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The Rosina's log book

July 1-August 3, 1924
Courtesy of Judy Swink*
San Diego, California

In July, 1924 Gilbert R. Swink Sr., together with  Anna his wife, sons Frederic and Gilbert Jr. and niece, May Frederic and Mae Catherine  Swink aboard the Rosina at Moosekill CreekCatherine Swink, undertook a fascinating journey from Norfolk, Virginia to Montreal, Canada and back aboard the family power boat Rosina. Setting out on Tuesday, July 1, the Rosina traveled up the Intracoastal Waterway, along the Delaware River, through the now unused Delaware & Raritan Canal across New Jersey from Trenton to the Raritan River. They passed through Philadelphia and the Navy Yard there.

In New York harbor, they passed (and photographed) the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Heading up the mighty Hudson towards the historic lakes, they stopped off at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Soon, they were within the Champlain Canal, accompanied on the way by the ever-present commercial traffic that has long since vanished from the canal.

After an anchorage at Moosekill Creek and Troy, they entered Lake Champlain at Whitehall, proceeded north to Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. By July 14, they had arrived at St. John's Quebec, where they left their little boat for the final leg of their journey- by rail to Montreal. At Iberville, Quebec they took in a rather unique event, canoe races.

The Swinks chronicled their journey in this logbook, a wonderful document describing a wonderful family adventure... The Log of the Rosina.


Anna R. Swink [wife, "Cook"]; Frederic Gilbert Swink [son; "Engineer"]; Gilbert Roscoe Swink Jr. [son; "Deck hand"]; May Catherine Swink [niece, "Supercargo"]

Dishwasher [Hired hand]

Tuesday, July 1

Good ship Rosina left dock at 1230 P.M. in driving rain - wind N.E. to East - sky overcast - cook depressed -- Engineer says optimist opens oyster hoping to find pearls - pessimist fears ptomain poison [sic, sic] - we are not pessimists.

Arrived Little Bay 140pm still raining, wind NE nasty sea outside so decided to tie up to Staehle's buoy in Little Bay. Later stopped raining - fished with Caille1 - caught two croakers & Caille engine went bad and had to row in. Rigged up radio - listened to Bed time story, supper started at 530.

Wednesday, July 2

Woke up at 810 all hands reported good rest. Started raining again about 11 pm last night and continued. Breakfast - cantaloups bacon, eggs, jam & coffee - ship shape - 930 moderate NE wind - decided to go out to Rip Raps and if not rough to go up the Bay - Before leaving Eng & deck hand went ashore for mail & papers.

Started out about 12 o'clock. Rolled considerably & decided to return after passing Rip Raps - stopped in lea of Rip Raps, caught a few croakers & super cargo got sea sick - came back to Willoughby. Spent afternoon & night there. Listened in on convention in NY. Bed 930.

Thursday, July 3

Arose six o'clock - sun shining but wind still NE - Breakfast over at 8 - leave at 830. Passed Rip Raps at 9.00 Back River 10 am, York Spit 11 - Wolf Trap 12.35 - Windmill Pt. 2.20pm Very rough weather to Windmill Pt. Waves coming over bow, cabin and cockpit roof. Pumps manned. Smith Point Light 445 sea calm, strong head tide for last 3 hours - passed Cherry Point Light & anchored in cove 915 - Dinner fried chicken & trimmings - wind freshened from SE in trough, rolled dinner off table. tried to reach Solomon's. Yacht Monroon of Baltimore came out and piloted us in - fine anchorage and river breeze - good night.

Friday, July 4

Left Solomon 1120 sky overcast wind moderate NE - Cove Point 1220 - James Pt. 120 - Chesapeake City 255 - Horseshoe Point 410 - Annapolis 530 Stopped half an hour out to clean oil pump. Considerable number of yachts in anchorage - pleasant night - good dinner steak potatoes ice cream etc.

