Slant Nautical

Posted on October 29th, 2010 by admin in Bar Tools & Accessories

Slant Nautical
Slant Nautical

Sailing with Pride

Jane Meneely

It occurred to me that I might faint. View my only son climb the rigging aboard the Pride of Baltimore II as we sailed from Norfolk was so overwhelming that I was afraid that I pass as a diva of the film B and hit the deck hard. And if that happened, my son would be mortified undoubtedly scarred for life. But it was a test for both. I looked away as Stewart ran to the rig after the crew furl the main course. And did not faint.

We headed south at full speed, hoping to whip each other schooner boat fleet during the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner race in October. Sixteen-year-old Stewart had agreed reluctantly to participate in what their age could only have dreamed of, there was no Pride Baltimore then. But he had achieved in the smooth and bent down to with a will that was a joy to behold, well, except when he slipped to the neck. You see, I'm deathly afraid of heights. Death, knee knockingly fear of heights. Just looking at the mast of a ship as pride gives me chills. God forbid I should look out and see my baby sitting there as if leaning against a corner post. No matter, I said, looking carefully at the compass front of me and keep my hands hard on the head. For this reason I wanted to come.

When Stewart was born, his father and I had promised to Jan Miles one of the co-captains of Pride and a friend of mine from high school days. Jan could have it for a year, had told us before going to college. Naturally, Stewart grew up hating everything from traditional tall ships. He liked the mechanical advantage of lathes, to begin with, and which flourished in the fumes and noise of internal combustion engines. Navigating the pride of Baltimore, announced a high school graduation approached, was for the birds. I tried to convince you that our firm on board the Pride of Great Schooner Race was the opportunity of a lifetime, but he did not believe me. He preferred to go to school missing from your calculus test would be an unspeakable difficulties, that in view of what your father and I pay for tuition was criminal to suggest even miss a couple of days (I admit, that argument was quite convincing). But I played the motherboard and signed him anyway. It was only four days, not a whole year, I said, and if you really did not like, that would be the end of the same. He could join the rat race like everyone else.

And so his father (who is mortifyingly sick and therefore had asked out) fell on the cover of Pride of Baltimore way too early on the morning of the race. Stewart and spit and sputtered and fumed and generally poisoned the air around them: the revenge of a child, masterfully delivered (not far behind him.) And I really wondered if I had made a mistake in "forced" to come along.

Thus began our journey together.

My trip had actually begun the previous day, on Wednesday afternoon. Probably half of Fun schooner race is the Parade of Sail and the island in Baltimore, so I arrived in time to board the Pride with the full contingent of office AG Edwards Baltimore, proudly invited to the parade. (The offices of pride in the World Trade Center Baltimore and had been sprayed into oblivion by Hurricane Isabel. AG Edwards, a financial consulting firm, had generously offered temporary office space, and now the ship was to thank.)

Unfortunately, the wind was too windy, so the parade of sail was canceled. But Captain Jan set anyway. After all, a boat and pride is built for wind. Whitecaps shone through the inner harbor. A bright sun slanted behind Fort McHenry. The sky was a deep cobalt blue, with just a spot or two clouds. We have been engines of Fells Point and the team struggled guns of the ship at the port of firearm. "Fire in the hole!" We plugged our ears as a geyser of fire and sparks shot of what is literally a hole in the rear of the barrel. Then, Kaboom! We just put a shot in the Spirit of Massachusetts arc figuratively, of course. She was the Pride's main competition in this race, and had been put on notice.

With like a breeze, the boat did not need candles to scroll through the water. Full bore penetrated the wind as it slipped past the green wall of Fort McHenry. I looked behind me and tried to imagine the Baltimore harbor without tall buildings, but extends to the docks along the shore below the fort. I tried to imagine Fort McHenry when the door was effectively controlled the port and shipping up and down the Patapsco River. If I looked a bit to make things fuzzy and out of focus, which could in turn increase the slope of the Canton of spring on a hill in small houses where the workers of the shipyards of Fells Point experienced. What view should have had from gabled windows.

The crew had raised his arm and was enough to lift the bridge key. A tanker coming from the Bay and the tug Mary Krause idle near the canal. Now we were on the bridge and looking back at Baltimore, the city seemed smaller, more scale with my imagination. Campanula appeared in the sky. The downtown skyscrapers were hidden.

Our afternoon sail making, the team retired the party held under giant canopy Bohager Fells Point. A crowd of the crew of the schooner captains, support staff, a variety of significant others and dogs hungry street had gathered to eat large amounts of food and drink prodigious amounts of beer. To be admitted, I was told I had to use my jersey Schooner Raza, an issue long sleeve with a schooner John Barber scene printed on the front. It was cold enough, however, I wore a sweatshirt of the same, so it comes through Bohager door, they told me the shell. Of course, I had not had any amount of beer, however, prodigious or otherwise, but are transported back to the days of my wayward youth, I was very flattered. Had been so long since anyone had asked me the shell, and I told him. It was like being carded, at my age (one tube last 50), it is always a compliment. It just meant I had to lift my shirt so they could check shirt. Well, take it you can get.

Crept up to the bar, I met Bill Oliver, once a partner in the fatal China Sea Marine Trading Company, before Fells Point (Where the Fells Point Maritime Museum is now), and now Oliver Ale brewing and pubs owner of Wharf Rat. As expected, the greatest tap behind the bar hit a barrel of his special Ironman Pale Ale. This was a good thing, because Al Oliver is like mother's milk. You just do I have to live well. And tonight is a free flow ask. It took me a while to get my first drink, I was not the only online.

Then I was on stage singing with the company of the ship chanteyman Jim Rockwell (music of the sea, of course) and in the afternoon it was removed. More music, more food. And finally, the crowd dispersed and went to tugantine Lane Briggs, Rebel Norfolk, Broad Street Pier and sang some more. More. Then the sun came out and staggered back to our boats, some to sleep it off, some to be greeted by sullen teenagers.

Breakfast this morning was a simple meal of strawberries and muffins. Laura Morrissey, cook, and was ready, and I had volunteered to help in the kitchen. One of my fantasies is to be a chef on board a sailboat. I would not mind being a deckhand, but pulling halyards and braces and leaves in the early morning hours can be tedious. And truth be known, could not, could not climb the rigging. The heights thing. Cooks, on the other hand, get to work "normal" hours and is not expected to go crawling around the deck unless you particularly want. At least that's the bit Pride board, according to Laura, now let me groceries and monitoring and overall I did helpful. I was trying to stay as far away Stewart. That serious.

Stewart and they were the only guests on board. Pride keeps many cabins open for thems that assessment is willing to pony up for the privilege to sail the boat back and forth, generally speaking, the short legs between two ports of call in the busy agenda of the Pride. The guest pays the ticket price for accommodation and food and dishes a bit on the boat performance coffers. In return, guests will join the crew and work their butts before the mast. Fun Huh? For the schooner race, Stewart and I were joined by John Mac MacIver and MacIver (fast friends, but no relation), and Ron Shuri and Menocal John. All of them had sailed the schooner pride of race before. Nothing to it, they said. Gluttons for capital punishment, I thought.

As the pride we went to the starting line, Laura I said he could make the soup for lunch. Not so! I had what I needed for the lentil stew five fingers: an ingredient and a cup of liquid for each digit. In this case, a carrot, an onion, a stalk of celery, a bay leaf, a cup of lentils and five cups of water. Skip the dry ingredients for a few minutes before adding water, then. . . . Oops, do not get it started on time, so it was a little chewy at eight bells. (All right, Mom.) But the crew was very nice, those that were not related to me, anyway. They made their own sandwiches, adding diplomatically that was cooked in general better than the holocaust, and save Laura bother to make a soup tomorrow.

I joined the port watch, with Stewart, to the work of the ship. Although he was assistant to the chef, who wanted cover work when I could. Laura looked at me alarmed. It's a slippery slope, he said. Help once come to expect. But I remembered that I was here to fun and experience, so I wanted to help sometimes. Let's see, he said ominously. Stewart had washed sullenness, thank God, and he jumped into the fray, in transmission lines and generally looking alive. It seemed much easier to stay out of the way and see, especially after the half started my finger pulling a halyard rebel. But unfortunately, Laura was right. I used to be perceived as one of the grunts and put on learning the ropes with the other "Guests." Jan could hear the captain's helm giggle.

