109 years ago today, Lieutenant John A. Lord, superintending constructor at Bath Iron Works, enjoyed a foggy morning commute to work. Lord and his family were spending the summer in a “farmhouse cottage” in Westport, and Lord was commuting by water in his boat, the Tarpon.
This particular morning, Lord reported that he managed the eight mile journey in 30 minutes, running his 15-horsepower motor at about three-quarter speed. The fog, however, added a bit of a challenge, requiring him “to use some of that navigational experience acquired in sailing over the rice patties in China.”
John A. Lord was assigned to the Asiatic Station between 1902 and 1905, and spent two years supervising ship repairs in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Why he practiced navigating foggy rice paddies during these years has not been recorded.
John A. Lord to Ralph E. Sampson, July 23, 1920. Maine Maritime Museum MS-15 1.5