Saturday, July 5

Leave 745 Sandy Point 845 Sky overcast - wind E - cool - Worton Pt. light 1130 bucking tide - Turkey Pt 110 Entrance Back Creek 215 Locks Delaware & Ches Canal 245 Locked in 345 - Locked out 4pm no sun today 4 ½ miles in canal St. George lock 540 - locked out 645.

Sunday, July 6

Gas 60 gals.

Left Del City 11am Locked thru with Marianne [Stover?] bound for Montreal - fair tide - New Castle 1030 cut off turn Wilmington 12 M - Hog Island shipyard 120 - Phila Navy Yard 2pm Passed New Bridge 240 Raritan Canal lock at Bordentown 630pm.

We stopped several miles below the locks for a swim. Missed the entrance and went up the river 6 miles to Trenton Yacht Club - gave us an anchorage but decided to come back to the locks - on arrival found the Marianne from Norfolk. We had locked thru with her at Delaware City this morning - she is on her way to Montreal - Mrs. Stover [?] aboard - mosquitoes aplenty. Radio refused to work.

Monday, July 7

Locked thru at 5.10 following Marianne -...- #2 at 550 Newton 640 New Brunswick lock 130pm Pennsylvania Bridge 245 Tufts [?] Pt. 345 Statue of Liberty 515 Columbia Yacht Club 630 Gave us a [___?] anchorage near shore. Anna & May Katherine went ashore & phoned Marie. We later went ashore, [____?] Marie & Walter, had dinner, took subway down town - came back about eleven. Rough & rolled all night from wash of boats.

Tuesday, July 8

All hands feeling fine. Left anchorage 910 & put in at Spuyten Duyvil for breakfast. Left at 1140. Had just written LM [brother Louis Melanthon?] that boat & engine working fine when clutch shift broke about 4 miles above Yonkers. Got out Caille & with assistance of small open motor boat pulled in at [TUCK?] City, a camping place on Palisades. Tied up at dock, tried to fit in shift in reverse but would not work. Tide running strong. Threw out big anchor & tied stem at pier. Decided to run over to Yonkers with Caille and if necessary go to Cos Cob for new anus.  Began to rain so put it off until morning. Rolled considerably from passing boats. Marianne passed about 3 P.M.

Wednesday, July 9

Got up at 6 am. Police boat came up to pier. We had swung around blocking one end. Yelled for us to get out of way. Told him couldn’t use our engine & was broken down. Deliberately fouled our big anchor rope, breaking line to dock & then cut our anchor line, declined to assist us & was nasty. Finally got out small anchor. Frederic & I left in Caille for Yonkers. Went to NY for part, about 4 hours. Returned to find Mrs. S very much excited - anchor had dragged & hook on bottom [??] Put in anus & left for north at 1230. Scenery perfectly beautiful. Arrived Newburgh Yacht Club at 430. 100 gals of gas, saw Club Railway & decided to haul out as we had loosened a plank in bow the first day out. Spent night in Palatine Hotel.

After leaving Yonkers best day trip – Fair wind & tide made between 10 & 11 miles – Scenery around West Point couldn’t be beat –

Thursday, July 10

Arrived Yacht Club about 9 am plank fixed straightened shaft & left 1035. Fair wind, head tied, making about 8 miles. Poughkeepsie 1220 several showers before & after leaving Poughkeepsie. 1 P.M. wind shifted north. [????] Elbow Pt. Passed [Esaus?] Island 120. Large brick bldg on left Bank. Saugerties 330. Wind W. Head tide. Athens - Hudson 505 Wind S 9. Scenery not as pretty today as yesterday. Now looking for a creek. Dinner to be steak, potatoes & coffee & peaches. Wanted to anchor at 530 in [Minderers] Creek just about 4 Mile Point. Seemed to be good anchorage & nice beach. Cook objected strenuously claiming would interfere with her dreams. Came on and at 550 anchored alongside large Ice house just below Coxsackie at Pirates Glenn. Rain had stopped and sun shining for last hour. Very little wind & river without a ripple. Sun setting over hills – Hungry –

