PDA

View Full Version : Bob Dylan's sailboat



SAWDOC
03-12-08, 00:13
In his autobiography "Chronicles" BD writes

"My sixty-three foot sailboat had hit a reef in Panama...In the ten years I had her my family and I had sailed the entire Caribbean and spent time on every island from Martinique to Barbados."


No other reference to sailing in the 290 page book - anyone know anything further about the boat which was lost in the incident described?

doug748
07-12-08, 18:09
No I can't help, but I read the book this summer and was also intrigued. Any info on Dylans sailing career would be interesting.

SAWDOC
08-12-08, 23:02
I really enjoyed the read - fully deserving of the "book of the year" blurb on the cover

Bajansailor
13-12-08, 12:57
His boat was a very pretty schooner called 'Water Pearl' - she had been built on the beach in Bequia in the Grenadines.
I often saw her sailing in the Grenadines in the early 80's, and later heard that she had been lost - very sad.

Here is a link to an excellent book 'Clean Sweet Wind' about the schooners and other working craft in the West Indies - http://www.amazon.com/Clean-Sweet-Wind-Boatmakers-Carribean/dp/0070526796

PS - Here are some links found by Googling :
http://blogs.suntimes.com/hoekstra/2007/05/when_dylan_met_bankie.html
http://www.caribbeancompass.com/dey_part2.htm

doug748
16-12-08, 20:16
Grand, thanks for that. Particualrly pleasing in that I have visited Bequia.

dyeager535
26-01-10, 23:15
I often saw her sailing in the Grenadines in the early 80's, and later heard that she had been lost - very sad.


I created my account solely so I could post this. With my luck I see that Bajansailor is still active here. :)

I've got a very poor quality photo of a (former) sailboat on the reef in Panama from the mid 90's, which was at the time claimed to be Bob Dylan's. It's a far off shot, and I suspect very few would know from the angle if it is indeed his, but if I upload it, anyone willing to try and ID it?

dyeager535
26-01-10, 23:30
I often saw her sailing in the Grenadines in the early 80's, and later heard that she had been lost - very sad.

I realize this post is ancient. I signed up just so I could ask this question, and with my luck I see that Bajansailor is still active here! :)

I've got a photo from Panama, back in the mid 90's of what I was told was Bob Dylan's sailboat, up on a reef.

The shot is far away, and I doubt very few could identify it one way or another from the angle. But if I upload it, anyone willing to try?

I've always been curious if it was true. If it was/is the right one, I sure would expected to find much more about it online.

Bajansailor
28-01-10, 02:53
Dyeager sent me a link to the photo he took of the boat on the reef off Panama - http://inlinethumb39.webshots.com/16358/2622481280097469480S600x600Q85.jpg

He took the photo when he was in Panama in the mid 90's, and local popular opinion was that the stranded vessel in the photo was indeed Water Pearl.

If anybody has a copy of the excellent book 'Classic Yacht Interiors', there are some photos of Water Pearl in there. I shall dig mine out, and try to scan some and post them later.

SAWDOC
31-01-10, 16:13
IIRC the book described the loss of the boat as an unfortunate anchor dragging incident - so ending up on an inshore reef would be entirely plausible. Can't make out a lot from the pic.

Bajansailor
31-01-10, 23:28
Sorry, I got it wrong re photos of Water Pearl in 'Classic Yacht Interiors' - there is just one large two page photo at the back of the book showing her being built on the beach with most of the hull frames set up.
I have got some conventional photos of her somewhere..... I might come across them again one day.....

SAWDOC
13-09-10, 21:31
Chigago sun times journalist blog


http://blogs.suntimes.com/hoekstra/2007/05/when_dylan_met_bankie.html


Bankie Banx has one of the most distinct voices in reggae music. He has lived on the small island of Anguilla most of his life. The pristine country of Anguilla (pop. 12,000) is in the British West Indies and I figured calypso or soca rhythms might shade Banx's music.
During a recent visit I wandered around his home studio in a treehouse he built out of driftwood, 15 traditional Anguillan racing boats and discarded instruments. A trombone was embedded into a tiki bar. The treehouse is part of Banx's four-acre Dune Preserve. Banx, 53, kept referencing a Tom Waits complilation CD that was near a console. Indeed, Banx's raspy junkyard vocals are reimiscent of Waits and they grapevine into in a reggae-folk landscape to create a very unique sound.
Bob Dylan certainly heard this in late 1982 when he dropped into Anguilla on his 70-foot schooner, the Water Pearl. He met Banx. Bankie was all hydrogen and sulfur, in BobSpeak. And you thought Jimmy Buffett was the only American singer-songwriter sailing the Caribbean............


