The Reynolds Family, the Nuclear Age and a Brave Wooden Boat
During the Cold War (1958), an American family, a Japanese yachtsman -- and a cat -- sailed their 50-foot yacht, Phoenix of Hiroshima, into the Pacific Proving Grounds to challenge atmospheric nuclear testing. Dr. Earle Reynolds designed and built the boat while doing a three-year study for the Atomic Energy Commission on the effects of nuclear radiation on the growth and development of children who survived Hiroshima. The family -- Earle, Barbara, Ted (20) and Jessica (14), with Japanese yachtsman Nick Mikami -- had just completed 3-1/2 years of a world cruise. They returned to Honolulu, ready for the last leg of their journey back to Hiroshima.
But the same government agency which had commissioned Earle's research on radiation was now testing nuclear weapons in the Pacific and had declared 390,000 square miles of ocean off-limits to Americans. The route the Phoenix had to take was right through this forbidden zone. Now the voyage for pleasure became a voyage of protest. In 1961 the Reynolds family sailed to Nakhodka, U.S.S.R, to protest Soviet nuclear testing. Decades later, in 2010, the Phoenix sank in the Sacramento River. A corporation has been formed as the new owner of the boat to raise and restore Phoenix of Hiroshima to sail again for a nuclear-free world.
For more information or to make a donation, write to PhoenixofHiroshima@gmail.com.
Author: Jessica Reynolds Renshaw
Publisher: Createspace, 2017