Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, great amount of work gets done, auxiliary steering is fitted. SILENT MAID is launched again after new varnish and changed back to cruising mode. I got a zodiac lesson, and then took stuff back & forth to BARNEGAT, who was moored off the dock. Hot and sweaty work, muggy weather, many trips to the trailer, boat, car, dock, sheds, and back. Gear sorted and re-stowed. Sail was swapped out, racing for cruising. They are both heavy. Lucky Liz and a friend just happened to be in Newport stayed for dinner and sweaty sail changing. PFDs go into a gear bag instead of the lazarette. Pete & I take cars to Woods Hole, leave one there and drive back to Melville.
Friday, SILENT MAID left Portsmouth, RI area with skipper and three crew aboard. The crew had a good breakfast, delaying the departure somewhat. All the "Are we there yet?" questions were answered with, "Well, we would have been if we left earlier." And he wonders where the moniker, Ahab, came from. Nice sail over, even though it rained most of the day. Overcast in the Narragansett, sail is set, starboard run all day. Light rain cools us all off at first, becomes steadier and colder throughout the day. Foulies broken out. Everyone gets a well deserved nap. In Buzzards Bay, we try out the new steering. Tackles are rigged from the stern deck to the rudder eye. We all take turns standing on the deck and steering using the handy billy lines. Great view from up on the deck. Lunch is served in the cockpit. Sailing along the Island chain, we all take turns with the binoculars, checking out flora and wildlife. I got to steer through Woods Hole after we took the sail in. Very squirrely currents, standing waves, and big wakes. Add the frequent ferries and much concentration was required. We meet our hosts, are directed through the tiny drawbridge, partake of offered showers, and then batten down. Spaghetti a'la Maid in the grand salon and then sleep comes easy as the rain thunders on the cabin top.
Sat. I get to dress ship! I love to do that. All the flags make her quite a spectacle. Foggy in the am. John runs the cabin heater to try and dry out all the rain soaked gear. It works, but is uninhabitable, sauna like, no, more like a sweat lodge. Pete takes MAID SERVICE out for a row around Eel pond and finds WERE HERE. One of my favorite boat names from literature. John leaves with the computer to find air and wireless. Lunchtime brings the sun and Jamaca & I hang out and gam with folks coming over to see the pretty boat. We invite all aboard and share her wonderfulness. Getting on and off by mid afternoon becomes more athletic as the tide drops and the seawall rises. In the afternoon we walk up to the town library where John gives a builder's talk about SILENT MAID and her relation to NJ catboats. It was a standing room only crowd, reception follows outside with juice & cookies. The skies break open again. I find a lovely example of a "Sarah Schottle" dress in the museum. Just the thing for yachting. The museum's boatshop is building a cape dory and a stitch and glue pram. Dinner follows with a delightful hometown crowd of museum supporters, artists all in one way or another. Science and art blend very well in Wood's Hole. A fresh caught striped bass dinner in an old cape house with lots of new friends is a nice way to end the day.
Sun. Off come the signals, out come the PFDs, and on come the guests. Sailing out through the hole three times with crowds aboard, those who want to steer,do, and foredeck crews are assembled and hoist sail. The ferries are moving objects to be avoided and the water motion is extreme. Under sail though, peace returns and SILENT MAID exhibits her best graces. I have to leave my shipmates and drive back to NJ and miss the last sail. Each was different conditions, illustrating the variability of weather and water condition's.