"The Water Pearl was made in (the tiny island of) Bequia," Banx said as we sat at his tree house tiki bar overlooking the Caribbean Sea. "He had a Caribbean crew. He sailed to Anguilla. He picked up my cassette with some conch shells at a gift shop. He sent his captain to look me up. I guess they played the tape on the boat."
Banx was selling sweet juices and music at his driftwood head shop in the Valley of Anguilla when a bald headed guy in a rental car drove up. It was Dylan's captain, Christopher Bowman, a California ship builder who constructed The Water Pearl as well as the 40-foot cutter Just Now.
"He told me he was the captain of Bob Dylan's yacht in the harbor," Banx said. "He asked me to come aboard and bring a few guitars. I went aboard and met Dylan. We started playing and he was very much interested in (Banx's 1977 gospel-tinged reggae ballad) 'Prince of Darkness.' He wanted me to write out the lyrics and chord progression.
"We went for a swim, we went snorkeling, had lunch. In the evening I invited him to my home studio. I had a Tascam (recorder) n my basement. I was always ready to go. He stepped in and started to play my organ. He said, 'Bankie, I like the sound of this thing ('Prince of Darkness') can you record that?' I said, 'Bob, I've already done that.' Then he asked for a reggae bass line. Then a reggae rhythm guitar. Then he wanted some girls to sing backup vocals. I went and got two girls. One of them [Amelia Vanterpool-Kubisch] is now Director of Tourism for Anguilla. He never put his voice on the tape. He just played keyboards and gave us the harmonies."
Dylan has since covered "Prince of Darkness" in concert.
"In 1994 I was backstage when he did that MTV (unplugged) concert," said Banx, who lived in New York City at the time. "He said, 'You know, once in a while I cover two reggae songs. One by Jimmy Cliff and your song 'Prince of Darkness' I was totally flattered."
Dylan paid the women for the impromptu session. He also loaned Banx his crew and his 12-person yacht to do a six week tour through the Windward Islands, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada. Dylan was not part of the tour.
The Water Pearl met an untimely demise.
It sank on a reef off of Panama.
I heard of a guy named Lawson Sargeant who has a model boatbuilding shop on Bequia, where the Water Pearl was born. He reportedy made a replica of the Water Pearl for Dylan.
And anyone who knows me would expect Jimmy Buffett coming into play. Bowman, Dylan and the Water Pearl also came upon Buffett in the Caribbean. As Buffett writes in his 1998 book "A Pirate Looks at Fifty" he had been told Dylan and Joan Baez dueted on his tune "A Pirate Looks at Forty" at an anti-nuke rally in California. In 1975 Dylan wrote and recorded the lilting "Mozambique," which sounds like a Buffett song. Buffett wound up having lunch with Dylan. They didn't talk music. They talked boats and Dylan gave him a tour of the Water Pearl. No word if they drank margaritas.

zoombats
16-12-10, 18:55
I stumbled accross this thread and decided that I had to respond to some comments. I have not read Dylan's book so can't question somethings being reported. I was in Bequia quite a few years during the building and launch of the "Water pearl" in 1979. I don't recall Dylan ever visiting the project at all during construction and there was popular rumour as to his actual involvement. He did however show up sometime after launch and barely went ashore as I'm sure he thought he would be mobbed. He knew as little about Bequians as they knew about him. The boat spent numorous years sailing around with a great Bequian crew who I knew personally. I always thought it strange that the boat had to earn a living as the captain Chris Bowman was part owner and had to work the boat to keep his end up. I was on a delivery from Bermuda to Bequia in 84 and went to visit the Pearl in Marigot. Bobby D was on board, one of his "rare" visits. I was actually shocked by the claim that his family had visited every island from Barbados to Martinique over ten years, which isn't that extensive when you really think about. Jimmy Buffet writes about meeting him on the boat and that's also around the same time I beleave.
The time for departure to Panama came with the top notch crew being left behind in favour of a crew who would pay for the privelage to deliver BD's boat. I beleave the boat foundered on a reef and not by dragging anchor as I've seen reported. It was a tragic loss felt by all Bequians most notably by those who sailed her and spent many a coctail hour standing on the fordeck on the hard beside Liston's waiting for the green flash.

turboshelbys
09-02-11, 03:36
I have some pictures of this boat from when I was in Panama in the army, I think it was 1992.

SAWDOC
12-02-11, 23:59
I have some pictures of this boat from when I was in Panama in the army, I think it was 1992.

Thanks for posting! Please post other pics if you have them.

John_Lana
26-02-11, 10:48
We did the St Barts regatta on board Water Pearl in 1982. Chris Bowman was the skipper with an all-Bequian crew. It was a lot of fun, even if we did not win. I wrote a piece for Cruising World which is on the page http://john-lana.com/articles.htm It is near the bottom of the page and is called St Barts Regatta.
Many fond memories of the "Good old days" when it was all a lot more fun that it seems to be now.

John

jhbrowne
13-09-12, 07:17
I just ran across this in looking for info on BD's yacht. My husband was deployed in Panama in 1988. On September 2nd, 1988 he was scuba diving with some friends around the yacht. He took pictures and he also brought home a piece from it. My son was born Sept. 2, 1988. He now has the piece of the boat that his dad brought home.
My son has been trying to find more information on it. I'm glad to now know the name and that is was a schooner.


In his autobiography "Chronicles" BD writes

"My sixty-three foot sailboat had hit a reef in Panama...In the ten years I had her my family and I had sailed the entire Caribbean and spent time on every island from Martinique to Barbados."


No other reference to sailing in the 290 page book - anyone know anything further about the boat which was lost in the incident described?