Spring Fitout Finally Coming to an End

Good Morning!

Springtime along the Maine coast is a wondrous time of year. After 6 snowy months under cover the windjammer fleet begins to emerge from its winter slumber and one by one the boats emerge from their cocoons.

Crews put in long days getting the vessels in shape. People stop us along the street to compliment how beautiful the boats look with fresh coats of paint and varnish. The shipyards and chandleries are bustling with activity.

And after all the topmasts are rigged and block and halyards are run aloft the sails finally come aboard. Ours are coming straight from the sail maker’s loft where they have spent the winter having every inch of seam and every cringle inspected.

Watching the mainsail carried down the dock like a caterpillar and finally bent on to the wooden mast hoops is a little humorous as the floats sink under the weight of thousands of square feet of canvas all rolled up like a sausage.

Staysails and jibs are bent on to traditional steel hanks with marline that lends a particular pine tar perfume to the air and the callused hands of the crew. Like an insect pheromone the pine tar lets our bodies know it is time to go sailing soon…. very soon.

About now the vessels are getting ready for the annual rigorous Coast Guard inspection. Hours of training and hard work will be put to the test. We will work through the weekends sprucing up the cabins, making beds, polishing the brass, double-checking the life jackets and charts. We run through emergency drills time and time again. When the Coast Guard arrives we welcome the opportunity to “show our stuff”.

Guests will be arriving soon and the cycle will be complete. Summer officially starts when we cast off the mooring lines and leave the harbor behind… destination unknown.
And now you know a little more about how much goes on behind the scenes. Here along the Maine coast traditional sailing vessels and the crews who keep them alive are as much a part of the season as spring peepers and robins.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

4 comments

  1. I’m so excited! I’ll be joining you in July and can’t wait! I enjoy reading your blog and watching you get ready for the season. See you soon!

  2. With the sails bent on and a successful Coast Guard inspection will the crew get a chance to sail the schooner without passengers? I know you’ve been doing a lot of training but there really is nothing like doing it for real. I know you will have a great time and a great season.

    I too will see you in July.

  3. My thanks to the bloggster, nice, and a harty thanks to all who help keep “our” Mary Day proud. What nice hard work, this is the best kind. Stand back, pause to take a good look from away, yep, you done it.

    Have a great season.

  4. Sail away, sweet Mary Day!
    You’re back in the water, where you belong.
    Another season, another year,
    Days full of laughter, camaraderie, and cheer.

    Sail away with the kiss of the sun,
    The caress of the wind.
    May waves gently carry you to islands and coves.
    Greet the eagles, fishes, and whales,
    While the breeze lends voice to your sails
    And the water slaps your bow.

    Sail, sweet lady, sail.
    For many a year, sail on!
    Bring us the joy that only you can bring.
    Give us a reason to look forward to spring.
    Let your beautiful presence fill the bay.
    Delight us all with your beauty and grace.

    Sail on!

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