Friday, July 11

Arose 630 — 8 miles from Albany. Breakfast 830 left 845 Cool night. Radio good, listened to concert from [?WNY] - WJZ, WBZ & KDKA – Slack tide – wind west – Nice sunshine – Albany 1115 head wind rather cool. Smooth trip, clear sky - enjoying trip. Troy 12 o’clock – Locked thru 1245. Just before entering Troy lock, 4 canal barges came out. Deck hand on bow hooked up ladies purse in water, opening it he found considerable money – Said it was $7500. Lock # one 130 Lock #4 Stillwater 320 Lock keeper reported Marianne passed thru Wednesday. 14 miles to next lock Out #5 520 Anchored in Moosekill Creek 615 made about 63 miles - certainly some service in this canal.

Saturday, July 12

Anchored in Moosekill Creek, very pretty. Water lilies all around us. Near a general store where we took on supplies – very quiet, perfectly calm. Arose 645 – unable to get balance of crew up and through breakfast before 10 o’clock. Hope to reach Crown Pt tonight – wind E by S.E. pleasant breeze. Left 1020 Locked thru 7 at 11 am Locked out #8 1125 Lock 9 - 12, thru 1205, Lock #11 at 110 wait 15 min - Locked out 130. Whitehall 210 - stopped for gas (40) gals, [????] & provisions. Left Whitehall 305 P.M. Slowest service in this lock - very [???] tender. Arrived Fort Ticonderoga at 6 PM. Rambled over Fort. Rained hard about 3 am. Passed through South end of Lake Champlain, river narrow & winding. High cliffs on both sides.

Sunday, July 13

Left 750 - sky overcast, light sw wind. D&H Bridge 8 am. Went aground first time approaching [Ferry??] at Crown Pt 850. Worked off 855. Fort Henry [sic] 940 Sky overcast. Too dark for pictures – pretty light house. Old French Fort in rear. Top of Mts in clouds. Diamond Island 11 am. Hard rain storm for 20 minutes. Couldn’t see. Juniper Island 1 PM. Plattsburg 230. Sudden squall came up at 415. Anchored in cove just south of Chazy??? Landing 430. Left at 510. Arrived Rouses Point [Canadian border] at 6 P.M. at Dr. Marnes basin - sun shining. Pleasant anchorage nice town - after dinner looked ‘em over. Decided to go to St. John & leave boat there, taking evening train to Montreal which is less than an hours ride—

Monday, July 14

Arose 7 am, cold wind. Breakfast & left 915, Fort Montgomery USA 925 Bloody Light, Canada 945 Ile Aux Noix 1030 St John Yacht Club about 12 [P]M. Tied up. Unloaded & transferred baggage to train station. First bottle of ale – Took train at 410 P.M. for Montreal. Arrive 5 P.M. Hotel Mt. Royal – Police convention as well as C.L.Lle??? Had reservations made in May but could not get rooms. After taking it up with Room Clerk, Asst Mgr. & Mgr. Finally got two separate rooms. Cook and Supercargo [Anna & May Catherine] in one and Eng. Deck hand & Skipper [Frederic, young Gilbert & Gilbert Sr.] in other.

Tuesday, July 15


Wednesday, July 16


Thursday, July 17

[notes in top margin:] KDKA W.B.Z.

W.G.Y. C.K.A.C.

Was advised to walk up hill near Hotel – real climb. Skipper and deck hand worn out – Deck hand woke up with toothache. Saw Dentist & went back at two – took out filling. Left Montreal 420 Arrived St John 535 found ship in charge of Dishwasher in good shape. Spent night in Natl {sic} Hotel.

Friday, July 18

Went aboard afternoon, splendid nights rest. Hauled out at Iberville & straightened out propeller blade which was bent in squall below Rouses Pt.