It was this: Three or four of us took a line around half as thick as my wrist. When the couple (or anyone) away shouted, all carried. Or maybe shouted ourselves away to get a rhythm going. Or maybe no one cried distance and only blood and carried anyway. As they were worth. And when we thought we had pulled enough, comrade lance shouted again, and that blood and transported back. And so on, until someone said: "That's so," and that could make the line quickly. He had blisters before they even have the damn candle above. Before my nervous system, including the news could be logged, tore the skin blisters and any rest of the surface eroded away. I was a wounded puppy. (Stewart brought his gloves sailing, smartass.)

I realized this was not going to be a candle Sunday. Pride really needs all the muscles of the crew to collect. There was a swift wind, and was on the nose of Norfolk. We should turn in the starting line, and then beat the bay. So it was all hands on deck, as in the songs I like singing. And just because I opened a big hole in your finger index in the first time meant he could not whistle out. Jan knew me too well for that. assistant cook, ha! I cradled my wound with a skin donut mole and wrapped with electrical tape black. My black coat of courage. I was a true sailor. It was like having a tattoo. If only I'd had a knife strapped to my belt.

I went down to wash the pots and pans on short runs between studs, but I came on deck in the "Ready about!" distance lines. And I remembered that I had endured the rigors of childbirth twice, what a crummy little blister was not going to fall. In addition, How long could possibly lead us to get to Norfolk? We There Yet? The warning gun went off and five minutes to start and all hell broke out on board the Pride.

Jan Miles know most of my life. In fact, he was my first love. I met him when both were in school secondary. He had just returned from his first trip to the large sea-to Tierra del Fuego and back and took the waves of the ocean, a sea chest crossed over the shoulders. My mother said that a girl could go anywhere with Jan. And I thought, first of Tierra del Fuego, then. . .

My crush followed the path Clearasil, but Jan went to the crew and the captain some of the finest tall ships in the United States. It is one of the most relaxed that I could never know. Years of sailing has honed his instincts height and built a solid trust. But out there in the beginning of the schooner race, there was a change in my amiable friend. When warning shot gun and all schooners stunts in his position, his eyes shining, her cheeks flushed and became totally focused on the task at hand. "Very Well, motherfuckers, get the pen, "cried (which is a great guy, and maybe some time down). And the motherfuckers jumped and tried with all our strength, that in this case it was not enough to get in the pen And Captain Jan noted our efforts and allows the way he had a lot of funky pieces lard or words to that effect, and we did to show our vile that they watch where they were not. And so it was that flew proudly through line and the race began with the final blast of the starting gun. This would be without all-buoys sedate affair. This race was won on the windward leg (do not they all?), but with the wind screaming from the south, which would be a long upwind leg. And Captain Jan suggested that this package wrinkled prunes better get in shape and get with the program. This meant getting the flickering on the gallows, when the captain said "in", or more. At the rate we were going, if British had been in our queue instead of the Spirit of Massachusetts, we have been toast. But we got better, and by the seventh or eighth course, which had much improved, and the affable Jan Miles turned and were making good time. At least, at this time, there were schooners in the vicinity, so that competition is not was just licking our bow waves. And the Spirit of Massachusetts was left behind.

It's hard work finishing a topsail schooner. For now, running along the west bank opposite the mouth of the Choptank River, which had eight sails up: the topsail pen, pen, front staysail, foresail, velacho, bunion gaff-topsail largest principal. And they all need some major adjustment in each release tack leaves, taking into sheets, releasing keys, wrenches. The single candle did not have to abuse was the mainsail, which behaved as any sail properly and obediently turned itself. The candles were not only were the pillars candles (stunsails) and ring-tailed. But stay tuned. At this time the sails fabric was being checked and patched and ready for fraud in the case of the wind She turned and could lead us to. The tail ring, they said, it was not worth the hassle. Too much work for very little thrust. And push counts for much in this race.

