One of the more interesting stories I wrote in my first few years of newspapering was the account of a Mandeville resident who was building a boat in his back yard, not a small boat, but a rather large boat. He was planning to launch it, climb on board, and take off sailing the seven seas and island-hopping wherever the winds may take him. Many men have that exact same dream, but not everyone has the skills, tools, materials and space to actually do it. Here is his story. Click on the image below to enlarge the view.
In a June, 2011, Facebook post, Jimmy Ernst reported that Vial named the 50 foot boat Lady Gump. "He launched it at the harbor in Mandeville where he kept working on it and I got to ride with him on it when he moved it to the Rigolets to finish it," Ernst said. "He was going to sail it around the world but sold it because it would take a crew of 3 and he decided he wanted to go alone. He then built a smaller boat he could sail by himself. I don't think he ever got to sail around the world."