When the distinctive white-tipped orange mast of the fishing vessel Little Sandra slipped below the ocean’s surface 18 miles off the coast of Rockport beyond Thacher Island this past weekend, the intentional sinking marked more than just the end of the line for the 63-foot-long vessel.
It was the end of an era for Gloucester’s historic fleet of eastern-rigged trawlers as well.
The trawler, built in Southwest Harbor, Maine, in 1946, now lies 345 feet underwater. It measured 63-feet long and weighed 56 net tons.
Originally called the Anthony and Josephine, the ship has been in family hands since it was built.
Peter Prybot, the late author and columnist for the Times, notes in his 1998 book “White-Tipped Orange Masts” that the boat was passed down from Anthony and Josephine Favaloro to their son, captain Vito Favaloro. Other crew members were his brothers Salvatore, nicknamed “Red” and Serafino as well as Claude Souza.
Dominic Favaloro, Salvatore’s son, who now works at Rose’s Marine on Main Street, recalled some early memories aboard the boat.
“My fondest memories as a young boy was a week or so before St. Peter’s Fiesta, the boat would be hauled up on dry-dock and given a ‘new dress’ painting,” he wrote in an email to the Times. “Being the smallest and lightest, I got duty on being hauled up the mast sitting on a pen-board as a seat to paint the white mast with orange tip. I guess I was too young to be afraid of heights.”
Favaloro noted since his father was a bit colorblind, the forest green hull needed to be darkened with black paint. He fondly recalled the smell of steamers, hot dogs and hamburgers as family members rode around Cape Ann.
The vessel was eventually handed over to the LoGrande family; Gloucester Fire Department Capt. Tom LoGrande is the son of the most recent owner.