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A Short History of UNH Sailing
Over 75 years sailing with the UNH Sailing Club, 1936-2011

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Sweetie Pie

Soon after arriving at UNH in 1936 my twin brother, Harold, and I became interested in the newly formed Yacht Club (now UNH Sailing Club). At the time about 20-25 members started collecting money to buy five boats. We ran raffles, sold candy, solicited friends and family and used many other means of collecting funds in order to buy sailboats.

The advisor of the club was Leon "Skip" Glover '23,'27G. He worked at the university's Extension Service and later received his doctorate at Iowa State. He ended up working for Shell Oil in California as an entomologist. He was also the advisor for the Sea Scout ship, the S.S. Gundalow, at Portsmouth.

The following year, 1937, the club purchased five 15-foot sloops made by the Cape Cod Boat Co. They were sloop rigged with centerboards, and were all well-made of wood with five-strake hulls.

The boats were moored on the Oyster River about a mile from Durham towards Dover Point. We sailed on the Great Bay west of the Route 4 bridge and the Piscataqua River. Sailing was quite tricky because of the strong currents racing under the bridge, but Skip Glover really taught us how to sail. The club, too, was racing against other college sailing clubs. Harold tells about racing against MIT on the Charles River in Boston. The New Hampshire team never won because the winds on the river were difficult, bouncing off nearby buildings. The MIT team knew how to play the wind.

Sweetie Pie

In Spring 1938, my brother and I, with two other club members, decided to take two boats over the weekend and sail under the bridge down the Piscataqua River past Portsmouth to the Isle of Shoals, which is 10 miles from shore almost directly opposite Rye Beach. We packed a lunch and sailed down the river with the help of the outgoing tide. We had planned to spend the night on the island, visiting classmates who were attending the summer session of the joint UNH-Cornell marine biology program. The wind for the day was moderate but there were good-sized waves so we had to be careful.

Earlier in the year one of the submarines from the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Squalus, had sunk a few miles from the Isle of Shoals in May, and as we sailed towards the island, we could see the salvage operations working to raise it. One of the Navy salvage experts was a neighbor of our family in Westfield ,N.J. Commander Edward Ellsberg had been called upon to assist in the raising of the submarine S-51 after it sank in a collision off Block Island in September 1925, and also the S-4, which went to the bottom in a collision off Cape Cod. The Squalus had sunk during a test dive, due to a catastrophic valve failure. Twenty-six men drowned, and the remainder, 32 crew members and one civilian, were rescued in a 13-hour period using a newly developed McCann rescue chamber, a revised version of a diving bell invented by Commander Charles B. Momsen. There is a room devoted to the raising of the submarine at UNH Jackson Lab on Great Bay near Durham Point.

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