Rose Dorothea

 

Perhaps there were a few others faster. Perhaps there were a few others lovelier. Perhaps there were a few others that sailed into Boston with more fish to the gunwales. But the Rose Dorothea is the most celebrated of the Provincetown schooners. If washashores know the name of no other great fishing captain, they know the name of Marion A. Perry, born Perreira in São Miguel, who earned a celebrity he did not seek by winning a race he did not wish to enter. The extravagant Lipton Cup, trophy of that 1907 race, greets visitors to the Provincetown Public Library. Upstairs is an enormous half-scale model of the Rose Dorothea herself — a beautiful and improbable bit of craftmanship by Francis A. “Flyer” Santos that has aptly been called the world’s largest ship in a bottle. The story of the fishermen’s race of 1907 between the Rose Dorothea and the Jessie Costa, and of Perry himself, is related at length by Josef Berger — writing pseudonymously as Jeremiah Digges — in his 1941 book, In Great Waters: The Story of the Portuguese Fishermen, pages 201-212. The story of Captain Perry and President Theodore Roosevelt is also told by Berger in Cape Cod Pilot (1937), pages 242-243. Her set of sails was made by “Jimmie McGuire,” who also furnished the Jessie Costa. (“Sailmaker Passes, Funeral Friday,” The Advocate, Nov. 17, 1960.) Crew members included John B. Sants.

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