There are two other AVR websites. The first one inspired this organization and the second one was started by Bill Sarges - whom I met when organizing the 1999 South Bay Sea Scout Reunion. Bill is a Ship 40 SSS Captain Wrucke Alumnus. The Captain Wrucke unit ran their AVR63 from 1948 until 1980. The Skipper responsible for securing the AVR63 was Doc Downing - a long term dedicated Sea Scout leader from the South Bay. He was also the Stanford Area Squadron Commodore.
Who was Captain Wrucke? Captain Chester T. Wrucke was the former skipper of Ship 58, the Mathew Maury. This unit was the first Palo Alto Sea Scout unit commissioned in 1928, the same year as the new harbor was established. The Mathew Maury's primary sailing vessel was the Alcor - a thirty-foot decked over whaleboat converted to a staysail schooner rig. Alumni from Ship 58 often refer to their unit as the Alcor as it is not uncommon to have a different unit name from one's vessel name.
Scott Davis' Home of the AVRs website:
Bill Sarges' Captain Wrucke website:
Who was Mathew Maury?
He was nicknamed "Pathfinder of the Seas" and "Father of Modern Oceanography and Naval Meteorology" and later, "Scientist of the Seas," due to the publication of his extensive works in his books, especially Physical Geography of the Sea (1855), the first extensive and comprehensive book on oceanography to be published. Maury made many important new contributions to charting winds and ocean currents, including ocean lanes for passing ships at sea.
In 1825 at age 19, Maury joined the United States Navy as a midshipman on board the frigate USS Brandywine. Almost immediately he began to study the seas and record methods of navigation. When a leg injury left him unfit for sea duty, Maury devoted his time to the study of navigation, meteorology, winds, and currents. His hard work on and love of plotting the oceans paid off when he became Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory and head of the Depot of Charts and Instruments. Here, Maury studied thousands of ships' logs and charts. He published the Wind and Current Chart of the North Atlantic, which showed sailors how to use the ocean's currents and winds to their advantage and drastically reduced the length of ocean voyages. Maury's uniform system of recording oceanographic data was adopted by navies and merchant marines around the world and was used to develop charts for all the major trade routes.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Maury, a Virginian, resigned his commission as a U.S. Navy commander and joined the Confederacy. He spent the war in the South, as well as abroad in Great Britain, acquiring ships for the Confederacy. Following the war, Maury accepted a teaching position at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. He died at his home in Lexington in 1873 after completing an exhausting national lecture tour.
Alcor (Aka Ship Mathew Maury) Crew, Ship 58, 1941
Palo Alto Yacht Harbor, South San Francisco Bay
Captain Chester T Wrucke is back row, third from Left - with Skipper Hat on (combination cap)