A Days Work

Good morning everyone. Building a new crew each year is one of the biggest challenges and joys that Jen and I have each year. Each year is so different even if the same people are sailing together. But I am not telling any of you anything that you don’t already know. For those of you who have sailed with us you know that every cruise is different even if you see the same familiar faces you may have sailed with before.

With Katie and Rob in the lead our crew is now complete. Morgan, our new assistant cook, Rebekah, our new deckhand, and Cara, our new cook, are all here ready to go. I picked Morgan up at the airport on Friday afternoon and she was painting the bulwarks less than an hour later. Friday was the last sunny day we will see for a while so we worked right up ’til early evening. Saturday was a rigging day and this crew did something I have not seen accomplished in many years. The head rig (jibboom, whisker shrouds, martingale and it associated wires) and both topmasts including shrouds, backstays, triadic and freshwater stays were all sent aloft. 0800-2000… local metric time… now that was a long day day. I complimented the crew on sticking with the rigging process all the way through even if they didn’t have the big picture to start with. All those sticks and strings can get confusing for the uninitiated.

For many new crew the idea of putting the rig together in one day is horrifying. Many crew arrive at their boat in some far off place and she is ready to go. Lucky are those that get to climb aloft and see how the position of every shackle can be critical. Those crew understand every component of what is there, why it is there, and how important attention to detail can be. Even more horrifying for new crew is the idea that a twelve hour day is the norm. I think that in this day and age the reality that sailing ships present is a reality that builds a little more backbone out of necessity, perhaps even out of survival. I hope I don’t sound too pompous in all this. There are examples of this kind of character requirement everywhere. But I feel hopeful when I see young adults working as hard as these folks work. No one watches the clock. No one drops their tools just because it is noon time. We go until the job is well done and that, my friends, is a days work. Yesterday was a well deserved day of rest.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.


  1. Mid-May and right on schedule the schooner is nearly ready to sail. How soon before you bend on the sails now that the standing rigging is completed?

    This weekend I took out my little dinghy, Teazer, for a three hour sail on a lake here in Alabama. We had simply a great time. It was the second shake down cruise for my little boat. Last October was the first sail.

    Things were so much better this time. First of all there was much more water in the lake here in May than back in October. We had a nice breeze that allowed us to skim around smartly. We are getting to know how Teazer wants to be handled. It's all great fun and we are looking forward with great anticipation to our big cruise with you in June.

  2. Captains,
    Given the newest brand of organized chaotic phoniness in today’s “modern” world, it comes nowhere close to “pompous” to speak knowledgably about the most elemental aspects of humanity: that we are here with a drive to strive, to survive, to learn, to love, to live. It is most refreshing to see evidence that there are still callow youth who knowingly and willingly do the work needed to reach the goal. ‘That they accomplished each of the activities as well as they did speaks volumes about their intellects, efforts and willingness to reach beyond their grasp for the best. Not only will you have a great sailing summer, but you’ll likely also have far more difficult 28 hour days … during which you’ll have to sprint to keep ahead of ( or UP WITH???) them. It’ll be a good thing those days will be made far more than bearable by sailing.
    Sailing and sailing ships are perhaps essential metaphors for the truly worthwhile things in life. Unlike newfangled, invisibly complex, illogical digital gadgets (e.g. push button A hold 2 seconds, push B to advance hour…), sailing vessels offer the best of both the old and the ‘new’. At one and the same time an observer can see the tangible mechanics of what makes it work while considering and trying to understand and subdue the invisible vagaries of wind, water and weather. Yes, Mr. Weatherman said it would be sunny with brisk breezes, but why are we still drifting in dead calm? Or, that big wheel is supposed to turn the bow that way! Why is it going the other way? Hey, there’s a vagary for you.
    Thanks for renewing a tattered faith in youngsters, and for providing them a most worthy example. It’s gratifying to know they’re still thriving…even if it may only be on the ‘Bounding Maine’[sic].
    “Spanking winds” for the thrill and safe harbor waters for the thinking!
    A once most reluctant city sailor pining for ‘week-wet jeans’

  3. Now I am going to make you blush, my dear Captain. I realize that you and Jen work very hard to pick the right crew-members and orient them as well as possible before their arrival. However, your and Jen's leadership skills are some of the best I have ever seen. That is what makes the crew work as a team, and give more than their all to see the job done. That is why we, as passengers/adjunct crew want to come back again. Keep up the good work and have a great season.

  4. I agree with Bob. You two are a shining example of effective leadership. I think corporations should send their employees on a boat course instead of those horrid camps to learn about leadership and teamwork. The average supervisor could learn a lot from our two sterling captains, and your crew is the perfect example of teamwork. That is one of the many reasons why we keep coming back. And you thought it was your Rhumba dancing! :0

  5. I am really looking forward to sailing with you, Katie and Rob again and I look forward to meeting the new gals. It is a female strong crew, no? Rob's a but outnumbered, isn't he, but I doubt he's complaining.
    Last year's crew was amazing and I know this year's will be too! I am planning on sailing with you again this summer, as soon as I figure out exactly which cruise my schedule can accommodate.

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