Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tall Ship Sailor Proposes To Fiancee Via Signal Flags

When the Godspeed readied to set sail with the Sail Virginia fleet, all was not shipshape. Someone had made off with some of its signal flags, all the ones for the letters O and N. But the culprit, aboard the Schooner Virginia, had a reason . As the ships readied to join the Parade of Sail, Hank Moseley, 31, Virginia’s chief mate, raised a set of the colorful signals, used on many vessels this day as decoration. To a trained eye, however, there was meaning in Moseley’s arrangement :M-A-R-R-Y-M-E -K-A-I-A.
Hank Moseley, first mate of the Schooner Virginia, proposed to Kaia Danyluk, a crew member on the Godspeed.
“We’ve been talking about getting serious and getting married for a little while,” he said. “She knew that it was coming at some point, but she didn’t know when or how.” Moseley’s flag plot began to unfurl about a month ago. While the Virginia was in Jacksonville, Fla., he struck on the idea to use signal flags. Then, as he shared his plans with mates on Virginia and other vessels, the plan took off.
The Virginia
The Parade of Sail became the obvious choice for when. On board Godpseed crew members egged one of their own, Kaia Danyluk, 31, of Yorktown into translating the flags flying from Virginia’s masts. To Moseley’s relief, she said yes. “She yelled it across the water,” Moseley said. Then, with her hands shaking, Danyluk put together the flagged response. “Her crewmates had to help her,” Moseley said. But, soon enough, three signal flags were aloft on Godspeed: Y-E-S.
The Godspeed
The crews of other vessels celebrated, firing cannons in salute to the couple. On board the Bowdoin, bagpipers played in their honor. With that, Moseley and some buddies took a small boat over to Godspeed where he made a more traditional proposal. She didn’t change her mind. Moseley, who hails from Gloucester, said he was sure she would answer affirmatively. But, just to be sure, he made certain Godspeed was missing those that spell N-O.

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