Saturday, July 19

Arose 8 am. Breakfast on boat. French Toast eggs oranges & coffee. Went ashore & loafed around. 12 [P]M moved out near booms to watch canoe races. Supercargo made mash on Mooney of Canterville & used up all her films on him. Had none left for other races. In [ends]

Left for Rouses Pt. 6 P.M. on return trip.

Red spars on port to Ile Aux Noix, then on starboard to Rouses Point. Ile Aux Noix 720, Rouses Pt 830. Reported at Custom House. Inspection tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20

Arose 830 Breakfast. Sun hot. Called at Custom House. Inspection 10 am. Looked thru several bags - very pleasant & nice - no trouble. Took on 60 gals gas & left at 1105. Wind S, SE - pleasant breeze & cool - sky clear except a few clouds in sw. Hit rock rounding Point au Fer 1150, no apparent damage. Off Plattsburg 140 Apparently big fire there near barracks. Arrived North Beach 330 near Burlington Old photo of the Burlington waterfront showing the Champlain Yacht Club boathouse and its close proximity to the CV freight yards.Vt. Left for Burlington 510 Arrive Burlington 525 Certainly was a beautiful day, clear sunshine and after 1230 scarcely a ripple on the Lake. Stopped at Champlain Yacht Club, good mooring. Rather noisy on acct of lying near Central Vermont Freight Station.

Eastern St Time

Monday, July 21

Arose 630 Day Light Sav time. Repacked trunk and shipped by express to Father. Thru breakfast at 10 am D.L. time. Left 1020 very little breeze. Lake hazy. Yesterday afternoon after Lunch took an hours ride over Burlington very pretty town, magnificent shade trees, mostly elms & maples. University of Vermont. Off Westport 1 P.M. Slight S SW wind. Lake without a ripple hazy - mountains on both sides, talc both sides from Split Rock to narrows, very few boats, mostly row boats, for past two weeks have seen many people fishing no fish except cats & ring??? perch. Arrived Crown Pt. 215 Went up in Light House & then walked over to Old Fort Crown Pt. & St Frederic very interesting. Left 335. Just below Fort Ticonderoga tiller rope broke 515 Repaired on our way 6 PM. D&H Ry runs just along west side of lake. Great many hills. Scenery perfect.

Tuesday, July 22

Whitehall – anchored just below the lock about 830. Last 10 min dark on acct of mts. On east side & navigation difficult. Went to bed as soon as tied up. Saw a bunch of Italian drunks about 5 miles below. Mosquitos awful - no sleep. Breakfast & locked thru first lock 8 am Eastern time - Took on supplies & waiting for ice man. Leaving Daylight Sav time 11 am. Lock 11 at 1120. Locked out at 1230. Made us wait for the Sea Gull. Lock #7 in at 320. Service coming out, not to be compared with going in. Sea Gull is a raised deck cruiser, making not more than 5 miles. Also had to wait on buoy tender. She takes care of lights & when several are out between locks, we have to wait on him. Anchored in The Cove, not Lock 5 or Lock 4 - at 6 P.M. Had dinner & fished for 3 hours. On good authority last fish caught here in 1896 or 1897 – Rained a few minutes after we tied up – Rained during night – cool and very few mosquitoes.

Wednesday, July 23

Slept good - feeling fine. Breakfast hot cakes, steak, bacon, syrup & oranges. Oiled up & left 9 am. Cool with a bright sun - not a cloud - a number of camps on shore, all seem deserted - light breeze from NW. Thru Lock 4 with Tug Geo Fiel[?] of [Romida NY] at 1010. Gates were closed but opened for us. Lock #1 waiting for us 1135 thru 1140. Locked thru last lock at Troy 1215. Just before going into lock, saw replica of Hudson’s Half Moon took a picture. Sea Gull passed us in the Coney yesterday evening. He tied up at Stillwater. Picked him up here - Arrived Albany. Had difficulty locating gas but finally got hold of Steward at Albany yacht club. Took on supplies & 50 gal. gas – Left yacht club 240 west wind & fair tide. Passed Castleton 325. Coxsachie {sic} 440 Passed Pirates Glenn {sic} where we tied up for night July 10th. Went in to Saugerties 7 o’clock – didn’t like look of place & came on to Tyler Pt. & anchored 815.

