Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Visit to the replica of the FOX


This is an exact replica of an 18ft Boat which was rowed
across the Atlantic Ocean in 1896
by George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen.

It is housed at the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club in
Long Branch, NJ

read more ....

A Visit with the

Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club

The FOX Sculpture Project Continues

October 28, 2008

New Jersey has many faces which it presents to visitors. The Jersey Shore is a one-of-a-kind strip of resort towns that runs about One Hundred Miles down the Jersey Coast. Going ‘down to the Shore’ says it all to Jerseyites, it is a mix of old, new, tacky, glitzy;- big sandy beaches, salt water taffy and every ones destination the day after the high school prom. I drove that southern pilgrimage, living in Northern NJ, for more than 30 years. This year Joe Filipowski, Master Wooden Boat Builder and I headed north out of Virginia Beach, in what was such foul and windy weather that we were turned back at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and had to tow our trailer through the Baltimore and Washington route, taking a nail biting 13 hours, to reach our destination, the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club, in Long Branch, NJ.
Fishing Villages, like what was Long Branch, thrived in the late 1800’s. A lot of industry, pollution and increased population has changed the active fishing and clamming that brought Harbo and Samuelsen, the two Norwegian Emigrants that rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and are the subjects of the Fox adventure, and my sculpture work.
Long Branch, New Jersey has a close proximity to Manhattan, the lower Battery and Brooklyn where the FOX was launched and Harbo lived as a Sandy Hook Pilot with his family after their Atlantic adventure.
The Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club is tucked away on pretty sheltered harbor and that is where Wooden Boat builder Joe Filipowski and I met up with Victor Samuelsen, Project Coordinator for the Fox Sculpture Project, who also made the rain soaked trip, from Greenwich, CT. We were all greeted by Dick Hauter who is charge of the Fox replica, built to the exact specifications of the original Fox and by wooden boat builder Donald Godshall.
Later the Commodore Tom Bray and a other club members joined us in their cozy eclectic club house which is filled with photographic memorabilia.
Joe Filipowski made a detailed photo essay of the Fox Replica which was housed under it’s own roofed open building display. Joe and I later visited the small boat shop of Donald Godshall who had built the Fox replica under the guidance of Harold Seaman, the son of the original Fox builder who drew out a set of plans from memory at age 90.
Donald Godshall has a great shop with a wood stove,- burning.
It was a warm welcome as it started to snow. With the weather and another nine hours ahead of us we begged off lunch and headed north to New Hampshire to reclaim some studio equipment.
On our return to Virginia, Joe and I will revisit the 3 foot working model which I completed this year and which was displayed at the reopening of Skipjack Nautical Wares in Portsmouth, VA. and construct a more accurate revised boat model using the plans supplied by the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club and Joe's detailed pictures. This will further refine the sculpture which like most artworks goes through a metamorphose before reaching it's completion.
The new "Voyage of the Fox Sculpture", will be cast in bronze by our
Art n' Gun Studio & Forge in Norfolk, VA.
For purchase and exhibition information e-mail: BILLOSMUNDSEN@aol.com
Have a Happy Holiday Season,
Bill Osmundsen