Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ghost Pirate Ship

"What do you do in the winter?" It's probably the most commonly asked question on the schooner. Some guests joke that I immediately head for a warm climate and enjoy frozen drinks on a tropical beach. Most realize that the work continues even though the sailing part is over.

I'm happy to report that many winter projects are underway. The aft davits (where the yawl boat hangs) have been removed and new ones are being built. The windlass (original to the schooner) has been removed and will be repaired or replaced (but not with a donkey engine...sorry Joe!) The galley stove has been removed because it is in pretty bad shape and needs to be repaired or replaced. It's amazing that Margi was able to keep providing such great meals despite all the cracks and non-functional dampers!

We have not constructed the winter cover yet as we will be replacing the covering board and all the railing around the aft deck. Unfortunately that railing is where the winter cover sits and we can't build the cover as we have in the past as those rails simply won't be there. The weather is getting colder after another mild fall and there has already been snow in the northern mountains. We must get her covered soon.

But it's not "all work and no play" and this leads me to the explanation of the photo at the beginning of this entry. With the help of two friends, my house was transformed into a ghost pirate ship for Halloween. You can read an article here http://knox.villagesoup.com/Community/story.cfm?StoryID=102618
to learn how the idea came about. It was a lot of work but it was definitely worth it!

First we draped an old mainsail from the schooner over my porch...









...rips, tears, tatters and a Jolly Roger were added.









Then we covered the bushes along the porch with boxes painted as "India Trading Company" crates (great job, Ned!) and decorated with ship's wheels, a rum barrel, and coils of line...










...a cannon (complete with a red flashing light for "explosions"), a pile of skulls, and more line...









...a graveyard with one (almost) escapee...









...and, of course, a treasure chest full of gold bars, doubloons, jewels, goblets, treasure maps, and lots and lots of sweet treats!

Tracy did our makeup and then we turned on the fog machine and the scary music. We waited for the ghosts, goblins, super heroes, princesses, and pirates to collect their booty...
When the sun set we lit 13 kerosene lanterns and strings of red lights to direct the little ones to the treasure chest. We growled lots of "Arrrgggh" and other pirate talk and were rewarded with lots of screams and running after the kids had gathered their treasure.

One of my favorite cruises last summer was the Pirate Adventure Cruise complete with treasure hunts, costumes, cannon firing, and lots of pirate booty. This Halloween project was a scarier take on that theme and I look forward to having lots of fun next season with three Pirate Adventures Cruises (no scary make-up though...we'll all be "live" pirates!)

Now...about that winter cover...