Monday, May 31, 2010

Benefit Day Sail Aboard the Schooner Isaac H. Evans

Our season has officially started! We went sailing yesterday with a full boat of happy guests. We raised sails and over $1,500 for the St. George Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Association. They provide volunteer firefighting services to the Town of St. George and assist other nearby towns by providing mutual aid when necessary. They are also the last truly volunteer ambulance service in the area; personnel are not compensated, patients are not charged, and the Ambulance Service is not supported by the town or other taxes. Donations from the community are their sole source of funding for medical supplies, training, and more.

We are grateful for everyone that joined us as well as for the local businesses that donated items to make our lunch simply fantastic! They include:

The Brown Bag - cookies
Home Kitchen Cafe - fish chowder
Dean's Flower Shop and Liberty Farms Greenhouse - hanging basket
Rock City Coffee Roasters - coffee and cups
Atlantic Baking Company - bread
Rockland Cafe - shrimp pasta salad and pumpkin cheesecake
Hole in the Wall Bagels, Inc. - bagels and cream cheese

The forecast was for west to northwest winds 15 to 20 knots with gusts to 25. We tucked a reef in the main before departure and we had a comfortable sail out into the bay before heading back into the harbor and tacking a bit to train the crew. Lunch was great, the sun was shining, and we were sailing along at a respectable 7.3 knots. We also unveiled our new crew shirts. It was a perfect start to what is going to be a great season!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 50

We started the day by cleaning the dock building and laying down a piece of plastic to keep all the items clean that we were bringing out of storage. The mattresses came down out of the sail bin as well as all of the galley equipment.

Margi started the day by taking her drug test and then, with her sister Vicki's help, cleaned the galley and started sorting through all of the galley supplies. They sorted through our pantry and boxed up dry goods to move to the shipyard.

Bob fixed our faulty bilge alarm as well as a tentative connection on the port running light.

My Brian, Brian C., and Gregory loaded our anchor chains.

We moved the yawl boat out of the garage and near a water source and near the crane where it will be launched. She started right up but I noticed a tiny leak in the water pump. Brian went off to pick up a new one. I installed it and everything looks great now. I wove some new rope into our puddening and it looks great now for the front of the yawl boat.

Brian and I installed our new fire pump and we'll test it in the morning.

Emma sanded and primed the rocking chair and helped clean the galley.

Brian C. and Gregory sanded cabin doors and then spent the afternoon painting.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 49

A day off for the crew and a day of office work, paperwork, cleaning, and organizing for us. We went shopping for a variety of supplies and bought 30 new pillows for the cabins and new sheets too!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 48

Today was our Wednesday because we took the day off due to the weather. We made up for it today. We finished scraping the deck and gave everything a good rinse. While the deck dried, Brian C. went off to his other job and Gregory and Emma painted below in the cabins. Brian changed the zincs on the yawl boat and I painted the water line. I removed all the silicone seals around our deadlights and resealed them just to make sure there are no leaks. Brian and I oiled the deck in the afternoon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 47

We spent the morning going over how the training we received yesterday applied to the Evans and what each crew member is responsible for in the case of an emergency. We brought all of our life jackets down to the boat. We had our Coast Guard deck inspection where the inspectors verify all of our paperwork, check all of our safety equipment, and basically look at everything on the boat. The pull cord on our fire pump broke when we tried to demonstrate its use so they will come back when we have that repaired.

After lunch the crew scraped the decks and almost finished by the end of the day. My Brian put a new starter in the yawl boat and delivered the spares to be rebuilt. I painted the topsides on the yawl boat.

We launched Rebecca and Daniel today. Brian rowed them to the schooner and we raised them in the davits.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 45

I had been looking forward to today for a while and I'm glad our schedule allowed us to attend the Coast Guard Small Passenger Vessel Emergency Preparedness Workshop. During this day-long training in Belfast, all of our crew members were able to handle life-saving equipment and learn about how to handle different emergency situations that may arise on board. The Coast Guard organized a valuable event for us and we even made the news!

There were over 50 people that received the training. We separated into groups and rotated through several different stations.

First, we got to see a life raft be deployed and inflate. This is a 4-person raft and it inflated in seconds....then four of us climbed in. It was snug to say the least! Not someplace I'd want to spend too much time.

Then we learned about life jackets; donning, proper storage, marking, and what the Coast Guard looks for during inspections.

Next was the life ring station where we saw a couple different types of life rings and strobe lights. We all had a chance to toss the life ring. We were aiming at our "victim"; an orange traffic cone. Although we all would have been close enough to save our victim, my Brian came the closest to getting the ring over the top of the would have been a point in horse shoes!

