A Fairhaven Sailor, a Book and My ‘Spooky Southcoast’ Moment
The Oxford Dictionary defines "synchronicity" as "the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection."
That about sums up my weekend experience involving a legendary Fairhaven sailor, who I had never heard of before Friday, and about whom a book I found the following morning.
Let me explain.
On Friday's program, I lamented that so much of the history of our history-rich region seems to go unappreciated by many. So much has happened around here, but unless it has to do with whaling, it gets little if any mention.
Some even want to remove historic Native American images from high school football jerseys and the official Massachusetts state logo.
At that point in Friday's program, a woman called to inquire about a large rock containing a plaque near the Fairhaven waterfront. She wanted to know if I knew anything about it, seeing that I am such a whiz on local history. I didn't realize it was there, let alone why.
My colleague Chris McCarthy texted me that the plaque is a monument to Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. Slocum was born in Nova Scotia in 1844 but lived for a time in Fairhaven.
Slocum sailed the world and lived a life of adventure and exploration after leaving home for good at just age 16 upon the death of his mother.
From 1891 to 1892, Slocum rebuilt the sloop Spray in Fairhaven. On April 24, 1895, he launched the vessel from Boston to circumnavigate the globe. Upon completing his solo voyage, Slocum wrote Sailing Alone Around the World, a book about his incredible adventure. He died in 1909.
Friday afternoon, I learned about a man and a monument I'd known nothing about just an hour before. The following morning, I stopped at Savers to hunt for used books, as I often do on Saturday.
There, in front of me on the shelf, was Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum.
My colleague Tim Weisberg, host of Spooky Southcoast on WBSM and an expert and author on the paranormal, calls that synchronicity. I call it spooky as hell!
By the way, the monument to Captain Joshua Slocum is at the bottom of Pilgrim Avenue in Fairhaven. It's worth stopping by for a visit.