After the launch

I assume that most people who take the time to read this blog have already seen the launch from just about every possible angle, so I won’t be posting lots of photos from that ceremony. In case you did miss it, there’s an excellent page from the Seaport’s site that gives a synopsis of the events as well as video of the complete ceremony.

The day started out with fast-moving patches of rain,

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but nothing that lasted long.

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We set up the chairs and bunting, removed some of the aft poppets, and went over the final preparations for the festivities, and then had our own small toast.

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Quentin said a few good words, offered a drink to the boat and one to Neptune. Boom! A huge thunderclap crashed across the shipyard just as he finished speaking. We all agreed, that was a good sign.

Sure enough, the weather cleared up, and the rest of the day was just right.

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The ceremony and actual launch went off without a hitch, and we are all in awe of the sheer magnitude of behind the scenes work and rehearsal it took to pull it off. Our hats are off to the administration for their efforts.

In the weeks and months following the launch, the women apprentices will all be scattering to the four winds. Launch day was a good time to get them all together for a group photo.

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They have been amazing. Sometimes visitors come through and remark that they’re surprised that we “let” the women work on the boat and we let them know that the women work as hard, if not harder, than any man in the yard. They dove into any task given to them, no matter how mundane or gnarly, without complaint and usually with a smile. They will be sorely missed.

And now, things have settled down. The boat is slowly swelling up and making less water every day.

She’s sitting very high in the water now, and it will be interesting to see how the addition of the rig will change that.

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The ballast will be adjusted over the coming months, and the final ballasting will be done next summer down in New London before she sets sail.

A lot more lead and concrete will go into the boat before she sails. Some of the crew have been carefully cleaning and repainting more lead pigs in preparation for the next round of ballasting.

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There is much yet to do before the Morgan goes sailing.

Up until now, the boat has never needed a functioning head, but that will change as she gets a crew and passengers. Bob has taken the lead in creating modular heads that can be easily assembled and disassembled (for when the boat returns to the seaport). These are some of the marine plywood panels that will make up the heads (including showers!) getting a good coat of sealer,

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followed by paint.

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Kevin has led a team of apprentices in re-canvassing and repainting the top of the hurricane house.

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Jeff has been working on a full-size mock up of the generator room down in the hold. Fuel storage for the generator will be in tanks below the room.

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This view is looking aft from about amidships.

We found that our wax/rosin mixture for filling spike holes in the forward bulkhead was softer than we’d like, especially during the bout of hot weather we had a few weeks back. Mariah and Ali have been cleaning out the old mixture and replacing it with a new mixture that uses a higher concentration of rosin.

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The next big push will be to get the spars and rigging in order. More photos of that soon. As a tease, here’s the lower foremast being laid out for the doubling.

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The doubling is a tapered square section of the mast where the topmast joins the lower mast.