I cannot believe how much work is getting done on Mary Day! I’m convinced you will not find a harder working team of five on the eastern seaboard. We’re flying through our maintenance list but, as any sailor knows, the maintenance never really ends.
Last week started with paint, paint, paint. We covered the cabin houses, windows, and weatherboards in off-white; the bulwarks in a stunning crimson; the waterways in pearl grey, and started prepping the topsides for paint. By Friday, we were ready to take Mary Day’s winter cover off.
Stripping plastic off a boat may not seem very thrilling, but I was elated to see it go. Removing it made Mary Day feel like a boat again rather than a construction site. Captain Barry came down with his son too to help with the process. We took off the plastic in three large sections then downrigged the piping or “bows”. It all went very smoothly.
To celebrate, we went to our favorite bar called “Cuzzy’s” (the locals call it “scuzzy’s”) and closed it down – something I have not done in years. Cuzzy’s is great. They have a variety of beers, a good happy hour, ping pong, pool, darts, and wifi. It’s one of the few places I can go in Camden after work and still get on the internet.
Back on that boat that evening, I lingered on deck for a little while to watch shooting stars streak across the sky – it felt so perfect. I’ve been stargazing with my friends here, teaching them what I know, and we’ve been learning new constellations together. I can now find Leo quite easily, and Venus and Mars have been stunning.
Aloft on the Main – My Friend Confronts her Fear
Aloft. I love being aloft. Last Saturday, I got to spend most of the day above Mary Day’s cross trees. We were seizing on blocks and reeving lines in preparation for rigging the ship’s main boom. I spent all day with my head in the clouds – literally! That day, a grey fog hovered over the ship and town; more than once I had to clear my glasses of a fine layer of dew. Otherwise, I was perfectly focused on my lofty tasks.
My shipmate Jenny came up with me. She is afraid of heights but that did not stop her from doing her job. I am SO proud of her. Getting to just below the cross trees, she clipped in her harness and stayed for the duration of our work. She’ll be back up and above the cross trees in no time.
It was kind of heart-breaking to see her brow furrowed as she struggled through that experience. I know that feeling, the trembling limbs and mental numbness. I wanted to badly to help in some way, but there was little to do except stay close for support. She is such a strong woman, for so many reasons, and I was inspired by her bravery that day.
We got everything rigged aloft to hoist the main boom into place. With lifts, the throat halyard, and a come-along, we set the boom in place.
During a pause in our work, another “wow” moment washed over me – I started to think about how I came to be there, high in Mary Day’s rigging, and all the decisions that let me to those crosstrees. I thought of my friends and family back home, the distance I travelled to get there, and my new friends and my new boat. The alchemy of the feelings that hit me is hard to describe. It was part incredulity, marinated with a dose of gratitude, and a finished with a heafty portion of excitement. Thank you Universe for bringing me to this place.
Downpour Down East
Ironically, now that our cover’s off the rain gods decided to let us have it. The sky started unloading obscene amounts of water last night and has continued unabated to this very moment. I have to give it to the Maine Coast – it doesn’t mess around when it decides to pour.
But on a jolly note, they gave us Monday off! So here I sit at Zoot Coffee listening to smooth jazz while the rain continues outside. Today is a business day. I’m going to open a new bank account at Camden National Bank (their symbol is an anchor, how could I resist?), do laundry, and explore the Camden Library which is incredible! They have a subterranean level hidden beneath a historic building. So cool and so clever.
No, I haven’t gotten a new one… yet. I have been thinking for a while of getting the profile silhouettes of the ships I’ve worked on, right now Adventuress & Mary Day. They would include the ships’ sails and hull shape (Mary Day has a centerboard which is AWESOME).
The other thing I’ve been thinking about is Adventuress‘ hull lines. I’m going to be a boatbuilder after all and I think this is beautiful. It’s very likely that I’ll come back with something in ink from Maine – and I’ve been advised by friends to go to this fantastic artist in Rockland.
I’ve posted more photos to my Facebook album if you’d like to see them!