A slice of May

We’ve been pretty busy as you might imagine. The blog has suffered from long days at work, but I’ll try to give a blast of what’s been going on over the past 3 or 4 weeks.

We head downriver this Saturday, 5/17 at 9:15 am, weather permitting.

The systems have been going in at a dizzying pace. I can’t even begin to explain it all. Shore-based electrical, generated electrical, fire and bilge pumps, navigation electronics, multiple voltage electric lighting, potable water, heads, fire sensing, the list is quite long and exceedingly complex. Suffice it to say, we’re prepared for all manner of hazards.

Nathan has made all the mast boots.

Here’s the mizzen:

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The fore. Those are Spider Bands above the boot. They hold belaying pins that anchor various ropes.


Normally I try to organize these by project, but in the interest of time, let’s take a chronological walk through May.

Early on, cold, dreary. Lots of floating staging set up for various projects.


One of these projects is making channels that capture the chain plates. In this photo, the chain plates bend over yellow pine stand offs that hold them away from the hull. The channels will go over these stand offs and have slots cut in them for the chain plates to pass through. You’ll see these later.

The sails arrived!! Cassie and Nick are admiring them. Honest.


We’ve covered them up to keep them clean.

Each of the whale boats has been getting a new coat of paint and other touch ups. Here’s Tim working on one.


The rigging work can’t be slowed down by rain. Alex sets up a work station under a tarp by the windlass up forward.


Rigging rigging rigging.

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The try works got new corner braces. These will be painted black to blend in.


Trev has been working on the trim around the heads. These will provide ventilation above the heads, and mimic the ventilation above the officer’s cabins.

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He has three to make, so he stacks them and works on all three at once to save time and to guarantee that they are identical.

Rob and Ali have been working on the bronze backing plate for the eagle that will be mounted on the transom.


Chris has made book shelves for the nav room. One has a sperm whale cutout. It’s much nicer than this photo conveys.


More deck work. Some leaky seams have been identified, reefed out, and re-caulked.


Then comes the hot tar to seal it.


A caulked seam ready for tar.


Jamie has loaded up the tar funnel and is ready to go.


The tar bubbles as it heats up the air trapped in the oakum below.

The mizzen topmast was raised by hand. Here are Sara and Matt working the windlass to haul on the heel rope.

In case you’ve never seen this done before, Dean made a model a while back of how this works.


Here he is demonstrating it.

Nick and Alex were up on the mizzen to add hoops and other rigging as the topmast came up through the cap.


Ryan manned the fire hose during a test of the fire pump.

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It was pretty awesome.

You saw the oil truck delivering diesel earlier. Scott made sure that there were no spills on the deck.


We loaded in a LOT of anchor rode.


John made two new new chain lockers up forward. We moved five shots of chain per locker (at 1,080 lbs per shot) from the main locker to the new lockers. We did this to help trim the boat.

The chain is being grabbed with long forged chain hooks.

Tiring work.


The riggers have been working late every single night. If you come by the ship, give them some love. They deserve it.


Matt has built a new Dorade box (air vent) for the ship. This will mount just aft of the main mast, where the old manual pumps came up through the deck.


It looks like this now, very subtle.

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Part of the new rigging over the bowsprit. The hand ropes will make it safer to go forward, and sails will be lashed to this as well.


Those channel covers have been finished up.  They look like this:


More soon!