Home Jammerfest WJ Ships WJ History Tall Ships Sailing Links






S/V Fantome

Built in 1927 for the Duke of Westminster, the 282 foot Fantome is among the world's largest four masted stay-sail schooners. Former owners include the Guiness Brewing family and Aristotle Onassis who purchased her as a wedding gift for Princess Grace and Prince Rainier. Onassis was not invited to the wedding and the gift was never delivered. She joined the Windjammer fleet as our flagship in 1969. After her 6 million dollar refurbishment Fantome is the pride of the Windjammer fleet.

November 4, 1998 Seattle Times article on the loss of the Fantome Fantome at anchor in Lake Union, WA on May 18, 1948 (Seattle Museum of History and Industry's Photo Database


She sailed with amazing grace and now sadly, she is gone...

in the end, she lost her battle with the seas that once cradled her.

She did not go alone...

thirty-one heroic men were her defenders,

thirty-one heroic men forever loved and mourned.

All were consumed by the forces of nature

their stories will never be told.

We now join together to remember the mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers...

wives, sons and daughters.

It is with a heavy heart that I relay the news of the loss of S/V Fantome and 31 of her crew members to Hurricane Mitch on October 27, 1998.

Computer models of Hurricane Mitch's track had it moving north toward the Yucatan, Captain Guyan March, a seasoned skipper, and the officers at Windjammer determined that taking cover south of the island of Roatan, would be the safest option to shield Fantome and her crew from the heavy waves such a storm produces. However, after reaching what was thought to be a relatively safe position south of the island, Hurricane Mitch defied the experts and took an unexpected turn to the south directly into Fantome's position. We lost radio contact with Captain Guyan and Fantome at 4:30 pm, October 27. Mitch remained stationary for nearly 48 hours, hampering any rescue attempts. On October 29th the U.S. Coast Guard along with the British Navy ship H.M.S. Sheffield and private search planes hired by Windjammer began their search. The exhaustive search continued for nearly two weeks revealing no sign of the ship or her crew. All that was found on the island of Guanaja were two of Fantome's life rafts, five of the ship's lifejackets and a set of stairs from the top deck.

The loss of Fantome and her crew has dealt a devastating blow to the Windjammer family, both to those working for the company and to our loyal shipmates who have vacationed with us over the years. One of the charms of a Windjammer cruise is the crew. Many of the men and woman have served aboard Windjammer ships for many, many years. Captain Guyan had been with us for over ten years. His first mate, Brasso, had been with us for over twenty. And Onassis, Fantome's second mate, hoped to be promoted to captain once he had logged enough sea time. There are even generations of families working in the fleet, passing on the traditions and honor of a life at sea from father to son (and daughter). We will never forget Fantome's brave and loyal crew. They weren't just bosuns, engineers, deck hands and mates to us, they were close family. They will be sorely missed.

We'd like to thank everyone who have called and sent kind notes of encouragement. These calls and letters have touched us deeply and have given us the courage to carry on during this very painful time. Each person who chooses a life at sea knows there are risks as well as rewards.

We pray that God now has our crew in his caring arms. Join us in offering a prayer for these brave men lost at sea and for those who continue in the time-honored maritime tradition.

This tragic event was a devastating blow to the families of the crew, the Windjammer family and the loyal shipmates who have vacationed with us over the years.

We appreciate and thank all of you for the support, prayers and memories that were kindly shared.

Content from early version of svfantome.com website.



A private memorial service for the Crew of S.V. Fantome was held on
Saturday, December 12, 1998 at Quarantine Point, Grenada

Father Clive Thomas

A Group of Us



"The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done"

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
The strife is O'er, the battle done;
Now is the Victor's triumph won;
O let the song of praise be sung.

Death's mightiest powers have done their worst,
And Jesus hath His loss dispersed;
Let shouts of praise and joy outburst,

On the third morn He rose again
Glorious in majesty to reign;
O let us swell the joyful strain.

Lord, by the strips which wounded Thee
From death's dread sting Thy servants free,
That we may live and sing to Thee


Captain Paul Maskell
from Rudyark Kipling's Captain's Courageous

"Choral Psalm"

Message of Comfort

"Bridge Over Troubled Water"

When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes,
I will dry them all, I'm on your side
Oh, when times get rough, and friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down,
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.

When you're down and out, when you're on the street
When evening falls so hard I will comfort you I'll take your part
Oh, when darkness comes and pain is all around.
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down,
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.

Sail on silver girl sail on by, your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way, see how they shine.
Oh, if you need a friend I'm sailing right behind,
Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind,
Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind,
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down,
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.

Michael D. Burke

Final Role Call
Louise Reece & Grenville John

Colin August (Coffee)
Rhon Austin
Maxwell Bhikham (Blinky)
Vernon Brusch (Brusch)
Constantin Bucur (Cony)
Steadbert Burke (P.P.)
Vanil Fender (Fender)
Emmanuel Frederick (Brasso)
Alan George (Slow G)
Alvin George (Spice)
O'Ryan Hardware (Dode)
David Hernandez
Deodatt Jallim (Jallim)
Carl James (Bara)
Jerry King
Canute Layne (Pope)
Kevin Logie (Kev)
Guyan March (Skip)
Carlisle Mason (Pelican)
Eon Maxwell (Chef)
Francis Morain (Fingers)
Wilbert Morris (Morris)
Anibal Olivas
Cyrus Phillips (Turtle/Hollow Crab)
Bobby Pierre
Pedro Prince
Deonauth Ramsudh (Django)
Onassis Reyes (O!)
Mohamed Farouk Roberts (Roberts)
Chrispin Saunders (Chrispy/Volcano)
Rohan Williams (Dr. Stone)

Prayer Hymn
"Amazing Grace"

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace that fear relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer's ear
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds
And drives away his fear.

Must Jesus bear the cross alone
And all the world go free
No, there's a cross for everyone
And there's a cross for me.

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun.

Wreaths to the Sea

Do not weep for me
When you feel the ocean spray upon your face,
I am there.
When your heart beats faster at the dolphins leaping grace,
I am there.
When you reach out to touch another's heart,
as I now touch God's face,
I am there.
Do not weep for me. I am gone.
I am everywhere.

Unknown author

Follow the black cat home, baby!

Return to Jammerbabe.com Home