Spring is here, or so they say.
This was what the lawn in front of the Heritage looked like last week after the strong winter storm. If you look very closely you might be able to see the barrel planters that are on either side of the ramp during the sailing season, just to give you some idea of how deep the snow was.
And this was early this week. The snow has steadily disappeared although we just had another couple of inches. It's been a fairly mild winter overall but March has certainly reminded us of how bitterly cold and snowy it can be.
Capt Doug and Capt John have replaced the crane's wire cable, and when the picture above was taken, they were treating the wire with pine tar to protect it from the elements, just like we do with the schooner's rigging.
Next week the marine railway will be readied for the spring parade of schooners hauling out to paint below the waterline. Eight of the fleet are scheduled to spend time up on the railway between the first of April and the middle of May
Crew is starting to show up and we'll be working on the schooner by the first week of April. Bottom paint has been ordered, and several spools of rope, each holding 600 feet, should be arriving any day now.
In 1917, the four-masted schooner, Luther Little, was launched in Massachusetts. Retired from service less than a decade later she was sold at auction to an entrepreneur with a business venture that never materialized. She was aground next to the schooner Hesper in the Sheepscot River, in plain view of motorists crossing the Route 1 bridge in Wiscasset for more than sixty years.
In 1998 what remained of the two abandoned vessels was hauled off to the local land fill.
Luckily, pieces of the
were salvaged, and this past fall we were fortunate to acquire her dolphin striker.
To give you an idea of the size of the
Luther Little compared to the
Heritage, we've drawn arrows pointing out the
Heritage's dolphin striker, four feet in length, and the
Luther Little's, almost four times as long at 15 feet. In the picture it's sticking out over the tailgate of Doug's truck.
donated it to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. Doug snapped this picture of Linda at the main entrance of the museum before we and a few other people unloaded it from the truck.
It was immediately put on display in the blacksmith shop exhibit.
The exhibit not only includes the dolphin striker
but also a diagram drawn by Doug.
While we were there, we had a chance to visit with the museum's senior curator, Nathan Lipfert (in the photo below with Doug) about the exhibit.
If you are interested in maritime history and find yourself in Bath, we'd encourage you to visit the museum. Located right down Washington Street off Route 1, it's well worth the time.
The other day Linda pulled out the tray used for serving the Chocolate Course every day after lunch aboard the schooner. A chocolate is just the right amount of sweetness to end a delicious meal of hearty soup and homemade bread, fresh from the oven. Of course the cookies that the galley crew have baked help to satisfy the sweet tooth as well.
Shary and her helpful office assistant, Coco, have been hanging out at the office all winter. There's usually a quiet spell in February when Shary finds time to do some maritime research online. It makes for lively conversations during coffee break in the morning.
Phone calls to check availability are picking up. We have a couple trips nearly full and several over half. If you've been considering a trip this year, give Shary a call. She'd love to hear from you.
It's less than a week until Rachel's due date. We're looking forward with great anticipation to being grandparents. We may have to take a couple days away from spring outfitting to meet the little one.
We're looking forward to the coming season aboard. A little adventure and a whole lot of relaxation. Hope you'll join us.