Third Annual Reading of Two Years Before the Mast on March 7, 8 & 9

The Dana Point Historical Society, in collaboration with the City of Dana Point, presented the third annual public reading of Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s Two Years Before the Mast as a feature of the 2013 Festival of Whales.  It is modeled on the popular annual public reading of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick conducted by the Old Dartmouth Historical Society at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts. Dana’s book is the first to describe in detail the California coast as it existed in the 1830s.

In the book, which takes place between 1834 and 1836, Dana gives a vivid account of the life of a common sailor at sea as it really was, recounting his voyage from Boston to South America, around Cape Horn to California to trade manufactured goods from the United States for cow hides produced by Mexican colonial California missions.  While the images in the book of Santa Barbara and San Francisco are of interest, best beloved passages describe Capistrano Bay and San Juan (now Dana Point) as “the most romantic spot on the coast.”

The reading took place at the Nature Interpretive Center, 34558 Scenic Drive, where a spectacular mural of the Dana Point coast as it was in Richard Henry Dana’s time, complete with the ship “Pilgrim” at anchor, provided a perfect background for readers.  It was accompanied by a slide presentation noting the location of the Pilgrim as Dana’s journey progresses, and then of the “Alert”, the ship on which Dana returns to Boston.   The reading was completed over a three-day period utilizing nearly 100 different readers. Shown above  is the committee for this event which includes Elizabeth Bamattre, Marsha LaRusso, Georgelean Olvera and Ann Liebowitz.

Thank you to all our readers:

Cesi Arellano

Elizabeth Bamattre

Marlene Beal

Bruce Beal

Bob Becker

Paula Becker

Steve Behmerwohld

Barbara Bennett

Ken Boyd

Matt Brabeck

Bill Brough

Michelle Brough

Connor Brough

Max Brown

Kathy Carlisle

Carl Christ

Liz Claus

Mary Crowl

Richard Curtis

Andy DeLorenzo

Norm Denton

Mary Devore

Shayna Foreman

Brad Fowler

Dennis Galligani

Jane Galligani

Jack Grimshaw

Brad Gross

Steve Hall

Diane Harkey

Joan Harwood

Maggie Hatfield

Sue Helmrich

Dan Heredia

Paul Hinman

Rod Howorth

Carol Jamison

Nancy Jenkins

Beverli Jinn

Barbara Johannes

Christy Johnson

Andrea Jones

John Kalb

Yolanda Kalb

Harold Kaufman

Philip Krajeski

Ruth Kurisu

Richard LaRusso

Marsha LaRusso

Faith Lawson

Howard Leibowitz

Ann Leibowitz

Christine Loock

Peter MacDonald

Deirdre MacDonald

Bunny Mahoney

Penny Maynard

Eileen McDargh

Michael McLane

Jim Miller

Linda Moore

Carlos Olvera

Georgelean Olvera

Evelyn Rapozo

Wayne Rayfield

Ed Reardon

George Rendon

Jill Richardson

Keith Richter

Marty Roitman

Ronnie Roitman

Jim Schmitt

Karin Schnell

Scott Schoeffel

Alice Schreiner

Mark Schwartz

Tom Scott

Ann Shultz

Mary Lou Siddall

Dan Snipes

Edris Snipes

Anne Stone

Ross Teasley

Frank Tucker

Sean Vogt

Lee Walsh

Sue Walshe

Gregory White

Sid Wittenberg

Pat Wittenberg

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *