Monthly Archives: April 2010

Out Straight

Good morning everyone. I will not apologize for my lack of blog last week… we have literally been out straight trying to get the schooner ready. I don’t even have pictures of the glorious paint work that has been applied to the cabin houses. Rob, Katie, Sarah and Johanne have been busting their butts and the elbow grease really makes things shine. We will be headed for the railway this next week so the cover will be coming off Monday or Tuesday. Our new cook Ina arrives Tuesday and comes to us with several years of experience cooking aboard other schooners.
I should get you up to date on our project that is yet undercover at this time. The spruce boards and wood chips tell a good chunk of the story. Take a very old spruce tree… cut it into small pieces… and mill those pieces so that we can glue them back together. Seems kind of silly but it will be strong. To make a long (really long!) board we join several shorter borads end to end using glued scarfs. The glued scarfs are 18 inches long using a 12:1 taper, more than the 8:1 taper recommended by the epoxy manufacturer. OK Ed and Alton… how thick are the pieces being joined together? And how many clamps does one need to own to do this successfully. That is actually a trick question because as we all know you can never have enough clamps!
It looks like a porcupine as we look down the row of clamps. Why have all the clamps pointing up like that? Because this whole glue process is happening 34″off the barn floor and I need to be able to get to both sides without getting skewered. I am ready for the limbo contest.

Have a great day. Be well. Do Good.

Hard At It

Good morning everyone. We ll we have been hard at it this last week as temperatures continue to be above normal for this time of year. The bay is about 5 degrees warmer than usual so there is hope that we will get some of you reluctant swimmers into the elixir of youth yet.

Colby pup has been making her first visits to the schooner and has taken to swabbing the decks. If only she could get her paws around the handle.

The new crew have painted the bulwarks and rail clamp and are busy with sanding the cabin houses. They are a wonderful team… cheerful, hard working, and attentive to details. We are blessed!

Back at the global headquarters Bruce and I have started in on a top secret project that will be revealed in time. Let’s just say it is bigger than a bread box and requires an extension on the barn to complete. We haven’t figured out how to move it to Camden yet but let’s not get caught up on the trivial details. The point is we are using great power tools and listening to country music. What could be better?

Have great day. Be well. Do good.

Current Events

Good morning everyone. I have returned from sailing in Texas and hit the ground with both feet running. New deckhand Johanne was waiting at the airport when our flight landed and Katie was already back from a few weeks off. I should mention that sailing the barque Elissa in Texas was pretty darn cool. The ship, her many volunteers and the staff at the Galveston Historical Foundation are all wonderful. The devastation of Hurricane Ike can still be seen. The high water mark in one store front was proudly displayed two feet above my head. Recovery will take years but the island was very busy with “spring breakers” everywhere. Hotels and restaurants in the Strand district were very full. People are amazing.

Speaking of amazing… Jim Dugan stopped by the schooner yesterday to say Hi and welcome back the crew. He and I were admiring the tenacity of life as exhibited by the elvers. With the recent heavy rains the waterfall at the harbor is just ripping with a big head of water and the sluice gate wide open. At high tide the three windjammers at the head of the harbor strain on their bow lines as the rip current slams them right sideways.

Each year the baby eels, elvers, return from the Sargasso Sea to the brackish and freshwaters of Maine. Since this life cycle leads from freshwater to salt water spawning areas it is termed catadromous, unlike species like salmon which migrate back to freshwater to breed. Salmon exhibit an anadromous life cycle. And with the elvers come the elver fisherman with fyke nets that capture the “glass eels”. The glass eels are then shipped to the Far East to be raised as food fish. How elevers are able to get up any stream against this tremendous current is nothing short of a miracle. Some eels will even cross damp marshes to get where they are going. May we all possess the same fortitude as the eel.

The forecast for the next few days is sun, sun, sun. Let the games begin and let the paint flow freely!

Have a great day. Be well, Do good.

I kinda like this picture of the church steeple in Camden. That Capt Artsy is at it again!