Somewhere in Cambridge--its whereabouts a closely guarded secret--there is a Chinese Junk being built. Its builders, Peter Black '42 and David M. Ewing '42, plan to sail it down the Charles when it has been completed.
Neither Black nor Ewing has even been to China, or ever ridden in a Chinese Junk. They really don't know where they got the idea, but Black says that he was talking to Ewing one day about sea-monsters, and sea-monsters somehow lead to Chinese Junks, and then to Chinese Junk in Boston Harbor. "A Chinese Junk in Boston Harbor would be a wonderful sight, you know, commented Black. "Well there is going to be a Chinese Junk in Boston Harbor one of these days, just about Easter time, or perhaps a little after."
It seems that a lack of actual experience with junks is no handicap to building one at Harvard. "There are plenty of people around the University who know all about junks," Black said. "For instance, there is a lad in Lowell House who has been hunting Elephants in India and who has ridden in junks; there are technical movies taken of junks, and there are professors who are experts on the subject."
To Mount Cannon
A mast, which will fold back to allow passage under the bridges on the Charles, a long overhanging poop, a small motor hidden away in the stern, and a half-inch brass cannon mounted in the bow, will be features of the junk's gear.
Black and Ewing don't know exactly where they are going when their junk is finished. That will depend upon the sailing qualities of their craft (Chinese Junks weather typhoons, says Black). If the first Chinese Junk ever to be built in Cambridge is not very seaworthy, it will still look pretty on the Charles. If it is a real sailor, maybe they will sail away and startle fishing captains on Brown's Bank.