The world has certainly changed since our last e-newsletter at the beginning of February. We had so many enthusiastic friends signing up to join us aboard, sometimes even for two trips!
At this point we have cancelled the trips for all of June and the first half of July. Those in late July, August and September are already quite full. If we have to cancel your trip, we'll either try to find a spot for you on a later one or refund any money you have deposited. We're contacting everyone shortly before the balance is due for their trip with an update of what's happening.
Many of you have lots of concerns and questions but still hope to come sailing. We hope to hear from our governor soon that the 14-day quarantine for out-of-state people will be rolled back and visitors will be free to enjoy all that Maine has to offer as soon as they arrive.
We're planning safety measures to use during our trips. Hand sanitizer will be readily available, and we're considering extra sinks on deck so we can all be diligent with our hand washing. There will be more frequent cleaning each day as well as additional cleaning between trips. Maintaining distance between others aboard will be a challenge but together we will be able to make it work. We're putting together some simple steps to follow below deck as well.
In anticipation of sailing at some point, we're going ahead with our usual routine of outfitting. Nick was here this winter and got a head start on various projects in the warm 'White Room'.
On May 3rd we hauled the schooner on our marine railway here at the North End Shipyard.
After a good powerwash and scraping, she got a fresh coat of bottom paint. Before launching, we took a minute for a crew picture. You may recognize everyone...Ben, Sean, Nick and Capts. Doug & Linda. Charlotte's now here, too. Other crew members are coming but haven't arrived yet.
Five days later, we launched her and pulled her back to her berth right where you come aboard.
The masts and rigging are pine-tarred, scraped, and greased. Most everything on deck has been freshly painted and varnished. The rest of the winter cover will come off soon so we can paint the rails. Today the crew is sanding and painting the hull.
Once we know when our first trip will be, we'll be ready to rig the lines and bend on the sails. She will look beautiful and ready to go.
Our crew has become a family group and have minimized socializing with other crews. Shary worked from home in April. She's been busy with phone calls and emails, as well as trying to find berths for guests on later trips when earlier ones have been cancelled. If you have questions or concerns, please give her a call.
Thank you to all who sent emails and cards recognizing our final season of sailing the Great Windship Heritage. Your sentiments about your time aboard have been amazing and we appreciate you having shared them with us.
We hope all of you are healthy and managing to get through this difficult time. Looking forward to seeing you aboard this season.
All the best,