Eight Bells: Bob Dickson

Published on December 16th, 2014

Bob Dickson, 87, former sailing master of the 72′ ketch Ticonderoga, died of throat cancer on Sunday, 14th December, 2014.

Bob Dickson was really good at racing sailboats and enjoying himself afterwards. Good times in Tahiti, the days of Susie No-Pants, Acapulco, Jamaica, San Francisco, Goteborg. The sailor with the most Transpacs, 25 under his belt (16 to Honolulu, 9 to Tahiti,), with one win overall on the Lapworth 46 Nalu II in 1959.

In the book, “Ticonderoga, Tales of an Enchanted Yacht” by Jack Somer, is a picture of Bob at the helm with the caption, “Bob Dickson – a helmsman for the history books,” in reference to Bob’s gifted efforts in the 1965 Honolulu race. He said it was his most memorable race, taking first to finish honors by just five minutes over runner-up Stormvogel.

Ev Morris in Yachting magazine, describing Bob after the Miami -Montego Bay Race aboard Escapade, “The greatest ocean sailor I’ve ever sailed with.”

Bob was the spy in the household of Fran Edris when Hugh Kelley absconded with the 52-ft schooner Babboon and was being hunted throughout California waters, a story finally put into a book, “The Odyssey of Babboon – Including Her Time With Hugh Kelley,” a fitting sequel to the loss of Windward at Yelapa.

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at Carolyn Newcomb’s were the times for sea stories by Fred Schenck and Bob even after Bob beat throat cancer. But the cancer returned, so he fed himself by lifting his shirt and pouring liquid into a tube. Bob was the stuff of legends, off-shore and on. – Stuart Newcomb

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