He was navigator on the Essex-built schooner Gertrude L. Thebaud under Captain Ben Pine in the 1938 Fisherman's Cup races vs the Canadian schooner Bluenose. Partly due to the intense media coverage of those races, he was discovered by the press: his photo in the Boston Post captioned "Thebaud Sailor Like Movie Idol" led to modeling opportunities in New York and a call from Paramount Pictures.
To Link to an article about Sterling on "Good Morning Gloucester" written by E.J. Lefavour
"The early part of August 1938, a strange looking craft rounded Eastern Point, headed for Gloucester Harbor and dropped anchor for a visit of several months. Her original name was ANNAPOORANVAMM and she hailed from Candia, Isle of Crete, 5000 miles away. She came to Gloucester as she was purchased by a party from Ipswich, Mass., and her name was changed to FLORENCE C. ROBINSON." (17)
William A. Robinson ran a shipyard in Ipswich, and during the war ran what had been Booth Fisheries, outfitting boats for war duty. The big crane is still running today, but the impressive machine shop is no longer in operation.
“The redfish market declined over a period of time, due primarily to overfishing of the slow-growing species. Fish-stick processors turned to imports in the form of blocks of frozen fish. Some of the slack was taken up by a turn to whiting, but these landings also subsided gradually I the face on an unreliable price structure and restrictions by the government on the taking of this seasonal fish by draggers within the three-mile limt. The shrinking, aging fleet concentrated on haddock, only to encounter supply problems, especially on Georges Bank where a massive, mechanized onslaught by the Russian fishing industry threatened depletion of this rich ground, once almost exclusively the preserve of Gloucestermen.” (9)
Canvas #33 "Mending Time"
Booth Fisheries of East Gloucester, run as Robinson's Yard during WWII and after the war sold to the Alexander's to become Beacon Marine Basin.
Crew of "Yankee" as craft lay at Rocky Neck Railways.
Gloucester Harbor by Tunis Ponsen.
Looking down onto Wonson's Wharf, with Rocky Neck on the other side of Smith Cove and the city beyond the entrance to the inner harbor.
"A View From The Hill"
by Henry Gasser (date?)