Monday, September 28, 2009

Autumn

Fall officially arrived last week. There has been a change in the air, we've seen "v" formations of birds heading south, and the guillemots are getting their winter plumage. The leaves are starting to change too. We drove to Unity yesterday to enjoy MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair and enjoyed seeing some fall color along the way. You can view Maine foliage current conditions here:
http://www.mainefoliage.com

And then, of course, plan to come to Maine this weekend or next to see it for yourself before it's all over for another year!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

40 years ago...

...tomorrow...marks the anniversary of my birth! So here's to my last day as a "30-something"! I'll be celebrating by going sailing!

I was 9 pounds 9 1/2 ounces when I arrived and I was two weeks late (which probably comes as no surprise to anyone that really knows me!) A big thanks to my mom for all she went through to have me and to both my parents for standing by me with endless amounts of unconditional love for the last 40 years. I love you!

Then:


And now:

Wordless Wednesday

photo credit: Hazel Mitchell

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Winter Cover

Autumn arrives this afternoon just after 5 pm while we are boarding our next guests. We had a lovely day ashore yesterday and we took advantage of the time to get ready for fall lay-up...which happens in just two weeks!

We cleaned the sail bin, the wood shed, and the garage where the yawl boat goes. The dump wasn't open so we created a huge pile of trash and recyclable items for Brian to take away while we are sailing. There's a little more cleaning to do in the dock building before we can claim that it is ready for the craziness on October 3rd when everything comes off the boat and gets sorted for storage.

I've been meaning to rebuild our winter cover for years. Some pieces were in really bad shape including split and broken boards or boards that have been used so many times there was simply no good wood to screw things together anymore. Each spring we run out of time before we go sailing to do the intended repairs and each fall we just want to put the cover on and be done with it rather than taking the day necessary to assess and repair.

Now the cover has lots of new wood and we even painted the whole thing with old paint from our wood shed. This not only protects the plywood (and hopefully makes it last a while) but uses up the partial cans of random paint from our wood shed that has piled up over the years and just takes up room because I can't bear to throw it away. One captain explained to me once that they pour all those old cans into one big bucket and stir it up to paint their winter cover but we followed a more creative approach and I'm pretty sure we'll have the most creative and colorful cover in the fleet now! What do you think:

We laid all the pieces out on the ground to repair and paint them.

All the white is a glow-in-the-dark spray paint I got on clearance last Halloween.
This piece has our door.

Of course I couldn't resist spraying on a glow-in-the-dark skull and cross bones.
After all, we are the only schooner in the fleet that does Pirate Adventure Cruises!

Brian sprayed a more peaceful symbol with his paint.
Just covering our cover pieces and our bases!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Red sky in the morning....

The sun is showing itself later and later every day with the autumnal equinox arriving tomorrow. We were at anchor with another schooner yesterday morning and I had to snap this sunrise photo:
Interestingly enough the day was absolutely gorgeous so that may make one wonder what everyone is talking about when they say, "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning." I guess just like "Red green, go between" or "red right returning" is not always true, the red sky one is not always true either. So I guess the best (tongue in cheek, of course) advice I've heard is, "Never use absolutes."

Be well. Do good work.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

4-night Sailing Adventure - Wooden Boat Sail-In

We had a lot to fit in to just a few nights away from the dock. I'm happy to report that I have finally figured out a way to do a lobster bake, attend the Wooden Boat festivities and the captain's meeting the next morning, do a night sail, and still make it back to Rockland on Thursday morning.

Everyone settled in on Sunday night and we departed Monday morning with lobsters on board. We sailed up West Penobscot Bay and had a lobster bake that evening. We were still pretty far from Brooklin where we were expected to arrive around 3 pm the next day so we planned an early departure. We were underway around 7 am and motored north east through some showers that lasted most of the morning. The sun came out and some inconsistent wind filled in by lunch time. For a while we wondered where everyone else was and then the schooners started showing up. We were fourth to anchor and everyone went ashore to enjoy mussels, cheese and crackers, and music provided by Flash in the Pans before returning to the schooner for a turkey dinner. There was a wedding on the schooner nearest us and the atmosphere was one of celebration. One cannon after another signaled the sunset.

