It was 1959, and I was employed at the Miami Seaquarium. There were some very attractive girls working there at that time, and I was fortunate enough to marry one. 48 years later we are still married. We both had a mutual friend named John Lyman who was an announcer at the Seaquarium. It was difficult to figure out exactly who John really was. Rumors suggested he was previously a Commander in the British Navy, also possibly a Commander in the U.S. Navy. At any rate, he owned a very large and beautiful sailing yacht named the Ostwind. There was only one thing wrong with this yacht. The Ostwind was built for Adolph Hitler. Rumors again charged that John Lyman was in a British Navy group responsible for securing the captured yacht in Germany after the war. Supposedly he and several others stole the yacht and sailed it to the U.S. Other more believable reports said the yacht was under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy and was “transported” to the U.S. in 1947. How John became sole owner of this was never factually determined. One morning John asked me if I could take off for a few minutes with him. We went to the Miami Marina and boarded the most sleek and beautiful yacht I have ever seen. There I was, standing midship surveying this huge 85 foot piece of perfection. The entire yacht was meticulously built of different types of wood, expertly installed. This was the Mercedes of ships. The huge sail was made of Egyptian linen. The yacht was built to exhibit German superiority in Olympic competition. It was a real classic.

So why was I there? John explained that he was having financial problems and the Ostwind was for sale for $25,000. The price was a giveaway, however there was no way I could raise that kind of cash. That was the last time I ever saw John or the Oatwind. I took a job flying for a company in Lansing, Michigan. From time to time friends sent me newspaper articles on the ill fated and controversial yacht. Later I started writing documentaries on my two websites. I decided I would try to piece together a story, or at least a portion of it.




My entire story depended on finding John Lyman and try to get the real story of this vessel. I did everything possible to find John, I can only assume he has passed on, taking the story with him. There are numerous reports written about the Ostwind but none that tell the story from the beginning, disclosing how he became owner of the Ostwind. Perhaps someone reading this will contact me with authoritative information. Little did I know that the best was yet to come. I will attempt to put together some of the pieces about the life and death of the Ostwind.


The first report I received from friends said that John could no longer keep up with the expenses of this growing burden. It had sunk in the Miami River with only the mast sticking up. It became an eyesore and a navigational hazard, and John was given notice to remove it. Remove it where? This was easier said than done. An 85 foot boat sitting on the bottom is not simple to move around.


The first report has the Ostwind sold to someone in Jacksonville, FLA. It was somehow transported from Miami to Jacksonville. While in Jacksonville , sitting in dry dock, it began to rot, and vandals had stripped it for souvenirs. As it sat there rotting away a group of Jewish citizens reportedly set it on fire, destroying what was left of the intricate woodwork. It was then supposedly sold for $1.00 to a group in Plymouth with the purpose of turning it into a museum.

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