Monday, October 31, 2011

Bertha L. Basker

Bertha L. Basker, April 1915.

The freighter Bertha L. Basker was lost (vanished?) on a journey from New York to St. Martin. (Berlitz, Without a Trace, p. 23.)

In 1916 the Lejuez family received the sad news that James Edwin Lejuez and his wife Adelaide Beatrice van Gurp lost their lives when their ship, the American schooner Bertha L. Basker, which left New York for St. Maarten on April 7, 1916, was lost at sea.

So much for Berlitz' date. And a schooner. Some freighter, huh? Technically, of course, a schooner can be a freighter, but I bet most people think of a big old steamer when they hear freighter, and I bet that's what Berlitz wanted, as his series of lost schooners was beginning to look boring and non-mysterious.

Anyway, what might have happened to the schooner Bertha L. Basker in April 1916?

WASHINGTON, April 8. — The yacht Mayflower, which left here last evening with the President and Mrs. Wilson on board, returned to the Washington Navy Yard at 4:30 o'clock this afternoon. … The abandonment of the trip was due to a heavy storm which came up the coast in the night and made it uncomfortable on the yacht.

("Wilson Abandons Cruise," The New York Times, April 9, 1916.)


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