THE ROBERT MANRY PROJECT - MANRY AT SEA ~ In the Wake of a Dream. The story of a dream that came true


Douglas camping out in Tinkerbelle, circa 1961

The Voyages of Robert Manry

Wet Feet

From his first humble (and as he told the story, humbling) outings on the Jumna River in India, Robert Manry pursued the adventure of sailing throughout his life.

[More Wet Feet Coming Soon – Childhood Sailing Photos]

Rebirth of a Dream

Robert and Virginia settled down in Cleveland, Ohio, when he took a job as copy editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Plain Dealer was (as it still is) a morning newspaper, so his editorial shift began in the evening. It became Robert’s habit to read the next day’s classified ads when he took his lunch break around ten P.M. Eventually, in 1958 he spotted the listing for the tiny wooden boat that became Tinkerbelle, took full advantage of his head start, contacted the owner, and purchased the boat the following morning for $160.

After performing essential repairs, Tinkerbelle became the focal point for family vacations. Several years of camping/sailing trips followed, with the family hauling Tinkerbelle on her trailer to various lakes in the region. Pymatuning Lake was a favorite spot.

In the early years, Tinkerbelle had no cabin or deck, and she was rigged with an awning to serve as a tent at night.

[More Coming Soon]

Thunder Bay – First Voyage in Tinkerbelle – 1964

By the early sixties, Robert was clearly interested in venturing further afield, and he added a cabin to his petite ship. During the summer of 1964, at the same time he began mentioning a possible trans-Atlantic crossing on a friend’s yacht, Robert made his own voyage across Lake Erie to Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada. His 10-year old son Douglas joined him on Tink’s first grand cruise. Together, they sailed 200 miles over the course of a week, putting in to shore and anchoring each night.

[More Thunder Bay Coming Soon]

Falmouth to Falmouth – Trans-Atlantic Passage – 1965

The cruise to Thunder Bay convinced Robert of the seaworthiness of little Tinkerbelle, and upon his return to Cleveland, he secretly committed to his plan of sailing her across the Atlantic. The following June he departed from Cape Cod, on a voyage that would amaze the world. Read Tinkerbelle’s logbook >>>

[More Trans-Atlantic Coming Soon]

“Life On the Lip of a Lion” – Curlew’s Cruise – 1967-68

The success of his voyage to England changed Robert’s life forever, providing a whole new means of earning a living through writing and lecturing. Robert and Virginia decided to pursue the opportunities of the sailing life by planning a new voyage, this time in a larger vessel. They purchased Curlew, a Tartan 27, and embarked on a year-long circumnavigation of the eastern United States, along with their teenage children Robin and Doug, dog Chrissy, and cat Fred. Read more >>>

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