Thursday, July 24

Waited for tide until 1030 left 1045. Wind SW breezy. Pleasant night no mosquitoes. Stopped at Kingston 1115. Went ashore at Poughkeepsie & bought out a bakery. Left at 230 West Point 5 P.M. Looked it over & saw a parade at 545. Dinner & left 745 for Peekskill or more pleasant anchorage. Wash from passing boats made it uncomfortable.— Anchored off Ft. Montgomery 830. Got out Radio and was listening in on Carpenter-Tunney fight when guard ordered us to move. Argued with him & he reported to inspector who said we would have to move. Ran down about half an hour & anchored behind fleet of idle boats [WW I Idle Fleet] off Peekskill. Better anchorage except for trains passing every few minutes.

Friday, July 25

Woke 6 o’clock Day L time – raining. Got up 745 left 815. Had cup coffee at 900. Dropped anchor at Nyack at 10 am for breakfast. Left Nyack at 1205. Lost hour & bought another– sky overcast and indication of rain & wind. Came thru NY harbor - rough and crowded - wind died down coming into the Kill - sun shining - nice run thru the Kills to Raritan Bay and Raritan River. Went thru Lock 1 & 2 & anchored at Johnson & Johnson factory about 815 PM. After dinner went up town & rubbered [rubber necked?] – Cool.

Saturday, July 26

Cold – Left 800 nice sunshine weather - very little breeze. Gas at Lock #11 – Arrived Princeton 215. Left at 4 - arrived Trenton 505. Blooming bridge tender at RR Bridge held us up for 55 min. Locked through Lock #14 at 730. Good service after leaving Trenton. Decided to run down River in effort to get away from Mosquitoes. Anchored in basin of HM &I Co. - this concern evidently large, natural sand and gravel bed. Hooked up Radio and heard dance music from Steel Pier Atlantic City thru W.I.P. Then organ recital thru same station. Splendid results. Up until mid night - pleasant breeze.

During the trip spoke to several yachts - Everyone cussing the Bridge Tender at Trenton - Refused to give him cigars this time.

Sunday, July 27

Up late - Breakfast over 11 am. Waiting for tide. Expect to leave dock 12 [P]M - when tide changes - pleasant breeze clear. All hands feeling good. Asst deck hand and Super Cargo out rowing. Think Super Cargo under instruction from Asst deck hand will develop into good oarswoman. Cook took a few lessons last night but Asst Deck hand reports that she was not an apt pupil. Leaving 1215. Stopped 1245 at a very nice beach on Penna side - considerable number of motor boats & several tents. Had a swim. Cook got beyond her depth & tried to breathe under water. Left 2 P.M. Trip down Delaware uneventful until near Canal. Arrived 825 & locked thru. It was dark & we got lost only twice on trip. Couldn’t locate entrance to canal. Some people on bank directed us. Some mosquitoes. Met Capt Pear...... here, he is pilot for small boats & has been cruising up and down for years.

Monday, July 28

Spent pleasant night at Del[aware] City. Rec’d mail, including letter from Capt. Joe [Ennis] that fleet would meet us at Mobjack [Bay] on Friday or Sat. Cashed draft on Bank, bought supplies & left 10 am. Sunshining hot very little breeze. Stopped for 50 gal gas & 5 gal oil. Just as we were leaving large motor boat came up behind us. Lady standing on side slipped & fell overboard - pulled out without damage except to her dignity. Last lock Ches[apeake] City 1245 thru. Passed Dorchester Beach 445. Anchored at Annapolis at 715 just as sun went down, rather hot, Bay as smooth as glass. Beautiful evening wind shifted to N.N.E. after anchoring - very light.