Night came, with winks and gestures, like a sailor flattering sure where to go. The sun was shining, leaving a cloud of color in the crease between land and water. Stars on against the dark sky. No moon yet. Stewart and I sat in the dugout friendly, breathing it all in. He had worked the kinks out of their system and was ready to admit that I was a traveling companion. (This is fine, Mom.) I showed how to find Polaris, the North Star, and monitor our progress over time by the return of the other stars around it, and we check our progress by the bay by the way they hung astern. Mean moon rose as the eye of a whale of gold, setting the sky leviathan. We moved over eight knots, beating the water. There was no phosphorus, but the bow waves counted out as milk, and the moonlight paved with slabs of the Bay brings gold to the east. It was night on deck. Even in the beam of moonlight, it was difficult to see under his feet. It was easy to travel on the lines and face the light of day are relatively benign, but at night they behaved like naughty puppies heels. At midnight Stewart and I were on duty and the boat had slipped below the Patuxent River.

We awoke at 5:30 am to reach the sail fabric. The wind had dropped and we ghost along a whisper. Two crew members were standing in the courtyard setting sail course half-rise and run where is normally against the penis. Moonlight fell behind them, figure in a golden haze. The sail fabric sat on the foredeck, someone had already taken her from below. We manipulated the halyard and sheets and raised the boom to windward cock. the sail, we could go back to our bunks. Was about 7 am today, and tomorrow Friday was softened in an elbow with a spot of rouge on the cheeks cheap spots. She, like me, had been too long at the fair. Laura was upstairs however, so I quickly brushed my teeth, washed my face, took off my underwear, cap, spread on a layer of deodorant and grabbed a cup of coffee.

We were back on deck at 8 am and dropped the sail fabric of gravity helped. And in the morning came to the Chesapeake Bay. We see Gwynn Island and the Wolf Trap Light, which put us well below the Potomac. And there was no wind to speak. The doldrums in the morning we were strolling along with a plenty of time to look around and see anyone! We were kind of alone in this Bay and Wolf Trap.

The final was an imaginary line extending east Thimble Shoal. The wind had picked up and Jan gave me the helm to take the boat through. I had the honor. I could feel the boat up in my hands. The rudder is surprising. When the boat was balanced, until he got a straight line, and for a moment or two I thought Jan was on autopilot and only intended to give me the wheel. She did not depart a hair from the compass course. But then we crossed the finish line and Jan told me to take off, and I stayed at the helm as we turned and began working our way westward. Complete, and Jan, said. Only the candle. And I felt the wind on my cheek and looked at the candles, and I turned the wheel and answered the boat. For me! There is nothing better than this. And then, Stewart was the rigging to furl something and I thought I was going to faint.

The race was over and Jan did some quick calculations. At 21:20 hours we ran a total of 139 nautical miles at an average speed of 6.53 knots on a course line of 127 miles. We transported over 12 tons per person. (No wonder it was hard.) Finished at 10:59:58 am First class. The Spirit of Massachusetts could not touching.

Stewart was back on deck and asked if a sailing vessel of height might be in your future. No way, Mom. Yes, I remember had this candle as long as you live. But think about it, he said, has spent every minute of your waking life trying to invent your way to the street hand in hand. Without getting out of bed, can turn on the light in the room, turn on the radio, adjust the fan in the window, not even close to your door, using ingenious devices of labor savings of their own design. Understand the concept of mechanical advantage. Sailing on a traditional boat height without lathes? Why?

He is my son with whom I have pleasure, and told him so. When I grow up (next week) that will build engines for race cars fast, or perhaps engineer a cell breakthrough Current hydrogen fuel. Your home will be wired to the buttons and switches that make things open, closed or off. Exert the minimum effort that goes to make a change up. If not for the brain like yours, we'd all tall sailing ships and not for the fun of it. Meanwhile, we went to the party: pork roast, prizes, more singing. Then home to study calculus.

About the Author

By Jane Meneely, writer for Chesapeake Bay Magazine. For more great articles and photos on boating, sailing, fishing, and cruising, visit

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