Thursday, November 11, 2004

What do you do in the winter?

It has been well over a month since we wrapped up our sailing season and I've been keeping pretty busy. If you received a letter from me recently you know that we took the masts out this fall. Of course just getting that huge mailing out to all the guests we've had in the last six years took forever...signing each letter individually, stuffing envelopes, labels, stamps, and sealing....all that really takes some time. I'm working on the holiday calendar and hope to get that to the printer no later than tomorrow afternoon. That will lead to exactly the same mailing for next month!

The masts look very good and the Coast Guard comes tomorrow for their final inspection and to take photos. Then I will cover them up for the winter and work on all the pieces that we took off. I'm replacing the main shrouds, jib stay, spring stay, and fore cross trees as well as stripping the paint off all the remaining parts that will be reused. All the metal bands and fittings will be sand blasted and galvanized. Lots of work, time, and money but it will be worth it. I'm guessing that getting the masts back in the boat will be more challenging than taking them out but I'm hoping it all goes well.

I started volunteering for the Marine Mammal Lifeline last month and will continue through-out the off-season. I've had two training sessions already and have been in close proximity with 18 seals. They're awfully cute but the Lifeline folks can't stress enough that they are wild animals and have sharp teeth. It's hard not to anthropomorphize them. I was inspired to volunteer after my experience with viewing Poco the beluga whale that visited Rockland this summer. When I first saw the whale I called the Coast Guard and the Harbor Master and was given numbers to the Lifeline. I spoke directly to a vet tech who described exactly what to do and what not to do. Unfortunately so many other people saw the whale and touched it, swam with it, and fed it. All exactly the wrong things to do. Actually there's a pretty substantial fine for doing all those things but most people don't think of that or of the well-being of the animal. Again it's hard not to give them human attributes.

I volunteered extensively at the Knox County Democratic Headquarters leading up to the recent election. Long hours of stuffing envelopes and making Kerry/Edwards signs. Although I am unhappy with the results of the election I'm hoping to just get through the next four years and hope for so much more for our country. That's all I'll say about that as we always try to stay away from religion and politics on board!

I also start volunteering again today at the local low-power community radio station. I have an on-air show weekly and I also try to organize the business sponsors and record their sponsor spots that air at the top of each hour.

Of course I'm still playing steel drums too. We practice every Tuesday evening and I truly enjoy not only the music but the great people in the group. Although summer is the busy performance time, I'm hoping we get some winter gigs so we can play in public. It means so much more to all of us when we can get people smiling and moving!

I'm still sorting through lots of paperwork from the season and it's amazing how much time that takes. I could go on and on but I realize now that I have so much to do that I should really just get to it!

I hope some passengers from this summer or summers past find the blog and write cool things about their time on the Evans! That will help us all get through what promises to be a long, cold winter!

Fair Winds,
Capt. Brenda