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I am interested in finding/purchasing a copy of the National Geographic Special, "Voyage of the Brigantine Yankee", broadcast in 1966 on CBS TV. If you should have this video on tape or DVD or can direct me to someone that might, I would be most appreciative of any information. Thank-you. David Bogart

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  Just wanted to be sure you didn't overlook page 2 of this blog. Be sure to check the link provided by Tom Olin (page 2), on his superb documentation of his Grandfather on his newly created blog.


would love to get a copy of voyage of the brigantine yankee.mike

My grandfather was aboard the Brigantine Yankee when it went aground off Rarotonga. He and a few others were trying to sleep inside the cabin during a storm while the crew was partying (as usual) on shore. Somewhere, I have some salt-soaked film of the surges pushing the ship over (my grandfather lashed himself to the main mast while he filmed). Incredible stuff. I also have dozens of pictures of the journey up to that point, and the photos of the efforts to off-load the Yankee while it was laying on its side at low tide. I might post on a Facebook site, if there is any interest.

Tom Olin

WOW! Thanks for sharing that amazing story!

Have you checked out the Picton Castle? She sails out of Lunenburg Nova Scotia. Her captain sailed aboard the Yankee and has followed in Ira Johnson's footsteps by using the Picton Castle as a training ship. She sails around the world about every 2 yrs.

I'm hoping to be able to sail on her if there's a 2012-2013 world cruise.

Again, thanks for sharing your story and I'll let you know when I hear anything from NGS.


Hello Everyone!!

I have complied a blog page of my grandfather's complete journals, photographs, and 8mm films of "The Last Voyage of the Brigantine Yankee".  He was on-board the ship when it ran aground on Beverage Reef at Avarua, Rarotonga.

Here is the link:

Best regards, Tom

Very well done Tom!


HI Tom

Thank you so much for putting the blog online for all to see.

It's amazing!!!!!

I'm about to show it to my dad tonight. It will definately bring back memories!!!

Thanks again


Hi Tom,

My family and I were on Rarotonga during the summer of 1964.  My father was freelancing for NGS and he has a box of 35mm Kodachrome slides of the Brigantine Yankee on the reef.  The are not closeups, just shots from a distance.  I'd be happy to send them to you.  I can also scan them into Jpegs if you wish.

One of his photos was used as the background when the credits rolled on the NGS Feb 1966 TV Special.

Thanks, Jim Dunn in Florida

Thanks, Jim.

Sure. Love to see them. JPEGs would be great.


The following link to Amazon has the Feb 1966 showing of the Voyage of the Brigantine Yankee which is season 1 episode 3

Hope this helps.



I have this DVD set. The Voyage of the Brigantine Yankee is NOT on it. To the best of my knowledge the "Voyage" has NEVER been re-released since 1966. Perhaps someone from NGS could enlighten us if this is incorrect?  I did see a mint original 16MM copy of the Voyage sell on ebay recently. Perhaps it will show up digitally someday so us "pirates" may obtain a good copy.

Happy New Year to all!

The six hour long specials that are on the WORLD'S LAST GREAT PLACES DVD are:

"World's Last Great Places: Africa - Coastal," " World's Last Great Places: Africa - Inland," "World's Last Great Places: Deserts," "World's Last Great Places: Islands," "World's Last Great Places: North America," and "World's Last Great Places: Rainforest."

which ng magazine month/year covers the johnsons on the yankee?




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