Saturday, March 6, 2010

My New Crew Gets Her Sea Legs

My grand niece, Flora, begins her first voyage aboard The Minnow at the Denver Childrens Museum.  At 16 months she seems eager to take the helm of this mighty vessel. She comes into this life from many sea faring forefathers and foremothers who landed on the shores of the American continent in the mid 1600's with the Great English Puritan Migration, and the Dutch and French Hueguenot colonization of New Netherlands(New York). The Spotted Cow, The Pumerland Church, The Guilded Otter, The Resselaerwyck, The Coninck David, The Rosetree, and The Waterhound are only a few of the ships that ushered our ancestors across the Atlantic.( the names of the ships have been translated into English)

Prior to their migration to America, the de Forests and the de la Montagnes attempted to colonize the Oyapok River, Guyana, South America, and the island of Tobago in the Caribbean on board the ships, The Pigeon, and The Fortuyn. Over 200 years later, our Scottish ancestors, the Gilmours and the Dunsmuirs, were hired by the Hudsons Bay Company to become the first coal miners in British Columbia. They set sail aboard The Pekin, and after rounding Cape Horn, sailing to the Sandwich Islands, the Captain ran the ship aground at the mouth of the Columbia River. After more than 6 months at sea. both wives, immediately, gave birth to children while on the Columbia River and one was even named Alan Columbia Gilmour. After Gilmour's contract expired and with Mrs. Gilmour pregnant with her 7th child, they returned to Scotland on board The Royal Princess.  The Dunsmuirs stayed on Vancouver Island and became BC's wealthiest coal baron. Their famous, Craigdarroch Castle, sits atop the highest hill in Victoria, BC and is open to the public.(check link at bottom of blog) About the same time the Gilmours were sailing to Vancouver Island, the Reids were setting sail from Scotland to America(New York), going up the Hudson, through the Erie Canal, across the Great Lakes and settling in Lomira, Wisconsin. Our Hewitt lineage from Scotland, were sea farers in the British Isles, the Mediterranian Sea, The Red Sea and the Indian Ocean often stopping at the seaports of Karachi and Bombay from the mid 1800's to the early 1900's.

Her older sister, Georgia age 34 months, seems to be drawing islands in the deep blue sea. As you can see, these girls definitely have salt water in their blood and I can't wait until they can join me on board Shatoosh and Pashmina to explore more waters in the Pacific Northwest.