19 July 2010

First Sails of the Year: Cat Cove Missions I & II

Friday and Saturday of last week featured the first LADY expeditions of 2010 proper.  Launched the preceding Sunday (11 July), along with her tender, LST 1081, most activity between Monday and Thursday consisted of bailing.  Indeed, the LADY is leaking more than usual this year, perhaps because of less aggressive pre-launch soaking.  Alternatively, it is possible that, in the five years since her original refit, the calking we installed at that time is due to be replaced.
Rigging took place on Thursday (7/15) afternoon and evening, but there was no time for a shakedown sail until Friday.  This was a successful run in its own right, but also the first of series of projected short voyages around the backside of Winter Island, into Cat Cove.  This sail was marred only by the unusually large amount of water taken on during the trip.  Time will tell if this remains a problem.
Saturday’s sail was largely unpremeditated and (in the event) abortive.  The next voyage is planned for tomorrow, Tuesday 20 July.

11 July 2010

Launch Day!

Very Exciting and (I think) a week or two earlier than last year.  LADY was launched at approximately 11 am, and immediately tried to convert herself into a U-Boat.  Decks were awash in a matter of minutes, and only her woodenness kept her afloat.  Later in the afternoon, about an hour and a half below high-tide, a party was sent to board the LADY and bail her, but was surprised to find her already sitting in the mud, and mostly drained—presumably in the same way she had filled, i.e. directly through the hull.

Plans to rig her up have been set for Thursday.  The mast is still awaiting a fresh coat of paint, and the sail has been in for alterations, and will be picked up then. .  Other changes in store for this season include a lazaret, and possibly sailing with Cathy.  Woohoo!  Will post photos soon.

12 June 2010

Adventures on Land

Most people who own boats have probably already made some pretty concrete plans about getting them in the water.  Over in Marblehead, the racing season is already well under way, and all the local harbors have filled right up with boats.  But as a schoolteacher and a poor multitasker, I can't get warmed up on the boat thing, until the school year is at an end—and that is still a few days off.
But the last few days have brought some interesting reminders to bear.  About a week ago, up in Gloucester, I saw a friend's Burgess design (ashore, which I found reassuring), the Bluenose.  A very pretty racing sloop, I can never remember the name of the class.
Then today, while driving through Marblehead, past Redd's Pond Boatworks,  I saw another Brutal Beast—one of the Lady's eight sisters from 1985.  At first I thought it might be the same beast that I saw being restored in Marblehead last summer, but Thad Danielson of RPB doesn't think so.  He was intimately acquainted with the history of that particular BB, and knew the whole story of how they came to be built, neglected and then sold.  He gave me the name of the owner, and who knows?  Maybe that will lead to a gam or a regatta.  Thad also let it be known that he has the plans to the Beast Class and can build them to order.
On returning home, it was time for spring foray into the interwebs for new information about Beasts or their designer, Starling Burgess. I was surprised to find that, according to online sources, Starling Burgess's most famous sailboat design, the J-Class Rainbow, is being rebuilt.  Besides the social commentary this might inspire (J-Boats were abandoned after World War II, as too expensive for even the super-rich to deal with; what does it say that we can rebuild them now?), it is a very  exciting news for fans of yacht racing history.  Rainbow was reputed to be the greatest J-Boat ever built, and if you have never seen a J, then there is no way I can describe how awe-inspiring they are. [Here is a link to the New Rainbow's homepage.]
So that's the armchair/laptop news for this spring.  Maybe tomorrow I can vacuum out the Lady, and slap some oil on her interior, and do some other tinkering.  And soon, I hope to be posting updates from our adventures on the water.