While the breeze has remained light it is starting to show signs of filling in again and we are expecting more to come in the next few days.
As we move back to the western side of the ocean we can expect the winds to become more variable in direction and much stronger. As a result we have begun switching back to the stronger suit of canvass that we had sent down after leaving La Rochelle, about 3,000nm ago. Today saw both Lower Topsails shifted in good time. The crew, having spent a lot of time in the rig this passage, is getting good at getting things done. A satisfying thing indeed for all onboard. In the coming days as the weather permits we will be shifting out the Courses, Upper Topsails, Spanker and Inner Jib.
The Carpenters are keeping busy replacing bits and pieces of wood about the ship as well as getting busy with some deck caulking. We have also started making a new Main Boom for the ship’s MONOMOY.
Our MONOMOY is a 23′ pulling boat that sits in the port davits while at sea. This boat was once a common type of rescue boat in the US Life Saving Service and our boat was part of that service, being built in the 1940’s and used at a station somewhere on Cape Cod. It was given to the ship by Capt. Bob Douglas of the Schr. SHENANDOAH and despite its age is in remarkably good shape, having now giving us many years of excellent service.
While it is easy to argue that no one really needs to know how to row a boat any more, this boat is a large part of our program. Tt has been thought for a long time, by many mariners, that the awareness and teamwork required to run a pulling boat are at the very foundation of seamanship. We believe this strongly too and make good use of the boat whenever we can in port or at anchor. Our boat also has a sailing rig, allowing us to use her for another very important function – teaching sailing. Odd, one might think, for a sailing ship to need a boat to teach sailing with, but it is true that someone might sail as a hand in a larger ship for many years and never really learn to ‘sail’. So we also take the time to get our crew sailing the boat whenever possible. While the mechanics and the man power may be very different between the ship and the boat the principles and the ‘feel’ are the same. With the quick reactions to wind and sea required to get the boat to make ground it is the perfect opportunity to teach these principles in a way that they can be seen and felt very quickly. (The great secret to all of this is that sailing the boat is actually a lot of fun too).
So here on our long passages we have the opportunity to care for our 70+ year old boat in an effort to get good service out of her for years to come.
SHIP’S WORK: Send down Lower Topsails ‘C’ & ‘F’ and bend Lower Topsails ‘G’ and ‘NZ-13’; wrap up open spot painting and slushing jobs; clean out carpenter’s workshop as well as clean and sharpen tools; re-stow oars and gear in MONOMOY; Sailmakers close in on the new Upper Topsail with rope cover on the head and foot and seizings on the clews.
FROM: La Rochelle, France
TOWARDS: Quebec, Canada
TIME ZONE: ZD +1
NOON POSITION: 35°05’N / 040°46’W
DAYS RUN: 53nm
PASSAGE LOG: 2990nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1392nm
COURSE AND SPEED: W x N, 2.5kts
WIND: S x W, Force 2 – 3
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with cirrus and alto cumulus, air temp: 25°C, water temp: 25°C
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: SW’rly, 1 – 3ft
SAILS SET: All Sail, except Studding Sails