Our next station was flares! We learned about the differences and how to use them before we all were able to choose a flare and light it. In this picture all the way to the right, Capt. Bill (Rendezvous) holds a night-time red flare. Brian C. has a day-time orange smoke flare. Then you can see my Brian with a red flare testing what they said about trying to put it out in the dirt. The flare would extinguish but then start right up again. Margi, Gregory, and Emma are in the background with their flares.

Then we went to the bilge manifold station. We don't have a bilge manifold on the Evans or on Rendezvous but we learned about pumps and how much water can come in through even a small hole.

In the next station we got hands-on training in using random items to stop leaks in what I call the "leak tank".
Here Brian and Emma use wooden wedges and a hatchet to try to stop water from flowing out of a split pipe.

And they did it!

While Gregory slows the flow from a split rubber hose.

At the next station we learned about reporting and drug and alcohol testing in the event of a serious marine incident.

Then we moved on to see and use the big pump the Coast Guard delivers in the case of a boat taking on water.

Our last station was learning about fires and fire extinguishers. There was a Rockland fire fighter on hand to tell us all we needed to know. We each took turns putting out a fire.

It was a very informative day and we'll all be more prepared for any emergency that arises on board.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 45

It was raining and miserable so we took the day "off". Well, all of us except for Brian C. who stayed and scraped the foredeck. It was too wet to sand and paint anything. Office work, paperwork, and cleaning were the order of the day for me and my Brian.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 44

We bent sails today! All five of them! The topsail and the mainsail both still need some work but they are on the boat and mostly done.

Brian C. did the jib. Emma did the staysail. Gregory did the foresail. I did the topsail (until it became too windy to continue). My Brian tended all of us while we moved from one grommet to the next. My Brian and I did the mainsail late in the afternoon.

But that's not all...Brian C. and Emma gave Tug a second coat of varnish. They also varnished Rebecca's sheer strake. Gregory, my Brian, and I all varnished pieces in the varnish room. Gregory painted Daniel. Bob fixed a life-line stanchion and put the finishing touches on our new radar!

Emma working on the staysail.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 43

Emma, our mess mate/deckhand, started today! That meant a drug test first thing followed by painting deck boxes and varnishing Tug with Brian C.

Gregory sanded Daniel.

Bob worked on the new radar.

I fixed a rot spot in the corner of one of our deck boxes. I simply chiseled away the rotten wood and epoxied in a new piece. We'll sand that and get it painted.

My Brian and I varnished and tested our fire pump again. We discovered a tiny leak that I need to investigate further.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spring Outftitting - Day 42

Sunday; a day off for the crew but no rest for the owners! We painted Rendezvous today. The boats seem to be getting bigger and bigger and bigger and need more and more paint!

Brian put a third coat on the galley sole as well as another coat on the ice box lid.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 41

Saturday; a day off for the crew but not for us. We prepped the topsides on Rendezvous, or should I say, we attempted to prep the topsides. We were puttying the seams for a while when it started to sprinkle. We kept going until that sprinkle turned into a downpour. The sky looked like it was going to clear but it kept going even though we sat in the truck to wait it out. We decided to go to the shipyard and do the varnishing that needed to be done and head back if the rain stopped. I got a second coat on Rebecca while Brian varnished the ice box. We headed back to Rendezvous and the sun was out...until we started puttying again! The clouds moved back in and it started to rain again so I threw in the towel. I went home and planted the seedlings in the garden while Brian put another coat of poly on the galley sole. Not bad progress for a Saturday and for fighting the weather a bit.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 40

Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 39

Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.
Sand and paint.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 38


You've probably guessed it by now...we painted today! Touch ups included:

-second coat on the top of the head house
-second coat on some margin planks
-several doors
-log rail

My Brian painted the covering board.

Brian C. went aloft with some non-skid paint to apply to the top of the cross trees. That will give Gregory some traction when he is working aloft. I used the non-skid to create the stripe by the break at the foredeck.

Gregory cleaned lots of tar off the jib boom and several other surfaces.

Brian C. and Gregory sanded more of Tug's varnish.

Brian and I worked in the varnish room late in the day and applied the final coat of varnish on two ladders, the rudder, and the tiller.

Brian primed some small pieces while I started the varnish on three of our deck boxes.

Brian also put a coat of poly on a piece for cabin #5.

I installed the navigation box, radio, depth sounder, and compass.

Our new fore sheet. So white!

