Wednesday, July 6, 2011
In 1896 the Lincoln Park Yacht Club in Chicago challenged the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto to a cross-Great Lakes race. The first race was held that year in Toledo, OH. The Canadians were victorious, thus they named the race the Canada’s Cup.
In the same year, another member of the Lincoln Park club, Chicago rubber magnate Fred W. Morgan, commissioned the building of his new yacht, the Pathfinder. Built in Racine, WI, its maiden voyage to Chicago was “the event of the season,” and people gathered on the docks to watch it glide into the harbor. The Pathfinder was 140' long (a sizeable yacht then or now) and resembled the U.S. Navy’s battleships of the day. It had telephones and electric lighting in an era when the vast majority of American homes had neither.
Two years later the Chicago Yacht Club, with Fred Morgan as its Commander and the Pathfinder the club’s flagship, issued a challenge to the RCYC for the Canada’s Cup. The following year the Pathfinder steamed from Chicago to Toronto for the rematch.
The first day of racing was 21 August 1899. The object was to start near the RCYC, round two buoys, and return to the club. The Canadians’ yacht, the Beaver, had an accident right at the start and was out of the race. The American yacht, the Genessee, had a chance for a default for the first race (it was two out of three to win.)
But such was not to be. The Pathfinder was acting as a kind of “pace yacht” for the race, but in the haze on Lake Ontario itself got lost and missed the first buoy. Behind it was not only the Genessee but steam yachts Siren and Canada! The entire entourage mistook another buoy for the first official one, where the judges’ ship waited in vain.
Because of this the Americans missed the chance for a forfeit.
In those days it was easy for everyone to follow the largest, most magnificent yacht on the Great Lakes. But they still got lost. Unfortunately things haven’t changed as much as we would like to think.
Many times, we are led by those who are supposedly the best connected to God and the most enlightened among us. Yet we still experience decline every way it can be measured.
In the end the only one we can trust for the truth is He that is the truth, Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, so He is most knowledgeable as to what we need. And, of course, He is the real “pathfinder” from the ultimate challenge of life, death itself, as we walked out of the tomb after those who didn’t care for his challenge of their authority had him executed.
It’s time for all of us who have followed what looked to be the biggest and most magnificent thing “on the water” to turn to He who actually walked on it.
[Based on https://www.vulcanhammer.org/2011/06/23/when-the-pathfinder-gets-lost/]