Tuesday, July 29

Up at 7 - After breakfast went ashore, took in Annapolis & pictures. Got 6 hard crabs & qt. crab meat. Left 1015. Sun Light NE wind. Anchored midway between Cove Pt & Drum Pt for fishing. Having got half a dozen hard crabs & some fresh crabmeat at Annapolis. Fished for an hour caught a dozen spot & 2 trout, probably 50 or 60 croakers but threw them back. Came on into Solomons & had a feast of crabmeat, french fried potatoes & ice tea, thru at 615 & hooked up radio - movies - bed.

Wednesday, July 30

Up at seven - wind SW. Left at 9 breeze freshened off Cedar Pt. & was somewhat brisk to Point No Point. Dropped after that. Head tide until after we reach Potomac. Pt. Lookout 1135 weather clear. Sun hot. All hands feasted on spots & every body sleep here except engineer, who is doing his trick & the Capt. Engineer [FGS] celebrated his 17th birthday. Rec’d Caille Liberty motor, $1000 bill, for Canadian bill & several silk shirts. Supercargo worrying about getting home too soon. Put in Great Wicomico at 2 P.M. & stopped at Reedville. Didn’t like the place, too many fish houses [menhaden processing plants for fertilizer - stinky]. Came out and tried to fish. Nothing except croakers. Left 315, anchored off red buoy in Piankitank [River] at 530. Caught sufficient hog fish for dinner & breakfast & anchored inside of breakwater at 630. Dinner tasted good.

Thursday, July 31

Arose 730. Varnished boat before breakfast. Sky overcast. Cool breeze & pleasant. Had a visit from Forrest the crab man & order crab meat for dinner this evening. Flood Tide will change about 11 or 12 o’clock. Later we painted boat and loafed around for balance of day - Caught fish – went in bathing.

Friday, August 1

Left 930, came thru Milford Haven. Struck several times & Fair Tide & wind. New Point 12 [P]M. Fished until 1230, picked up Lingerjo [Ennis boat] at 1 P.M. in Mobjack Bay. Sure was glad to see them. Skipper [????] Bay looked good. Mrs E charming. Fished for awhile then came into Phillpots Wharf. Made 2 gals of clam chowder for both boats. All gone, visited with Mr. & Mrs. Phillpots until 9 o’clock. Tried Radio but battery was weak. Hauled out into East River to avoid gnats. Ready for bed 10 P.M. End of a perfect day. Came thru hole at Milford Haven bumped several times – Fair wind & tide. Made New Point in less than 2 hrs.

Saturday, August 2

All ate too much clam chowder. Didn’t sleep very well. Arose at 730. Breakfast & fooled around until 10 am. Went ashore and visited with Mrs. Ma???? & Mrs. Phillpots until 1130. Left at 12 – S.E. wind - freshening - Stopped off New Point to catch dinner. Lingerjo kept on - nothing but croakers. Caught up with Lingerjo at Thimble Shoal. Channel choppy. Supercargo started for Europe, got us far as Newark. Anchored off Ocean View 330. Caught mess of hog fish - Came into Little Bay 630 P.M. Tied up at Staehle’s buoy. Lingerjo on stem.

Sunday, August 3

Started to rain about 530. Didn’t get up until 9. Breakfast slow & boat cleaned up 11 o’clock. Visited with Lingerjo until 12. Stopped raining 10 o’clock, brisk NE wind, sunshining. Decided to go over to striped buoy, fish & go into Sandy Pt for a swim & dinner about 3 P.M. Anchored in Lafayetter River above draw for dinner. Drake came out to meet us. Came in to dock a little before 5 - with pennants flying - crowd met us. Unloaded boat & so finished a cruise of about 1600 miles. Everybody happy & sorry it was over.

1 a type of outboard motor that is fastened to the side of the boat and angles aft instead of down, perhaps designed for a canoe or shallow water use.


*America's Historic Lakes is grateful to Judy Swink for sharing the tale of her family's journey. Learn more about Judy here.

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