Joshua Slocum – A patron saint of sailors worldwide and the father of “STARBOUND”

Historical Content Core:

Historical themes will be heavily utilized to teach and inspire youth at SALTY, and will be presented in ways that connect to the specific experiences the scouts will be having during their adventure programs. Some highlights:
Captain Joshua Slocum, aboard “SPRAY”, was the first man to circumnavigate the world single-handed, departing Fairhaven, Massachusetts in 1895 and returning in 1898.

Slocum was a sailing captain, and in his time held a stubborn shoulder against the inevitability of steel and steam. When the AQUICNECK shipwrecked on the shore of the Brazilian jungle under his command, he built an open sailing canoe and in it sailed his wife and two sons 2,500 miles home to New England. Bemoaning his lack of a ship or other prospects, “cast up from old ocean” to use his words, he happened upon a derelict oyster boat in much the same condition as himself, rebuilt her, named her “SPRAY”, and then weighed anchor to do what no man before him had ever done. Three years later, when “SPRAY Ahoy!” was again heard in Newport, he would rank among the great seafaring adventurers in all of history.

Slocum is a legendary figure in sailing lore to this day. His book, Sailing Alone Around the World is still in print, avidly read by adventurers and yachtsmen the world over. Captain Slocum’s epic story of tenacity and courage, beautifully rendered in his own concise words, is a copious resource for powerful and inspiring lessons for youth, and forms a thematic content core for programs at SALTY.

The Joshua Slocum / STARBOUND Intimate Connection:

Quote from Slocum’s “Sailing Alone Around the World”:

“Feb, 1986 – Well off the Patagonian coast, a tremendous wave rolled high over the mast, a mountain of water, submerging SPRAY. She shook in every timber and reeled under the weight of the sea, but rose quickly out of it and rode grandly over the rollers that followed.”

“In the minute holding onto the mast, submerged underwater, I had time while in my hazardous position, for resolutions for the future that would take a long time to fulfill.”

“The first one was, I remember, that if SPRAY came through this danger, I would dedicate my best energies to building a larger ship on her same lines, which I yet hope to do!”


Yes, Joshua, it was a very long time, and as it was your son Victor Slocum who helped fulfill your resolution, as it was Victor who drew STARBOUND’s lines, and she was born.

The rich tradition of colonial and early American shipping and whaling trades was centered in the harbors of Warwick, East Greenwich, Providence, Newport, New Bedford and Nantucket. These high-risk ventures fed, supplied, industrialized and enriched the burgeoning new world using the raw elements of wind, wood and canvas. Speakers from museums, universities, and living history groups will fire the imagination and bring to life the colonizing of the continent.
The Narragansett Indian Tribe and other native peoples lived in the region 30,000 years before the arrival of the white man. They welcomed Giovanni de Verrazano and Roger Williams to their shores, took part in the King Philip wars, and today enthusiastically celebrate their robust and colorful heritage. SALTY, working closely with New England’s native American Indian tribes, is developing a living history of New England’s native American Indian as a key component of SALTY’s educational programs for our youth.