Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strong and Back

Worked on the sink all morning, went to town to pick up some bronze parts. Stopped at Suzanne's to visit. Saw the winning BayBird STARLING on her trailer and three catboats in the shop all due out by July 4th. Wind brisk today. Had a great sail out to the lee beach on Strongs, wind too puffy to go out father. Thought I'd have to row home but kept riding the lifts on the puffs and made it back with only one tack. Did get help in the channel with the tide shift. Amazing. URCHIN usually won't point up enough to make it. The google map shows Quanset Pond in upper right and Strong Island center, new cut on bottom Right

Pleasant Bay Boats and Spars

Took Dad over to the boatshop here. The prizewinning Baybird STARLING is out front.

Quanset Pond to Strong Island to the Cut

Tues. June 29

URCHIN and the Kayak-boat, have a perfect day sailing out and back. Have a glorious reach out to the lee beach on Strong, where we find the pond has a salt break now and the North point is severely eroded. Out again to the Ocean beach, I can not best the current and the wind. Repeated tacks bring me to the same place, even though URCHIN is pointing up as much as she can, (which isn't her strong suit anyway). The current is so strong, running like the Delaware, I'd say. Even in the shallows. On the beach, it's 7-2 victory over the greenheads. Do you know there are no mosquitoes here on the Cape? but instead we have greenheads, deer flies, and biting gnats. Later after supper, Pete runs and I rollerblade along the rail trail in the dusk coolness, Orleans Center to Eastham & Wellfleet. Beautiful sunset over the marsh, and then the fireflies come out and the stars twinkle in the grass.

Mystic River to Narragansett River

Monday, June 28.
Left the seaport with six aboard SILENT MAID after a nice oatmeal & fruit breakfast on BARNEGAT. Love that boat. Through the bridges motoring, swing and lift, then hoisted sail with the new crew Peter Seigl and Tony Diaz. Lots of discussion around the navigation table and a fresh breeze. We had a lovely reach rolling up Block Island Sound to Point Judith and then ran up river with the dinghy MAID SERVICE surfing along behind us. Jibe and jibe again kept the mainsheet and backstay crews busy. Under the Pell Bridge and on up to Melville.

WoodenBoat Show 2010

Mystic, CT

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Again MiGi, Again

Siah's first row in URCHIN. He wore MiGi out so here here is with Opa.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Leaving Newport

Here is SILENT MAID in the slings after a new paint job and varnish touch ups. White socks for the crew to keep her nice. Left Melville, RI bound for the Block Island sound. Found some big swells out there and my nemesis returned. Well, it is not the third day (so much for that theory), the wrist bands did not work, and I have tried Dramamine and Bonnine. Tried JohnS'Bach's ginger drink too. So far the only really tolerable solution is discretely heave and then steer. Steering makes you focus on the telltales or the compass and the sail. Keeps your mind and eyes occupied, so you don't think about how yucky you feel. Really helps to stay out of the cabin too. We have a bit of lightning and I tell Max he's safe with me since all of us that have been hit once are more likely to be hit again, The sail is already down and I steer with one hand. Lots of cold rain. We miss the really strong winds thankfully. The malady seems to pass in a few hours and I feel fine by late afternoon, but maybe we have always reached more protected water by then. Up Mystic River, passing the railway swing bridge, then through the lift bridge. The MORGAN is on the hard being preserved. She looks absolutely huge out of the water. Colorful sunset. Red sky at night sailor's delight.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Not the Bay, but the boat. Motorcruiser BARNEGAT is a beauty. Designed by Henry Sheel. 1962, built by Stonington Boat. Wonderful to wake up in, she is serving as SILENT MAID's dorm while we are in the harbor at Mystic Seaport for the WoodenBoat Show. The harbor is like glass at five in the morning, clear and beautiful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Longest Day of the Year

Petey and I went cruising downriver against the tide. Began in the gloaming with all the colors of the sunset fading in the sky and on the water. I rowed down to Beverly Point against the tide while Pete chased down some swimming geese. I usually use my lantern on the centerboard case so it shines on my white t-shirt. This night I opted to turn it out because it attracted a cloud of gnats even a half a mile out on the water. At night there is little tourist traffic and the river is more serene. The lights on shore sparkle like colored sequins. The pull back upriver was pleasant. It is much nicer to go with my favorite buddy. It is much easier to deal with the railway with some one else running the engine. Much drier too.
Here is a route I would like to row this year.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Work & Sink

