Assistant Navigator

Georgia Gilkey's Dress

Georgia Maria Gilkey Blanchard (1886-1973) became the wife of Captain Phineas Banning Blanchard on October 3rd, 1906. Georgia, the daughter of Captain W. R. Gilkey, was no stranger to the sea, having grown up aboard her father’s vessels. She began her married life aboard the bark Bangalore.

Schooner Georgia Gilkey under construction
Bangalore at Bayonne, NJ

October 9th- “When the tug left us we were on our own, Banning’s and my honeymoon.

We had spent a few days in Philadelphia buying equipment Banning thought I needed as he had decided to teach me navigation and about the stars. We started right off working the sights each day and marking on my chart. Banning would be on deck looking at the sun through his sextantSextant

A portable reflecting astronomical instrument for measuring angles. It is mainly used to measure the altitude of heavenly bodies at sea, but can also be used to determine horizontal angles between landmarks in order to fix a position.
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while I was in the cabin looking at the chronometerChronometer

A very accurate timepiece hung in gimbals and kept in a special box aboard ship. It is designed to minimize errors due to temperature variation and movement.
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. When he would shout “TIME” I would put down on paper what it said on the chronometer. Then I would take my turn on deck and we would work out the position of the ship and place it on the chart.”

Box Chronometer
Captain Phineas Banning Blanchard

October 10th- “Came in overcast and raining with a north wind. At 1:30 a.m. we passed Overfall Lightship and made sail. By 7:30 a.m. there was a 6 knotKnot

A nautical measure of speed. One knot is equal to one nautical mile (6,080 feet) per hour. The term comes from the knots on the line of a chip log. See chip log.
breeze. It seemed like old times being aboard a vessel again. I spent most of my youth at sea with my parents, brothers and sisters. Banning grew up at sea too, and was a Captain before he was twenty.”

“A little more than three months at sea and there was work to be done on the sails. I helped Banning by threading needles. I was also learning to determine latitudeLatitude

Latitude is the measure of how far north or south one is from the equator. This angular measurement is given in degrees, minutes (1/60th of a degree), and seconds (1/60th of a minute) of arc. The nautical mile is set as the distance on the surface of the earth of 1 minute of arc, being an average of 6,080 feet.
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by the moon.”

“When our trip was over I went home to stay with my parents. On December 31st our first daughter, Georgia Maria, was born. In April Maria and I went to California to join Banning. He was working there again. We lived in California for about five years.”