Monthly Archives: April 2009

First Aid Afloat


Good morning everyone. Another busy week has passed here in windjammer wonderland. Rain forced us into the barn for a few days this past week but that allowed us to get some good indoor work done including painting the rowboat Rosey, sanding and painting our yawl boat, Arno, and beginning work on the trailboards. Towards weeks end we started working on the topsides in the bright sunshine and varnished the main cabin sole (floor).

This weekend the crew of Mary Day, along with the captains and crews from four other windjammers participated in a very special weekend long first aid and CPR course specifically focused on providing emergency care for our guests in the windjammer environment. Taught by yours truly along with my friend Becky we challenged the participants with scenarios and presentations that generated great discussions on how best to prevent and respond to the medical concerns of our guests when 911 is not just a phone call away. Because we rarely experience medical problems, a weekend like this helps us to keep our skills fresh and up-to date with advances in wilderness emergency care. All I can say is it was very cool to see how much knowledge and skill resides in the fleet and to have a weekend to practice these skills and share information and ideas was extraordinary. Thanks to the captains and crews who made this course a great success.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Thanks once again to Jim Dugan for his photographic skills. By the way…. just so you don’t think he is just another pretty face, Jim is currently playing Gloucester in the Camden Civic Theater’s production of King Lear. The Camden Civic Theater, and Jim in particular, have earned high praise for their talent and dedication. We are very proud of you Jim. During this June’s photography cruise Jim will be presenting an original one act play, Life According to Gloucester, with interpretive dance to Johnny Nash’s 1972 hit song “I Can See Clearly Now”. (I have to confess that I am just kidding… you know how these internet things can get out of hand. But I bet Jim could do it. We haven’t found anything he can’t do.)

Full Steam Ahead

Good morning everyone. The weather this past week was absolutely stunning with temperatures in the 50s and very low humidities all week long. We even hit the 60 degree mark on Friday. That equates to t-shirt weather here in Maine. A 6 day stretch of dry weather in April comes along at some point most years. The trick is being poised to take advantage of the moment. We were ready!

We spread several gallons of paint and varnish this last week on everything under the cover. Each day we would prep until lunch time and then paint after lunch being sure to finish before 4 o’clock. With sunset after 7 those three drying hours were critical to making sure that the paint kicked before the cool evening temperatures caused things to flatten out. On Monday we painted burgundy in the forward section of the bulwarks. On Tuesday we painted the pearl gray waterways. On Wednesday we painted the beige and off-white on the galley house, the fo’c’s’l hatch, the inboard end of the bowsprit, the pin rails, and the transom ceiling. On Thursday we finished the beige on all the cabin houses and the lazarettes. On Friday we painted the off-white on the rest of the cabin houses. The basic scheme was to work on brush technique in the smaller areas and work from out board to inboard. The crew discovered that there is a delicate balance between art and progress. As you can see from the accompanying photos, the larger acreage was covered with the judicious use of the “roll and tip” technique. We do not use much masking tape instead trying to cut as much by hand as possible.
The forecast for the next week looks a little more normal with rain slated for the middle of the week. This will be a week to work in the barn on yawl boats and finish on-deck touch up projects. Yawl boats need to be launched by the end of the week. The cover comes off soon so we can start work on topsides. Full steam ahead Cap’n!

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Tarring the Rig


Good morning everyone. By the looks of the forecast good painting weather may finally be reaching the Maine coast. Snow drifts still dot the landscape here in Appleton and the last few weeks week have been largely overcast and rainy. But Sunday through Wednesday look positively brilliant and we plan to be on the boat spreading paint fast and furiously.



Yesterday the crew had a chance to get aloft and tar the rig. The saltiest of fit-out work tasks,tarring the rig,involves spreading a mixture of pine tar and boiled linseed oil with a dollop of varnish(approximately 3.274186 ounces per gallon of mix, give or take a drop)on all of the standing rigging. We tar the rig in order to preserve the serving of tarred marline that covers the canvas parceling (also tarred) which covers the marline wormed between the strands of the wire rope (which has an oil impregnated fiber core) that are the mast stays. Did you catch all of that? The smell of pine tar alone does more to preserve my senses than anything else we apply to boat. Jim Dugan, currently starring in the local civic theater production of King Lear, stopped by to photograph the crew in action. Thank you Jim! Who is the old geezer standing around doing nothing?

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Tall Ships Revisited

Good afternoon everyone! What did he say? Yes, good afternoon from Houston. I am here again with Capt Kip Files of the Victory Chimes having moved Elissa from the Houston dock where she has been open to the public and school groups for the last week back to her berth in Galveston. As is the way with boats weather had us pinned down and we are now at the airport hoping to get home by midnite. Gusty NW winds blew 25-30 all of yesterday. We left this morning at dawn and motored down the Houston ship channel back to Galveston. Getting in to the berth was complicated by our inability to contact the dock because of damage from Hurricane Ike. Kip did a masterful job of easing Elissa alonside her berth and we pulled it off in fine fashion with a little help thanks to a push boat donated by the Kirby Corporation.

The good news is that the Juan Sebastian de Elcano is currently visiting Galveston. She is a magnificent 370’, 4-masted, schooner and the official training ship for the Spanish Navy. Oh I wish I had my camera (out for cleaning and repairs). I took a few shots with my cell phone and only need to figure out how to get the pictures of the little black box.
I’ll leave that high tech stuff to Jen.

Back home a good easterly blow hit the coast last nite pouring plenty of rain and gusty winds on Camden. Jen reports a sleepless nite and washed out roads to the extent that school was cancelled today. Mary Day made it through just fine but Mother Nature once again makes her presence known as a torrent of water pours over the waterfall creating a Class 5 whitewater event on the starboard beam. Oh how I look forward to getting home.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.