And Margi and Vicki came by with galley goodies. They've been putting a lot of thought into ways to make the Evans experience even better and here's some fun stuff they've picked up:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 37

Today's spring outfitting success story is brought to you by The Renovator's Supply, Inc. I was working on the water system and discovered that our brass shower fixture was cracked. I ordered a replacement and selected the free shipping (brass is heavy!) I was told the shipping would be 7 to 14 days. Well, I ordered the replacement yesterday around 10:30 and it arrived TODAY before lunch! Amazing! I installed it this afternoon and the water system is now up and running! Thank you Renovator's Supply!

We also completed some more painting projects:

-second coat of varnish on main cabin house
-main boom jaws
-more painting in the cabins
-a touch up spot on the fore boom
-the nav. box door
-a bulkhead for cabin #5
-port quarter bit

The radar pole was installed in anticipation of our new radar being hooked up!

Lots more touch-ups to go plus side boats and deck boxes.

Spring Outfitting - Day 36's winter again? It was 39 degrees this morning! Thankfully I didn't plant my seedlings over the weekend like I had planned. They are sitting comfortably and warm in the kitchen. The upside-down planters are hanging from the shower curtain rod in the bathroom!

Gregory and Brian C. painted the blue strip around the boat today as well as all the bristol beige on the foredeck (after sanding it again). Brian C. finished painting the strong back so we'll be able to rig the yawl boat falls tomorrow.

The port quarter bit was sanded and primed.

Bob and I removed the two batteries in the below-deck bank to clean them and the box they sit in. Bob continued working on cleaning connections and replacing wires. Bob also changed some connectors on our running lights and cleaned contacts and now all of our lights are working. Our starboard light box is up and I put the finish coat on the port light box before I went home so we may be able to hang that one tomorrow.

My Brian and I worked on replacing the fore sheet and the jib halyard with new (bright white and lovely!) 3/4" spun dacron. I did the splicing and whipping after we cut the appropriate lengths. Both are now rigged. We also rigged the centerboard. Now all we have left for rigging is fairlead blocks and the yawl boat falls. Well...and sails, of course!

I varnished the shower fixture mount (final coat I think!) I also replaced the sprayer next to the galley sink so the water system is getting closer to being done. I've ordered a replacement shower fixture and am waiting for that to arrive before I pressurize the system again. Hopefully that will be the last step.

We all took our Coast Guard-required drug tests today.

My Brian and I reviewed our progress at the end of the day and made a list of what still needs to be done on deck. We came up with a page-and-a-half list that may take two or three days to complete. Then we need to see what else needs to be done below and with the side boats...another two or three days (or more)? Oh, and somewhere we need to fit in another two or three days on our other boat too. We're watching the calendar pretty closely right now. May 30th is approaching quickly!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 35

Sunday! Mother's Day. I called and/or emailed some special moms that I know. And, of course, talked to my mom (the Best Mom Ever!). Izze gave me a card with his paw print on it as his signature....very cute!

Brian and I spent the day working on our other boat; M/V Rendezvous. It's crazy enough getting one boat ready for the season but finding time to get a second boat ready too is super crazy. Especially when all we really want to do is get caught up on laundry and house cleaning and maybe take a nap!

Despite the cold, windy conditions we were able to sand the entire topsides and get primer on the bare wood spots. We also have a deck plank to replace and I was able to get the old plank out and clean up the spot in preparation for the new one.

It doesn't sound like much but it was a long day.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 34

It's Saturday and it rained. Brian C. and Gregory had the day off and my Brian and I decided to go visit my mom for Mother's Day. I's a day early but the weather is in charge of this decision. The cool thing is we surprised my brother knew we were going to visit and I asked him not to spill the beans. When we arrived we let Izze go in first to let everyone know we were there. We had a good visit but headed back so I could spend an hour at the shipyard getting some more varnish on the rudder, tiller, and the deck box cover. I also finished the starboard running light box.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 33

The sun shone bright today and, despite gusty winds, we painted, painted, painted! I finished the blue on top of the log rail while my Brian painted the red on the inside of the log rail and covering board. Brian C. and Gregory painted the white on the topsides and, after lunch, painted the strong back (board that goes across the top of the yawl boat davits) and cut in the gray on the topsides for a nice line between the gray and the white that they had just painted. I painted more blue up forward between the two cat heads and prepped the margin planks on the main cabin. Brian C. and I painted those late in the afternoon.

I was thankful to move inside out of the wind to get some varnish on a deck box cover, the rudder and tiller for Tug, and the wooden mount for the shower fixture as well as painting the light boxes.

