Friday, April 22, 2016

PHOENIX owners, 1954-2016

An enterprising freelance journalist recently accomplished what it had never occurred to me to do. She connected all the dots to form the lineage of owners of the Phoenix from Dr. Earle Reynolds all the way down to Dr. Naomi Reynolds:

1951-1954 Earle Reynolds designed, built and launched the Phoenix into the Inland Sea of Japan.  

1954 - 1973 Owner and captain Earle Reynolds sailed the Phoenix around the world, into the Pacific Proving Grounds (1958) to protest American nuclear testing, to Nakhodka, USSR (1961) to protest Soviet nuclear testing, to Vietnam (1967) to protest American involvement in Vietnam War. Sailed to California 1970, moved ashore (Quaker Center, Ben Lomond), sold the Phoenix in 1973. (Although the name Phoenix of Hiroshima was still on the boat's hull, she was re-registered in California as Phoenix of San Francisco.)

While it belonged to Earle Reynolds, Bob Eaton captained the Phoenix on her second and third voyages to Vietnam. Eaton remembered reading The Voyage of the Golden Rule as a teenager and was thrilled to be able to sail on her successor. Eaton described Reynolds as "a cynic with high hopes."


1973 -  Tomas Daly bought the Phoenix for $20,000, intending to sail her around the world with his family. She needed extensive repair. He sank $40,000 into her restoration and sailed up and down the coast but his circumnavigation was in a different boat. Daly was the one who kept the figurehead, wheel, sidelights, radio and other loose equipment when he sold the boat, "to give to the Reynolds' when the Phoenix comes back into the Reynolds family"! When Naomi took over possession of the Phoenix, he gave those items to her, asking her to keep them on public display.

Norman Sullivan owned it for 14 years.

Al Hugon owned the Phoenix for 17 years. He bought her at an auction, knowing nothing about her, fixed her up hoping his girlfriend and children would want to live on her--but they didn't. Then he came across a copy of Reynolds' book All in the Same Boat, about the building of the Phoenix and her trip around the world. As he read the description of her paneling, etc., he realized, "Oh my gosh, this is my boat!" He kept her another 10 years after that discovery until he could not afford to keep her anymore.

At that point his friend LeeAnn Roxx tracked Jessica Reynolds Renshaw down. She couldn't take the boat and finally in desperation, LeeAnn listed the boat on craigslist: "FREE: 50-foot yacht."

John Gardner took over possession of the Phoenix in 2007 (?). She sank in 2010.

Dr. Naomi Reynolds, granddaughter of designer and first captain Dr. Earle Reynolds, took over ownership of the Phoenix from John Gardner in 2010.

NOTE: On Sept. 21, 2016 Articles of Incorporation were filed to create Phoenix of Hiroshima Project, Inc. on completion of this paperwork the Phoenix will belong to this corporation.

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