Sailing the High Seas

Sailing the High Seas:  Tall Ship H.M.S. Rose Journey Recounted

Will Sofrin with diagram of H.M.S. Rose

In 2002, Renaissance man, sailor and artist Will Sofrin was hired by 20th Century Fox film corporation as a crew member to sail aboard the H.M.S. Rose, a 179-foot replica of an English war ship built in 1757. The ship was to be used for the Russell Crowe film, “Master and Commander”.  Sofrin served as a deckhand and ship’s carpenter, sailing from Newport, RI to San Diego, CA via the Panama Canal, under Captain Richard Bailey. The passage was a modern epic, taking 37 days of high seas, tedium, excitement, and sheer boredom, the film a stomach-churning chronicle of the high seas.

Sofrin’s shipmate John Allen documented the voyage on video, and the edited footage was presented at The Redwood Library on May 21, 2009. During the passage the Rose encountered extreme weather and was dismasted under full sail in the Mona Passage. Sofrin talked about the ship and the transformative nature of the adventure.

In attendance were Captain Bailey, Gordon Vaco, who worked on the film, Dyer Jones, chairman of the International 12-Meter Association, and former Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, artist Max Skeen, Nicholas Brown, Angela Fischer and her husband Dr. Fischer, Ruth Orthwein, and interior designer Ally Coulter with her daughters, Katharine Haines and Ella Haines. Redwood Library Director Cheryl Helms introduced Mr. Sofrin.

Dyer Jones, Will Sofrin, Max Skeen after lecture

Gordon Vaco, Cheryl Helms, Richard Bailey

       Nicholas Brown & Dyer Jones

Ruth Orthwein, Ally Coulter, Katharine Haines, Ella Haines













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