Landscaped the front of Atta Girl Boat shop most of today and did a bit of work on the sink. Sanding and small adjustments and then put some fairing compound on. Have one new part to attach, then sand and paint and work on the plumbing attachments.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Flipping back and forth, they are not twin sisters, yet sisters they be. And with the same name yet. This will be an item of confusion. The 1924 version is in the shop. She seems much longer to me, and could be as her sheer is flattened a great deal. There have been splices to lengthen her toerails. Her cabin is similar has the galley and head in the same places, yet has a much different feel than her new sister MAID. One reason is the liberal use of cream pain and bright cabin ceiling in the new boat, another is the use of warm red cushions rather than the cooler green duck.
Movie of new MAID sailing at Newport.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The old girl is back at the boatshop for some conservation work. She came down on a neat hydralic trailer and crew has her on dollies ready to roll into the shop. more boat yoga (sans mats) and a little practice with the rigger par excellance.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MARION Upgrade

Rick put all the screws back in MARION today. Found two cleats that will work. She looks good. I am going to try and bring her trailer by to make room for the Original SILENT MAID on Thursday.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bailing, In More Ways Than One

Last Night for the Monday work crew. Almost gathered things up and quit before they arrived, but come they did and we bailed all the boats on the basin, it rained and poured last night. Then looked for FISH STIX leak-s. Think she is leaking along chines at midships, at least thats where the rain water was leaking OUT. Took down the two tuck-up masts and Pete set up the spar lathe and while Paul and I rounded the other.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carbon Fiber

Spent the afternoon at ISM with shop friends talking about boats with visitors and working on the sink. Mounted the pump and am working out plumbing issues, there is a bit more layup work to be done and some finish filling and sanding.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Racing at the Dragon

Got a call this afternoon to please set aside my writing for a while and come racing since the field was short sailboats. Our Vice Commodore had scheduled a paddle sail relay race but was short a sailboat to make up a team. Lugger URCHIN barely qualifies as a sailboat with her 10' waterline and no ability for upwind sailing. I usually use the ash breeze. Well, spruce in our case.
She and I were given the OK for the oars and made our way down river against both tide and breeze ( nice by the way ~10-15), never would have made it to the mark otherwise. Passed the fish hawk's nest on the range marker, they've hatched a couple by the peeping going on. Rowed down past red 34 to await my champion. Teams had been assigned by blind draw. Stepped the mast, hoisted sail, hung the rudder, rigged the sheet and had a couple nice tacks reaching across the channel. Joe appeared and made a perfect baton hand-off and I was away upriver, running to catch the leader, STURDY BEGGAR III. No real hope, but the sail was great, thinking about Beggar's former owner, a great friend and patriot, water splashing aside, exercising that core balance stuff. Not pinching, thank you, John. Had almost a photo finish at the end, but the old FLYING FOY, renamed and reconditioned by the Frenches came screaming past for the second. A well spent afternoon on the water. Looks like SILENT MAID has had a couple of profitable racing days too. there is always something new to learn.

Friday, June 11, 2010

First Sail

Had URCHIN out tonight. Rowed upriver to the Power plant, Sailed down to Delanco Point and rowed back up to the dragon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

TORCH is On Her Way

The newly painted TORCH is on her way to the shore for another season of a-cat racing. Carolyn did a beautiful job. Her photo.
The shop is ready for a couple of new customers. A chase boat and the original SILENT MAID. One for conservation and the other for maintenence. Got some work done on the sink and the awlGrip came in. Lots of Tech briefs to read.

Check out the SILENT MAID blog.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CAD Class Tonight

Had some fun teaching AutoCAD tonight. Great group of students all contributing. Getting close to end of quarter. One more class then we're in for a little break. Time to move URCHIN off the hard and get MARION in the drink. Finished lettering her name on Monday night while Ed, PeteP and Paul sixteened and planed two tuckup masts.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Back on land again, it is near the end of quarter and the shop is busy. SILENT MAID is headed north to Newport. Had the best time motoring up the East River yesterday. Noticed that the pumps were running more than usual when we were motoring. John and John tracked the leak down to the transom and the keel. JB caulked it with string and a screwdriver. How cool is that, so resourceful. Slowed it down a lot. Made egg salad for lunch. BARNEGAT caught up to us with Henry and Sam aboard. Put the sail up in 20+ knots, two reefs in first. She is a lot to handle and the helm was heavy, but I am not a bit sore today. Tonight MARION will get her name.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oyster Bay

Sailed SILENT MAID up Long Island Sound today for a bit after motoring through Hell's Gate . Came all the way driving from the Battery, under the Brooklyn Bridge. All the cable for that bridge was made about 10 miles from my house in NJ. The slag from the furnaces still lines the bank of the River. We were chased by a storm. Three of us on board, so I got to drive a lot, while the guys were busy with reefs (we put three in before they doused the sail) It was so fun. We are rafted up with BARNEGAT now in the cove. It stopped raining.