Wednesday morning we watched a parade of schooners leaving the harbor and we weighed anchor at 10 am, sailing back up the Eggemoggin Reach and under the Deer Isle/Sedgwick bridge. Dave was at the wheel trying to keep us right in the center where the bridge clearance is the highest. We made it with feet to spare!


It's beautiful to see all the windjammers in one harbor together!
And great to see them all set sail and head off for the day.

It became an overcast day and we all put on layers to stay warm. As I became colder and colder, I formulated a plan that ended up working very well...I decided we would anchor in Pulpit Harbor for dinner (there were two deer in the field as we came in!) and then get underway for our night sail. That gave everyone a chance to rest and warm up while enjoying dinner in the galley. We left Pulpit Harbor around 7 pm and were treated to a lovely sunset and the breeze picked up as it got darker and darker. We didn't set any speed records during the trip because we never really had a lot of wind but the fastest we went all trip was Wednesday night around 8:30 pm...6.6 knots. We sailed until shortly after 9 pm (Chris was glad to have people stay up a little later!), the clouds cleared away during the night, and we had lovely stars. We warmed the soap stone bed warmers after dinner and they helped take the chill off when we went to bed.

Dennis really seemed to enjoy the trip and mentioned more than once that he has been reading the blog religiously since March. I couldn't let him get away without posing for a picture with me so he could read about his trip and be on the blog himself!
Dennis and Capt. Brenda at the wheel.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fox Islands Wind Project

Pieces of three large wind turbines have been arriving in Rockland right next to the shipyard where we sail from. The road had to be filled and graded to protect the long pieces as they arrived on trucks. It was estimated that over 100 people gathered to witness the arrival of the first pieces.

There's no doubt that the segments are huge and it is interesting to be out on the bay and see the progress of the project. Last week we crossed paths with the Prock Marine barge as they were delivering more pieces to the project site on Vinalhaven.

This is the view we see from just about anywhere in East or West Penobscot Bay:


The crane is huge and the turbine tower is tall. Just two days after I took this picture we saw a second turbine tower on the other side of the crane even taller than the one in this photo.

To learn what they are up to, check out this article by Micah Conkling that appeared in the June issue of Working Waterfront:

http://www.workingwaterfront.com/articles/Construction-to-start-on-Fox-Islands-wind-project/13163/

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stitches (WARNING...don't look if you have an aversion to gross things)

Okay...so...a lot of what we do is inherently dangerous. We do everything we can to keep everyone safe. That doesn't mean that fingers don't get cut (most often in the galley), or bumps and bruises don't occur. Although these instances are rare, I was the most recent victim of a "boat bite" and ended up with five stitches in the middle finger on my right hand.

WARNING...these are not pretty pictures:

This is not a cut, it's a tear. I was throwing the yawl boat anchor out (as I have a thousand times before) as I arrived at our lobster bake. The small shackle pin that attaches the line to the anchor caught the meaty part of my finger between my first and second knuckle and tore it as I forcefully threw the anchor. I knew I had hurt my finger but figured it was a knick or a bruise until I glanced at it and saw nothing but white and red and a gaping hole. 1st Mate John was in the boat with me still and I said, "Oh. It's bad." I immediately balled my hand into a fist to apply pressure to the tear and held it to my shoulder to elevate it. I walked up the beach to Linda, a guest that I knew was a nurse, and showed her and it was immediately clear that I would need stitches. Bob rowed to the schooner to get my Neosporin and my logbook where I keep all the island clinic phone numbers. Margaret, another nurse on board, washed my wound with bottled water and dressed it with a non-stick pad and gauze (smartly splinting my wounded finger to my other fingers!) Thankfully I had cell service and was able to reach the clinic on North Haven (we were about two miles away) and they offered to pick me up at the ferry terminal and drive me to the clinic for stitches. Bob took me there in the yawl boat. Louisa and Dory at the North Haven clinic were fantastic and we were gone a total of two hours. In the meantime, the crew put on a fantastic lobster bake for all of our guests (whereas I normally do all the cooking) and when I returned everyone was happy.

