Black Yachting History: The Captain & The Commodore

Aemilius Jarvis' schooner "Haswell" at Royal Jamaica Yacht Club, where he met Culrose McLaughlin. (From “5,000 Miles in a 27-Tonner” by Aemilius Jarvis, 1921.)

I've recently published two stories on Caymanian Captain Culrose McLaughlin and Canadian Commodore Aemilius Jarvis; one in Skuttlebutt Sailing News, and the other on Black Ottawa Scene. From 1921 to 1951, McLaughlin went from mate on a Caribbean turtle schooner to captain in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He was mentored in Toronto by Jarvis from 1921 to 1925.

Culrose McLaughlin (From “Adventures of the Venture” by C.H.J. Snider, 1923)

Jarvis was a seven-time Commodore of Toronto's Royal Canadian Yacht Club. The title of this article ("The Captain & The Commodore"), however, is a play on words: McLaughlin was also reportedly a commodore at at least one point, evidently of J.P. Morgan Jr.'s fleet of pleasure craft in Glen Cove, N.Y. (Whether he in fact did work for Morgan Jr. is TBC.)

Aemilius Jarvis (From “5,000 Miles in a 27-Tonner” by Aemilius Jarvis, 1921)

The Skuttlebutt version of the story has been shared widely in the U.S., Cayman Islands, and Europe. The Black Ottawa Scene version is an accoutrement to the Skuttlebutt one, with added details.

S.S. Twin Falls Victory: Culrose McLaughlin was captain of this U.S. Merchant Marine ship in 1952. (Port Louis, Mauritius – Dec. 1964)

There have been developments as a result of the Skuttlebutt article being published. Subsequently, I plan to write a follow-up to this story for Black History Month 2024, so stay tuned!

Skuttlebutt Sailing News version – Black Yachting History: McLaughlin & Jarvis

Black Ottawa Scene version – Black Yachting History: Capt. Culrose McLaughlin & Aemilius Jarvis

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