interesting story read the book: Sailing to St. Augustine by John M. Grimsrud. It is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.