From Sap to Planks

Good morning everyone. We hope you folks had a nice a week as we did. The sun has really been working hard to bring spring to New England. The sap has been rising in the trees and we chose this weekend to tap the maples. We only have 20 taps out at the moment but if the weather holds as predicted we will be boiling very soon. 24 hours after tapping Sawyer and I hauled in 20 gallons of sap just yesterday. The first run of sap usually makes the fancy syrup so I think our timing is just right. I can taste Mary’s pumpkin pancakes now.

Alex and Jebb have had our harbor yawl boat ‚ÄúChadwick‚Äù in the barn this week. The varnish really needed some work and it is really coming along well. Alex is very good with a varnish brush. My neighbor Glen built a new fuel tank from a recycled stainless steel tank to fit under the towing thwart back aft. It is just perfect and will help Chadwick trim more evenly on her waterline. I will spend some time over the next few days plumbing in the new tank and moving the battery to a new location. Working on the yawl boat in a wood heated barn is a real balancing act. We need the heat to dry the paint but it tends to dry the wood as well. We should get that boat out of the barn in the next few days to make sure the planks don‚Äôt dry out too much. We won‚Äôt do any bottom work until just before we launch sometime in mid-April. It’s amazing how much we rely on trees from sap to planks… there’s alot of beauty that comes from those trees.

And for anyone wanting to know….Chadwick is named after “Major Chadwick”,once a dear friend to all, who always had a kind word, a welcoming phrase of the day, and a warm hug to boot. He continues to give us strength. The following photo is the Major aboard the Mary Day back in the 70’s, just when we were still pups.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.


  1. Captain, you will be pleased to know your goose is headed home. This morning as I stepped outside in the early light of dawn, I heard the familiar honking. As I looked up I saw three Canadian geese in formation heading NE at full speed. Now if you go to a map and draw a line from Galveston to Camden, you will find it crosses North Alabama not too far from my home. Why else would they fly over my house to say hello unless it was your goose and two friends. I suspect at their rate of travel and probable rest stops, they should be there on time.

  2. Captain, a comment about the Major Chadwick photo. But first I remember that the Major was the honorary Camden harbor master and as such kept up with all the comings and goings in the harbor. By all the accounts I have read he was a remarkable man and a friend to everyone.

    On to the photo, upon my second viewing of the picture I realized that something was amiss or at least missing. At the time the photo was taken the Mary Day did not have a staysail club! This picture of Annie teaching “bow watch” is taken from almost the same angle and it’s easy to see the staysail club is there but it doesn’t show in the Major’s picture.

    How was she rigged? I found online a scan of an old postcard from before the schooner had topmasts. But even that photo seems to show a staysail club. Wow, I just found another post card on the web post marked August 17, 1965 check out the image. My eyes still see the staysail club.

  3. Ed has asked a question upon which I have pondered. I would surmise that the staysail club could come and go at the whim of the Captain, after an evaluation of the crew and the intended mission. You will notice in the pictures in the book “Michael and the Mary Day” there is no staysail club. I think it would be a decision between the self tacking features of using the club(but still secured by a tail rope to keep from debraining the unlucky passenger) and a possibly more efficient sail shape without the club. I would think some efficiency would be gained in having a place to furl the sail also.

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