When Megan Jaye entered the port of St. George in Bermuda, one passenger wrote in a guest magazine: «Dear Megan, there is nothing like a place that does not exist».
The 43-foot sloop with retractable keel, named Megan Jaye after the owner's daughter, arrived safely at the site after a seven-day voyage from Newport, Rhode Island. The thanksgiving to Captain Hank Halstead was accompanied by a signature cartoon self-portrait and a sketch of Megan Jaye. The signature read «With Love, John Lennon».
Thirty years ago, events came back to life in November 2013 thanks to digital technology. John Lennon's journey on a sailing yacht from New Port to Bermuda was an iPhone and iPad app called Bermuda Tapes.. Interactive album tells the story of the yacht adventure of the musician, also includes photos, drafts and recordings of songs made during his stay in Bermuda. It's all better to touch and listen to by downloading the app from the AppStore.And we'll tell you what events brought John Lennon aboard the Megan Jaye in the summer of 1980.
After the birth of Sean's son in 1975, Lennon «took a break». Mostly he watched TV, baked bread, read countless books and newspapers, brought up his son, unsuccessfully tried to compose. In the spring of 1980, some time after buying a house on the Long Island waterfront, he turned to his assistant Fred Simen with a request:
«All my life, I dreamed of having my own boat».
Lennon had loved the sea since he was a child. As a child, he went back to the port of Liverpool and wondered if his father, a sailor of the merchant fleet, had arrived with one of the ships, and every time he did not find it, he was terribly angry. To numb the pain, he imagined in what unprecedented countries these ships had visited, or fantasized how to get away from school and home trouble on one of them. But he was always cowardly and never gave in to the urge.
In late April 1980, Lennon sent Fred Simen to buy the simplest sailing yacht. She was a 14 foot single sailing yacht produced at Coneys Marine's family shipyard in Huntington. Her owner, Tyler Coneys, dedicated much of May to teaching the new yachtsman the basics of sailing.
Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, were fond of Egyptian art, and the yacht was named after the Egyptian goddess Isis. A month of walking around Long Island in «Isis» awakened Lennon's thirst for travel. Asked where to go, the musician turned to family counselor Takashi Yoshikawa, a specialist in the Chinese teaching of Ki. He pointed to the southeast, where the «clouds darkening Lennon's life and creative path should be dispelled». In this case, it meant the Bermuda Islands.
Tyler Conis was assigned to handle the match, he found and rented Megan Jaye. Captain Hank Halsted was not burning desire to re-enter the sea - he had just returned from a long journey from the Caribbean islands. Nevertheless, he agreed.
Halsted had no idea who the New Yorkers were to take him to Bermuda. He spent half a day preparing the ship for the road before admitting the ex-bitl to one of his future fellow travelers.
«What would you say if you found out that John Lennon himself was on my boat?»" he asked his charter agent Paul McCaffrey.«
Hold me seven!» - McCaffrey was as surprised as the captain.
On the fourth of June, Megan Jaye took off anchor. The captain and the rock star got along right away. Almost the same age, in the 60's they experimented with psychedelics and found many common themes for conversation.
The 650-mile Atlantic route passed through the troubled Cape Hatteras and the notorious Bermuda Triangle. The captain expected to overcome it in five days. On the third day, a powerful Atlantic storm hit Megan Jaye. The wind accelerated to 65 miles per hour, throwing a wave 20 feet high at the ship. Almost all the crew members were relieved of sea sickness. Two others were left: Lennon in the galley (as the most inexperienced he took the place of the coke on the ship) and Captain Hank Halstead at the helm.
«It was a serious storm when you need to know for sure what to do»," he remembered later. He'd been sailing the yacht for more than two days without rest, but eventually he fell down from exhaustion. He had no choice but to put John Lennon at the helm.
«I never thought of John as a helmsman. He could sail a yacht when there was an experienced sailor behind him, and never alone. His responsibilities didn't extend beyond the kitchen, where he prepared food for the entire crew. He came aboard, knowing that he would watch and learn»," Halstead recalled that day.
But then he knew he couldn't take it anymore. At the time there was no autopilot on the yacht, experienced yachtsmen suffered from sea sickness in their cabins and there was no choice. John Lennon stood at the helm. Sleep on the ship was sensitive and the captain's cockpit was positioned so that he could come to the rescue in seconds if something went wrong. After watching his frightened ward die for an hour, Halstead went to rest.
«So, I ran the boat for six hours in a row, staying on course. I was buried under water. For six hours, the waves were hitting my face. No prospects. You can't say no. It's like you're standing on a stage; once on it, you can't get off. A couple of waves brought me to my knees»," John Lennon shared with the Playboy correspondent, remembering how the knocked down man was hanging from the wheel.
This is not the end of the adventure. When the captain returned to watch, he and John had to fix the broken sails, which took more than one hour. Halstead told how much John Lennon had changed in the few hours he had been alone in the storm. It's like he got a charge of energy. Halstead wasn't the only one who noticed the transformation of Lennon. His assistant, Frank Simen, described how enthusiastic he was about the journey:
«You have no idea what it's like to have only heaven and water around. At the same moment, you're lonely and you touch something powerful. A stunning feeling of freedom».
Stephen Fuller knows what Lennon was talking about. He now owns the Megan Jaye yacht and is named Jubilee.
«Yachting really does have that effect. I have wrapped 40,000 miles in the ocean, and I assure you that fighting the elements, weather, darkness, isolation, danger will transform you. John went through it, like all sailors, he faced the fact that a man is a speck of dust in space, a speck in the vast ocean, and then he was saved and regained the earth. This serious shaking affected his creative power and helped him to start writing again and transfer this cosmic experience in his last few songs».
Stephen Fuller is a Beatles fan. It so happens that he arrived in Bermuda a week after Lennon, and spent a couple of weeks on the island without knowing that the idol is nearby. Twenty years later, Captain Fuller will buy the same Megan Jaye, having no idea that this is the boat on which John Lennon made his way from Newport to Bermuda.
P.S. In seven weeks spent in Bermuda, John Lennon will write almost all his last songs and in November will release the first Double Fantasy album in a long time. In February 1981, he will be recognized as the best record of the past year.
According to Rimonthly.com.