Monday, April 28, 2008

Station Maine Work Day

Muriel Curtis, director of Station Maine, sits atop the
boom to scrape paint and grease off the mast hoops
of the Schooner Isaac H. Evans.

Eleven participants in the programs at Station Maine took four hours of a beautiful Saturday afternoon this past weekend to help sand and paint aboard the Schooner Isaac H. Evans. Muriel Curtis and her team are no strangers to hard work and completed many tasks in short order. Participants included Muriel Curtis, Sam Slaymaker, Tristan Slaymaker, Brian Jones, Aaron Jones, Crystal "Gem" Lewis, Lily VanSteenberg, Noah Curtis, Jennifer Simmons, Tasha Kordek, and Elizabeth Kordek. With our guidance, the volunteers sanded bulwarks, mast hardware, the main boom, cabin tops, deck boxes, quarter bits, and a traveler. Metal flanges for the wood stove smoke stacks, a.k.a Charlie Nobles, were prepped with a grinder and painted with high temperature paint. Bars used for working the windlass to raise the anchor were stripped and painted with special metal primer. Brass on the ship's wheel and quarter bits was polished. Bare wood spots from all the sanding were painted with primer. Mast hoops were scraped of loose paint and grease. And a pile of heavy wood was moved for proper storage.

So why all the hard work? Each year the Schooner Isaac H. Evans starts the sailing season with a day sail with all proceeds donated to a local charity. Previous beneficiaries have included Big Brothers Big Sisters, Friends of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, New Hope For Women, Meals On Wheels, the Bob Gagnon Cancer Care Fund, the Friends of the Rockland Public Library, the Hospitality House, and Area Interfaith Outreach. This year’s beneficiary is Station Maine and Curtis teaches her program participants that nothing is free so they exchanged a day’s work for the donations being raised.

“I hear a lot of negativity these days about youth. Lazy. That comes up a lot. Don't want to work. Don't know how to work”, Curtis says. Work, however, is a language spoken fluently by the young ambassadors of Station Maine. It is a fluency developed by long hours of practical "study" as "Rent-a-Rowers" over the course of the year in which they earned every penny of a trip to France.

“I have a lot of faith in this next generation. I see in these kids the seeds of greatness. Seeds which need to be nurtured.” And nurture them she does….through song, humor, gentle guidance and camaraderie.

Our youngest workers, Brian and Aaron Jones,
polished the brass on the ship's wheel with Brasso,
Never Dull, and good old elbow grease.

Tristan Slaymaker got down and dirty with the Charlie Noble flange.
He used a grinder to remove flaking paint and rust in preparation
for a coat of high temperature paint.

Tristan also sanded the battery box in preparation for a new coat of varnish.

It wasn't just the kids pitching in to help, Elizabeth Kordek,
Station Maine's Treasurer and Tasha's mom, suited up with
goggle and gloves to grind the paint off the bars used to
work the windlass that raises the anchor.

Jennifer Simmons enjoyed the sun while sanding the port quarter bit.
She also sanded the main traveler and primed both pieces.

Tasha Kardek sat atop the boom for easier access to her project;
scraping paint and grease off mast hoops. Lily VanSteenberg thoroughly
sanded cabin tops in preparation for clear wood sealer.

She sanded...

....and sanded....

One of Crystal "Gem" Lewis' projects was sanding
several deck rings and painting them with metal primer.

Noah Curtis wields a mean sander...the gloss on the main boom didn't stand a chance!

We were impressed with how well everyone worked...individually and together.
We send a huge thank you to everyone that participated and applause to Muriel for organizing, inspiring, and leading by example!