SEATTLE (AP) — In 1936, a San Francisco police-boat captain gave a young boy a bronze bell engraved with Adventuress 1913.
Ten-year-old Nick Lemos didn’t know it, but the gift was a bribe. He was given the bell to keep his grandmother’s affair with the captain a secret.
Lemos, 87, held on to the bell ever since. He didn’t know what had become of the Maine-built schooner — that it had been classified as a National Historic Landmark and was now part of an environmental-education program for kids.
This spring, the San Francisco family did a quick online search and found Adventuress was still sailing — on Puget Sound.
“I think I have your bell,” was the message Lemos left on the voice mail of Sound Experience, the nonprofit that owns the vessel.
The old-fashioned yacht with its towering 133-foot gaff-rigged white sails and its bell are on display at the 38th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival in Seattle.
It’s believed that the bell went missing in 1915 after the San Francisco Bar Pilots were installing an auxiliary engine and a fire broke out. To save the vessel, the bar pilots sunk Adventuress.
During its restoration, the bell somehow landed in the captain’s hands.