We're hoping for more good painting weather next week!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 32

Rain kept us inside most of the morning but progress was not slowed as a result. Gregory and Brian C. worked on the varnish on Tug 'n' Grunt.

She's going to look great this year!

While my Brian sanded deck boxes and the rudder and tiller from Tug.

I filled water tanks and pressurized the water system. We're in pretty good shape with some minor fixes still on the to-do list. I need to replace a couple leaky gaskets and the sprayer next to the sink in the galley. Then I'll hook up the shower and the water system will be complete.

My Brian put the third coat of varnish on these ladders.

And I put the final coat on this box and one deck box lid as well as the first coat on the rudder, tiller, and another deck box lid.

I also managed to paint the hawse pipes and chain brake and put the final coat on the gold stripes on the dolphin striker.

My Brian painted an important piece for the lobster bake (a metal cross piece that holds the lobster tub on top of our fire pan - he used a special high-temp spray paint) and I painted the chart weights (gold spray paint so they look like gold bars!) and metal rings for the lights in the heads.

Of course, crew lunch is always on a rainy day so we had lunch at the Rockland Cafe today. I had a pulled pork sandwich and french fries with pumpkin cheesecake for dessert!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 30 & 31

Varnishing, sanding, and painting has occupied all of our time over the last two days.

The log rail and the stanchion rail was sanded and primed yesterday and painted today. I forgot to count the stanchions (Trevor, do you remember how many there are?) but my guess is that there are about 40 of them.

The yawl boat davits were sanded and painted and the strong back was sanded and primed.

The main boom was sanded and painted yesterday and then a shower came along making it necessary to do it again today!

The white on the topsides was started. The white on the dolphin striker was painted yesterday and the first coat of gold was painted today.

Bob worked on the electrical system, cleaning connections, reinstalling the generator, etc.

Brian sanded and varnished two more ladders.

Brian sanded the chain brake and the buffalo rail then primed everything. We had such good weather today that the primer dried quickly and he was also able to paint the buffalo rail. I used a metal primer and coated the hawse pipes.

I varnished several small items; the boxes that go in the heads to hold spare toilet paper, hatch grates, and such.

We did a major cleaning at the end of the day today in anticipation of rain. We basically have two weeks to go and a long list of things still to do. If it rains for two weeks, we're in trouble!

Wordless Wednesday - photo credit Fred LeBlanc

Monday, May 03, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 29


We still have a lot of painting and cleaning to do but we were anxious to get the rigging started so that's what we did today. With Bob's help we had the topmast up and the main boom swung back into its normal home by 11:30.

The topmast is up!

After lunch we rigged the lifts, the main sheet, the watch tackle, the anchor burton, the main throat and peak jigs, the flag halyards, and all but one of the halyards. We also brought all the remaining spars on board.

What does that leave?

-jib halyard (replacing the line this year)
-fore sheet (also replacing the line)
-davits and falls for Rebecca, Daniel, and Tug 'n' Grunt
-fair lead blocks
-staysail and jib sheets
-and probably a few other things that I've forgotten to list right now!

Do things look different in this picture? (compared to Friday)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Spring Outfitting - Day 27 & 28

Weekend! The guys are getting some much needed rest and so are we! No shipyard work is planned.

The house is a disaster area and there are piles of outfitting clothes to wash. I brought the gold ball for the top of the topmast home to paint here so it would be ready for rigging on Monday. Other than that...Brian mowed the lawn and I dealt with plants...lots of them. I've been thinking about growing some upside-down plants for a while and found a do-it-yourself version online. All you need is a 2-liter bottle, an eye hook, and some duct tape. Really - duct tape! Who can resist a project that uses duct tape?!

Especially green and pink duct tape...

...and tie-dye duct tape...

...and even bright orange duct tape!

On Saturday, we welcomed May by firing up the grill and having burgers and veggies. On Sunday, we went for a morning drive. We had breakfast at Moody's Diner (Brian's first time there!) and then drove to Pemaquid Point. We had the whole place to ourselves and it was gorgeous. I haven't been there by land (I've sailed by more recently) since the early 90s when I stayed at Hotel Pemaquid (very nice, BTW).

We also planted a raspberry, a rose, and mulched our four decorative trees and all of the shrubs.

Peas, please!

And corn.

The upside-down plants are two different kinds of tomato and one pepper. They've only been in their upside-down homes for a couple days and they have already turned their leaves over! It has been cool to watch them slowly turn and adjust to being upside-down!