Sunday, October 19, 2008

Honeymoon!


We're packed and ready to go.

Any guesses where we are going?

Maine Windjammer Parade

We sail very close to the Rockland Breakwater Light so all these spectators can get a really good look at the schooner and see how much fun we're having. You have the best seats if you experience the parade from on deck rather than from ashore!
I put on my pirate costume and we fired the cannon as we passed close by the lighthouse.

Sailing this close to all the boats in the fleet is a thrill.

Join us next year...the parade is on Friday, July 10, 2009!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rich and Famous!

Well, we're not rich...he's Rich. And, for that matter, we're not really famous either but Rich is working on a DVD project about windjammers and he recently interviewed Capt. Brenda. He visited us in Camden during Windjammer Weekend in September and set up the camera for a brief interview to supplement the images he has already captured of the Schooner Isaac H. Evans under sail. We'll look forward to seeing what Rich Holzer of The Dolphin's Eye creates and we'll keep you posted.

An old article that I just found online

You never know what you're going to find when you're surfing the net. I just found this article about a trip from September 2005. It's short but gives a general overview from a guest viewpoint:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/19616/maine_windjammer_vacation_my_sixday.html?page=1&cat=16

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Almost Honeymoon Time!

The winter cover is on, the winter lines and chains are in place, chaffing gear is on, the heads have been removed and the black water tanks opened, cleaned, and winterized, the fresh water tanks emptied, antifreeze dumped into the sinks, drains, and holding tanks, and all the thru-hulls closed. The yawl boat has been winterized and is stored inside the dock building. Daniel and Rebecca are inside for the winter as well. The last task to complete is to put anti-freeze in the fresh water system and that may just have to wait until early November when we get back from our honeymoon! I still don't know where we're going but I can't wait! I'm hoping it will be sunnier and warmer-looking than this picture (taken this morning!) Brrrrrr.....

The crew and guests set a record for fall lay-up this year. We returned to the dock at 11:30 and everything was off the boat by 5:30. I mean everything....sails, running rigging, blocks, spars, topmast, mattresses, soap dishes, curtains, galley stuff, etc. We even swung the main boom forward to the foremast where it lives for the winter. Six hours! It was an amazing effort including hundreds of trips up into the dock building (thank goodness for high tide!) The next day we sorted and started storing everything. Each year we get a little more organized. I still can't believe it though....six hours, and we owe huge thanks to everyone that stayed to help (and my brother, Barry, that met the boat and worked with us all day too!) That made all the difference to our record-setting fall lay-up.

Penobscot Narrows Bridge

I sailed up the Penobscot River years ago but conditions haven't presented themselves again to make a return visit. There's a new bridge now and I was able to stop and check it out on my way home from Haystack last weekend. Here's the view from the top:
That's Cadillac Mountain in the upper right hand corner and that's the old, much lower, bridge to the left. How much lower? Here's a picture looking straight down to the old bridge:
It looks tiny from 420' up!

The tide was going out and you can see the current rushing around the concrete base. Sailing up the river has to be timed just right to accommodate those strong currents.

And here's Bucksport:
The land to the left is mainland with Fort Knox on the point and the land on the right is Verona Island.

For information about the bridge visit:
http://www.maine.gov/doc/parks/parksinfo/observatory/



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Haystack Mountain School for Crafts

The sailing season is now over and I spent my first weekend ashore at Haystack Mountain School for Crafts for their Open Door session. The Open Door session is open to Maine residents only and is done by a lottery system. I've been applying for the last ten years after a friend told me about it. Each time I have applied, I chose the blacksmithing class as my first choice. I have been chosen to attend half the time but never in my first choice class. I've done paper (Japanese Kozo), clay, mixed media, and writing. But this year I finally got my first choice!

The weather was fantastic, the food was plentiful and outstanding, and the workshop was great. I pounded a lot of metal and met some really great people. I even had my painful foot looked at by a fellow student who happened to be a podiatrist (plantar fasciitis). Heck, I even met Tom. The funny thing was, he and his wife were so delightful and humble someone else had to tell me, "You know that Tom is the Tom from Tom's of Maine." Otherwise, I'd never have known.

Just like on the schooner (if you sign up for a trip on your own, you are assigned to a bunk bed cabin and you may share with someone else) there are cabins with multiple beds and the showers and bathrooms are shared. My roommate was Terrill Waldman! Big deal, right? Who's that, right? Well, she lived in California until two years ago when she and her husband chartered the Evans and another schooner for their wedding! They moved their glass blowing studio to Maine and she was at Haystack taking the Shibori workshop. Of the 90 or so people that attended they roomed us together! We didn't see much of each other but we did manage to capture a few moments to catch up and that was a delightful part of my weekend.

