Gerhard Straub retires as Somers captain

Under sail on the Claud W. Somers, from left, are Tom Fink, Captain Gerhard Straub, Tom Osborne, Jim Day, Tom Briggs, Paul Sparks and George Moss. Photo courtesy of Gerhard Straub

by Denise DeVries

The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum (RFM) is seeking a new volunteer captain for the skipjack Claud W. Somers after the retirement of Gerhard Straub, who took the historic vessel’s helm in 2014.

Captain Straub started sailing while a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and eventually wound up on the varsity sailing team there.

“My last year there, one of the alumni donated a Hinckley 38 to the school and I started sailing on that, which got me interested in larger boats,” he said. He and his wife, Barbara, moved to the San Francisco area, where they had a 30-foot sailboat. He also volunteered as a crew member on a 110-foot square topsail ketch, which exposed him to more traditional sailing vessels.

“We sold our boat when we moved to Maryland in 2002,” said Straub. “At a maritime festival, I met Captain Jack Russell, a waterman out of St. George Island, Md., who was giving rides on his skipjack….

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