Much of the action in “Up Anchor!” was based on events experienced by Kreigh Collins and his family as they sailed aboard their 45-foot schooner, Heather. Artistic license was exercised — I doubt they encountered any hurricanes sailing north in late-spring of 1960. The following two sequences are based on this voyage.
These images come from Kreigh’s original illustrations, many of which are now in the collection of the Grand Rapids Public Library. The originals feature the topper strip “Water Lore,” which would periodically reflect the action in the main strip. When the comic appeared in broadsheet papers, it generally ran as a one-third page, and the topper was omitted. However, in tabloids, the topper would appear (although without its second panel, which served as a throwaway).
As the storm hits, Kevin and Jane Marlin realize that part of their crew is missing — younger son Dave has disappeared. In real life, Kreigh’s sons Erik and David were only two years apart, but in the comic the age difference is greater. This change helps differentiate them in the strip, and as Kevin heads out in search of the young boy, Erik helps by having already water-proofed a walky-talky. (As Erik’s son, I especially appreciate seeing this character’s smart moves).