Brian took this picture of me when I got home two days later.
It's swollen, it hurts, but I'm smiling!

The stitches come out in 7 to 10 days and I'm just hoping the swelling goes down so I can bend my finger again.

Peace!

The lobster bake island we visited last week had a varied collection of rocks. Some of particular interest had red lines on them. I like to collect rocks, shells, and sea glass and 1st Mate John and I started talking about all the interesting rocks on this particular beach. John suggested that we "draw" something with the red lined rocks and I suggested a peace sign. Here is John's creation. We left it on the beach and hope others see it!

Now, of course, we're talking about how cool it would be to have a geologist join us for a trip and explain what all the different rocks are and how they got here. Any geologists out there want to go sailing?

From the garden...


...to the boat....



I built two raised beds this spring and planted lots of fun stuff. I planted peas, cucumbers, radishes, zucchini, summer squash, lettuce, onions, lots of herbs, and lots and lots of flowers.

All of the cabins on the Evans have a small vase for fresh flowers. The vases are made in Maine by Marcia Berkall (a wood carver, potter, and the wife of a guest that has sailed the Evans many, many times) and are available for purchase in our Ship's Store.

We also have a hanging plant (picture in an earlier post) and a fresh arrangement that goes out with the buffet for each meal. This particular flower made it to the vase in the main cabin area where everyone could enjoy it. It's next to a picture of the Evans under full sail and a rack card holder where we have information about our other boat and free postcards and pens for guests to write to family and friends while they are on board.

Wildflowers from the edge of our property make it into the cabins too!

Little touches like these make our trips extra special!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Pirate Adventure Cruises

We've had lots of pirate play this summer on our Pirate Adventure Cruises. From costumes, treasure hunts, and sword fights, to earning "Honorary Pirate Certificates", kids of all ages enjoyed "pirate life" aboard the schooner.

To earn a pirate certificate, each little pirate has to satisfy some minimum requirements. They had to steer the boat, swab the decks, polish the brass, and talk like a pirate. Of course they did other things as well including helping raise sails, learning to tie knots, and even helping raise the anchor. They earned certificates with special pirate names. One guest shared some great photos of Angel "Bloody Boots" Orser from Florida:

at the wheel

steering the yawl boat on the way to the lobster bake island
with the Evans in the background

defending the boat
(that's 1st Mate John in a pirate captain jacket that I made)

and standing victorious!

Argggh Mateys!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Our Very Public Lives...

There's no other way to say it other than...I am no longer pregnant. I have vowed that if we are ever lucky enough to get pregnant again that I'm not going to say anything to anyone until we actually are holding a baby in our arms. This up and down is not good for our trips, our blog, our business, our minds, our bodies, our hearts, or our souls.

Our closest friends, and by now an extending group of people who care about us, know that three weeks ago today my water broke on the schooner and I was in the hospital that evening undergoing surgery. Our cook quit that same morning so I was faced with being the captain and the cook on the next trip just one day after being under general anesthesia and suffering a devastating loss. I know I did the job but I know I did not do it with much grace.

I owe huge thanks to my friend Bob who joined us and spent hours at the helm while I was creating chowder, kneading bread, and baking sweet yummy things in the galley. I owe thanks to everyone that sailed with us during those difficult days. The atmosphere on board was surely affected though everyone seemed to be very understanding. I also owe apologies to anyone that I was impatient with or anyone whose experience was tainted by the events in our very public lives. We humbly ask for your understanding.

Despite the challenges, we had some great food, experienced some great sailing, and visited some spectacular islands, and that will be the focus of the next blog posts!

The Plant Lives!

If you joined us earlier this season, you know that we had some challenging weather. We had lots of rain and lots of fog and very little sun. Our potted plant took a beating and seemed on the edge of death. Would you believe that the plant has made a spectacular comeback?!?!?! We all are thriving in the sun that we've had lately. I can't remember the last time I checked the 10-day forecast and saw nothing but sun, sun, sun, but that's what we've got now! This is what late summer sailing in Maine is all about!