John Wayne Shares a Loving Moment with Daughter Aissa on His Boat in Glorious Retro Photo

by Suzanne Halliburton
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John Wayne and his family used to love spending blissful summer days on the Wild Goose out on the Pacific Ocean.

And as the last few days of summer wind down until fall, the John Wayne estate dropped a snapshot of one of those idyllic afternoons with The Duke on his yacht with daughter Aissa. And the caption:

“Who else is soaking up the last days of summer? John Wayne is pictured here with his daughter, Aissa, on his boat the Wild Goose.”

Doesn’t this look like a glorious way to spend a sunny day?

John Wayne Was His Happiest on the Water

John Wayne loved being out on the water. The Wild Goose was his second yacht, replacing the boat he called the Norwester. And it told quite a story. After all, it was built as a Navy minesweeper.

Son Ethan Wayne said that being on the Wild Goose was “when my father was the happiest.”

John Wayne bought the boat in 1962. He already had six children by then, including four from his first wife. He and Pilar, his third wife, had Aissa and Ethan, who was born in early 1962. Marissa, the youngest of Wayne’s kids, came along in 1966.

So at 136 feet, there was a ton of room on the Wild Goose for Wayne’s big family, which included lots of kids and grandkids. The family loved anchoring the boat somewhere for an all-day swim. And since he lived in Newport Beach, Calif., most every day was a good one to spend on the water.

Family and friends also would take the Wild Goose on trips to Alaska and Canada or down to Mexico or Panama. Last month, the John Wayne family posted a photo of one of the star’s many fishing trips.

John Wayne even would take business meetings on the yacht and would screen his new movies. Some of the famous friends who joined Wayne on the water included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jackie Gleason. Sammy Davis Jr. even chartered the Wild Goose for a trip to Catalina.

Almost 20 years after Wayne bought the yacht, he knew he needed to sell it. This was in 1979 and the acting legend knew he was dying of stomach cancer. He didn’t want his family to worry about money, so he sold some of his properties and his beloved Wild Goose.

“For a long time, whenever I dreamed about him, we were on the boat,” daughter Marissa Wayne said, according to an article on her dad’s site. “Just enjoying the people you were with, the sights, being on the sea, and lots of playing cards.”

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