Captain's Log

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Panama-Finishing The Sail

Well, there we were, through the canal, the Picton Castle moored in hot steamy Balboa on the Pacific side of the Isthmus of Panama getting ready to shove off into the broad South Pacific Ocean, working hard to get provisioned and stowed, sailing time bearing down on us – and we had to get this new main sail finished for the legendary Sloop Mermaid and her Skipper of long renown, John Smith. The Mermaid is a 50’ wooden working sloop built in Carriacou without an engine in the 1960’s. So many like her were built for trading in the Grenadines, fishing and maybe once in a while a leetle bit of smuggling of rum, whiskey and cigarettes from St Barts before that island blew up and became a jet-set destination. Jutting bowsprit and a raking mast she is little different than the small pyrate sloops that once did their deeds o’swashbuckling in the isles of the Caribbees…

In Anguilla, with Captain Kevin Gray’s masterful help and encouragement, we got the sail cloth landed in from Doyles in Barbados. Then we immediately laid out and cut the sail and seamed it up on our big machine at Roy’s Place on the beach at Sandy Ground– we did the second layout there too right away in order to get the final dimensions and tableings – on the way to Bonaire, even though we did not know we were going to Bonaire, we sewed up the tableings and corner patches with our small machine – in Bonaire, with a nice clean dock available we got the big machine out and sewed on all the other patches, reef bands and the like – on the way to Panama the gang sewed in grommets by hand furiously even working on night watch on the quarter deck. Now we had to rope it and stick on the cringles. As it happens we had an equally nice large cement floating dock at Isla Flamenco complete with awning and light to work with. So Rebecca, Jo, Brad, Ollie, Nadia, Nadja and others got to it. And got done in time to toss it on a small hop plane with Ollie and WT to get it to the Mermaid at Boca Del Toro and bent on to see what it looked like. We think it will be a strong sail. Maybe a few too many barefoot prints on it, but that adds to the charm, John is a barefoot kind of guy, Mermaid is a barefoot kind of vessel…

Those who worked on this sail for the Mighty Mermaid are…

Rebecca Libby

Johanne Aase

Krista Watson

Julie Vermeer

Siri Botnen

Alex Moore

Nadja Nitschke

Meredith McKinnon

Brad Woodworth

Dan Rutherford

Logan Livingston

Paula Washington

Shawn Anderson

Dave Farrall

Leonard Weaver

Jimmy Gordon

Adrienne Bode

Georgie Lockwood

Kate Addison

Joani Cain

Clark Munro

Lauren Berdow

Nadia Vassos

Christian Barmettler

Maggie Ostler

Katelinn Shaw

Sophie Martel

Cheri Davidson

Jan Caselli

Davey Laing

Mike Weiss

Meredith Spratt

Joanna Clark

Via Christensen

Niko Griffes

Tammy Sharp

Tiina Randoja

Ollie Campbell

WT Simmons

D. Moreland

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