My instructor was Doug Wilson. I have admired his work for a long time and actually own two of his pieces; a lovely letter opener and a wrapped beach rock. Here he is at the forge doing a demonstration (I worked at the white forge all weekend except for the last day when I tried one of the gas forges):Here is the shop. All the coal forges are on the left and all the gas forges are on the right. Behind the gas forges are a myriad of welding and grinding machines. There's also a crazy pneumatic hammer. And here is most of what I created through out the weekend.
My favorite piece is either the candlestick holder or the third rock in a basket (which was actually the first one I made). I played a lot with hooks, leaves, and chain links. None of what I created is perfect but I had soooooo much fun!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mast Coins

Several people each season ask about our masts....what are they made of, how old are they, and, from those that know the lore, what coin is underneath them?

Our masts are Douglas Fir. Each one is made from a single tree and I'm told they came from Washington in the early 1970s. I've taken them out during my ownership of the Evans as a matter of routine maintenance and when I did I had lots of advice about coins.

As the story goes, sailors have long believed a coin under the mast brings luck. This ritual is believed to have started with the Romans, whose custom it was to place a coin in the mouth of a dead person to pay Charon, the boatman who ferried the souls of the dead across the River Styx to Hades. More cautious boaters will realize that placing a coin under the mast is another way to earn points for the black box in which your boat’s luck is stored. It’s a cheap price to pay. Skeptics should note that even the U.S. Navy takes this ritual seriously. Officers of the USS New Orleans, launched in 1933, placed 33 coins—pennies, nickels, and dimes—under her foremast and mainmast. All were carefully placed heads up. And the destroyer USS Higgins, commissioned in April 1999, had 11 coins specially selected for her mast stepping, some of them very rare and going back to Roman times. But you don’t need to use rare or expensive coins. In fact, in the days of wooden ships, when even skilled artisans earned comparatively little, it was regarded as imprudent to use gold. Besides, there wasn’t much point in paying Charon more than he could find change for. Rather, coins should be placed that mean something to the owner of the boat, ones that were minted in the year the boat was launched perhaps.

So I chose five coins for the fore mast and four for the main mast and here they all are:
In my right hand is an 1886 silver dollar, a Maine quarter, a New Jersey quarter, and the new nickel, all going under the main. In my left hand is a dollar, a Maine quarter, a New Jersey quarter, a new nickel, and a Pirate's Cove mini-golf free game token! The free game token was Capt. Ed Glaser's contribution. And, as you can see, this boating stuff is dirty business. My hands are covered in Never-Seez but it all came off....eventually.

A crane lifted the masts out...
...and Eileen, Barry, and I guided them back in.

Ben McCanna blog entry - Day 2

http://www.downeast.com/Berth-of-Cool/October-2008/When-the-Captain-and-Mate-are-Mates/

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Diana won't you blow....

...our fog horn?Even on a bright sunny day most kids can't resist blowing our conch shell fog horns and Diana P. of Pennsylvania was no exception. We have four shells, all different sizes, from a small shrill shell to a large deep-tone shell. When it is foggy, a crew member sits at the bow as look-out and sounds the horn once every two minutes to let nearby boats know our position. One long blast followed by two short blasts lets them know that we are under sail.

We always encourage guests to bring their instruments on board. We've had a cello, various small drums, lots of guitars, a clarinet, flutes, whistles, fiddles, harmonicas, kazoos, and various silly noise makers. So when Diana pulled out her flute, we immediately recognized her musical ability and understood why it was so easy for her to make sound with the shells.

photo credit and thanks to Dana T. from New Hampshire

Extra, Extra! Read all about it!

We hosted Ben McCanna of Down East Magazine earlier this year on a Pirate Adventure Cruise. He has recently posted a blog entry about his experience with us and it is well worth a read...

http://www.downeast.com/Berth-of-Cool/October-2008/Pirate-Adventure-Cruise/

Monday, October 06, 2008

early morning color and beautiful Maine islands

We've only been ashore for one full day and already I miss waking up on the schooner.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Love Boat

We've often jokingly referred to the Evans as the Love Boat...we've participated in many weddings and hosted honeymoon couples, anniversary couples (from one year to 50!), and we've had couples get engaged on board. But who knew that the real Love Boat was from Stonington!