Sailing for a Nuclear Free World
EUREKA, CALIFORNIA – The historic Golden Rule peace boat, restored by Veterans For Peace and many friends, sets sail from the Eureka marina at noontime on Thursday, July 23, on its way to San Diego.
The 30-foot ketch and its crew ignited an international movement to stop the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in 1958, when they attempted to sail into a nuclear bomb test zone in the Marshall Islands. The Golden Rule will now continue its mission to educate millions of people about the perils of nuclear weapons.
“Nuclear weapons are still with us and the threat of nuclear war is very real,” said the Golden Rule’s captain David Robson, a Veterans For Peace member from Baltimore, Maryland. “We are dismayed that the U.S. government plans to invest One Trillion Dollars into upgrading its nuclear arsenal, instead of reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons, as called for in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.”
Joining David Robson on the sail to San Diego is first mate Jan Passion of Pleasant Hills, California, and crew members Michael Gonzales of Trinidad, California and Helen Jaccard of Seattle, Washington.
“The ongoing nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, Japan reminds us of the dangers of radiation poisoning posed by nuclear power plants,” said Golden Rule crew member Helen Jaccard. “Nuclear power is the flip side of nuclear weapons, and we don’t need either of them,” said Jaccard.
The first voyage of the renewed Golden Rule sailboat will be from Eureka on California’s north coast to San Diego near the U.S./Mexico border. After an estimated 7-10 days, the Golden Rule will arrive in time for the national convention of Veterans For Peace, August 5-9. That week is also the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed more than 200,000 people. The convention theme is “Peace and Reconciliation in the Pacific.”
In Eureka, there is a sense of shared pride and joy among those who have worked hard for the last five years to see this day.
“This little wooden boat is a honey,” said Leroy Zerlang, whose boatyard has been home to the Golden Rule during five years of restoration by volunteers. “We all want to live in a peaceful world. My family and staff were very happy to do our part,” said Zerlang.
The Golden Rule will return to Eureka in October, after visiting ports along the California coast as it works its way north from San Diego. Over the next ten years, the Golden Rule will carry its message of peace around the United States and possibly around the world.
Follow the progress of the Golden Rule on its website, www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org