Abercastle Boat Owners... …Ensuring access to the sea for all

Alfred Centennial Johnson

On the wall to the left of the slipway (as you look out to sea) is a very interesting plaque. It has been mounted there to mark a very interesting event. On the 12th August 1876 Alfred Johnson in a small dory called ‘centennial’ sailed into Abercastle. It had taken him 66 days to get there from Glouceter Massachusetts, each day he covered about 70 miles and sailed in a lot of bad weather at one stage the boat capsized, he also survived a shark attack, but amazingly he managed to carry on with his journey. Having made landfall in Abercastle and replenished his stocks he continued on his way to Liverpool.
He took the trip on to celebrate 100 years of American Independence and painted the dory in the colours of the American flag, red, white and blue. Alfred Johnson was 29, he was a Danish Immigrant.
The plaque was unveiled by Charlie Dickman, Alfred Johnson’s grandson on 17th October 2003, I was only 16 months old but I would have liked to have been down there that day, the plaque is made of Welsh slate.
A book written by Rob Morris was very helpful in our research of the plaque; it is a very interesting book with some great pictures.
Tony Davies a poet wrote the following dedication to Alfred Johnson :
Sixty six days, three thousand miles
Record breaking Abercastle smiles,
Liverpool, trip complete,
The courage of Captain Johnson and Centennial’s feat.