MOOT POINT YACHT CLUB - 6 tragic tales

Uncovering the horrible history...

1. Unknown Peril -

Moot Point was a rocky protuberance that jutted from the sandy shores of Blight Beach and extended some two hundred yards into Doubtful Bay. This seemed a perfect location for a clubhouse which was completed on May 3, 1926. 

But, Moot Point did not rest on the sea bottom. An underwater survey would have shown it to be a cantilevered shelf suspended five fathoms above the ocean floor. This geologic anomaly, and a family curse, doomed the MPYC from the start, as we shall see.

2. Wrecked on Crag Jetty -

Dauntless provided a handsome platform from which to observe the MPYC's many festive regattas but disaster struck on Memorial Day 1935 with Commodore Myron Heath Windage at the helm.

On that clear and calm afternoon, as Windage attempted to cross Crag Jetty, the riprap ripped the bilges out of Dauntless.

The brave commodore remained on the bridge. The vessel capsized. The crew clambered into a small dinghy and were pulled down by the swirling vortex. Dauntless sank with no survivors.

3. Smashed at Solong Peninsula -

Intrepid was the pride of the MPYC flotilla and served as its flagship but calamity befell her on Independence Day 1945 as Commodore Myron Heath Windage II took the tiller.

In fair weather with a mild breeze Windage Junior tried to circumnavigate Solong Peninsula. Jagged rocks pierced the Intrepid's hull. The yacht split amidships. Intrepid and sank into the briny abyss with the stalwart Commodore at his post. All hands were lost.

4. Destroyed at Blight Beach -

The clubhouse was a grand venue for MPYC celebrations, but tragedy came on New Year's Eve 1957 as Commodore Myron Heath Windage III manned the ceremonial cannon.

At midnight Windage Junior Jr. fired the huge gun. The muzzle blast weakened Murky Point's hold on Blight Beach and it tilted sharply toward the inky water. Within minutes the entire point broke off and slid into the depths of Doubtful Bay. The redoubtable Commodore stood on the deck. All members and guests perished.
Note - Lawyers for the late commodore's estate claimed the cannon blast was not the sole cause of the point's break-off. They argued the connection between Moot Point and Blight Beach had been weakened the previous night by an unusually vigorous grunion run. The judge declared that argument was unprovable and therefore it held no practical significance. 
5. Lost at Sea - Mystery of the missing miss

Even before the clubhouse was destroyed there were whispers about a Windage Family curse on the MPYC. Almost a year earlier the rumors had intensified when Emily Starlight was lost at sea. We'll get to the curse part, but first...

Emily Starlight was the sweetheart of the MPYC, but she vanished on Valentine's Day, 1956 while attempting to become the first woman to sail alone around the world. Here is what we know:

Starlight's last known port-o-call was Lae, New Guinea. She planned to continue east to Howland Island, then on to Honolulu. After two days without radio contact a massive search was launched. No trace of Starlight or her sailboat, Electra, was ever found. 

6. Clues Surface - The family curse part...

Weeks before her disappearance a gala Bon Voyage Party was held for Miss Starlight. Commodore Myron Heath Windage III presented the youthful mariner with a vintage compass, one handed down from his grandfather. The instrument was installed on Electra prior to its departure

Recently, two photographs have emerged that seem to indicate Starlight had navigation problems. A faulty compass would explain her failure to reach Howland Island. 

The top photo purports to show Emily Starlight standing on the quay at Jaluit Atoll, which is 17 degrees north of Howland. 

The other photo suggests Starlight inadvertently sailed west and made landfall at Kamodo Island. Verification of the photos is pending. 

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