Clear as a Bell

Good morning everyone. We have been enjoying a beautiful stretch of weather these past few weeks. With all of the brilliant foliage and sunny days this has been an Autumn to remember. The crew have been hard at it aboard the schooner. With the cover in place we can get to all of those cover-dependent projects like painting the mast heads. We paint the mast heads in the fall to provide the best protection during the very long winter. And it is looking like a long winter with snow forecasted in the western mountains of Maine this evening. Under cover the gaffs and topmasts have been getting the first of several coats of varnish. The white plastic shrink wrap allows enough solar gain to heat the air to a reasonable painting temperature yet not hot enough to cause all of the wood to dry and check.

With all of the nice weather we have been having and the full moon casting shadows through our woods at night I have been amazed at how brilliant the stars have been, even with the moon. Towards the end of our sailing season I was really astounded by the rising winter constellations on my evening trips to the heads. Like an old friend Orion was twinkling in the night sky, his dogs still just below the horizon. The Milky Way streamed across the sky overhead rising from the spout of the teakettle part of Sagitarius, the archer. So many guests had never seen the galaxy through the rigging of the schooner and the chance to do a couple night sails gave us some wonderful opportunities to really appreciate just how far we live from the city lights. Every so often we anchor where the glow of a nearby town can be seen but that is quite rare. This month’s National Geographic lists Acadia National Park as one of the places where excellent stargazing can be found away from the impacts of light pollution. Unless of course you count the kerosene deck lamps I think we get to enjoy some of the best light free areas the Maine coast has to offer. I treasure the chance to lay on deck under the stars. Already I am counting the days.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

PS Sorry this was late getting online. The computer crashed (yes, even a Mac has a bad day once in a great while). By the way, the new cookbook with recipes from the fleet is available online in the Boatique. We have a limited supply right now but can get more. Order online or give us a call and we’ll get one on the next pony express. Photo by Neal Parent.

3 comments

  1. Captains Barry and Jen,

    I have been working on the opening of my next novel. Okay, my first novel. Well, at least I’ve been giving some thought to writing here in your Blog. I’m having a Dickens of a time with the opening and thought that both of you, being well educated and experienced experiential trainers could give me a little help or inspiration. So I’ve copied the opening paragraphs of my opus and pasted them here for your comments and for all the world to see and comment upon. The working title is

    A Tale of Two Captains

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of sail, it was the age of diesel, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Warmth, it was the season of Cold, it was the spring of repair, it was the winter of despair, we had everything a fore us, we had nothing aft of us, we were all going direct to Camden, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its wisest, trusted financiers insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

    There were a King with a large beard, and a Martin with a freckled face, at the helm of the ship; there were a little King with red hair and a princess with a fair face, upon the rigging. It was clearer than crystal to Mary, the protector of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled forever.

    It was the year of Our Lord two thousand eight. Spiritual revelations were conceded to New England at that favored period, as at this. Ms. Nixon had recently endured the blessed birth of Benjamin, of whom a prophetic deckhand in the Crew had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing arrangements were made for the training of the babe in marlinspike seamanship. Mere messages in the ethereal order of events had lately come to the Blog, from a congress of Maine-ish subjects in Alabama; which, strange to relate, have proved less consequential to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the networks in the Google gaggle.

    So I think I’ve gotten off to a fine start but there is just something vaguely familiar about the prose. Could it be I’ve been influenced by powers that extend across time and sea? Am I channeling the ghost of some past deeds? Is it some affect or defect of the copper in my field of thought ? Can it be, as the wise bartender once asked me when I ordered the martini, “Olive or twist?”

  2. Oh I don’t know Ed. It does sound vaguely familiar, but I love your novel debut.

    Sigh! That picture of the stars is so lovely. Living in the city, with a light post right outside my window, I have to close my room-darkening thermal drapes real tight, then don a sleep mask so that my room is dark enough to let me leep. I would love to leave the city lights behind, move to a country cottage somewhere in the wilds of Maine, and see how the stars look without competition from man-made lights.
    I’ll have to wait until next year to see them from the deck of the beautiful Mary Day.
    Nice photo Neal. Hugs from the city girl who wishes she were a country gal.

  3. Oh I don’t know Ed. It does sound vaguely familiar, but I love your novel debut.

    Sigh! That picture of the stars is so lovely. Living in the city, with a light post right outside my window, I have to close my room-darkening thermal drapes real tight, then don a sleep mask so that my room is dark enough to let me sleep. I would love to leave the city lights behind, move to a country cottage somewhere in the wilds of Maine, and see how the stars look without competition from man-made lights.
    I’ll have to wait until next year to see them from the deck of the beautiful Mary Day.
    Nice photo Neal. Hugs from the city girl who wishes she were a country gal.

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