I am pleased to say, after working a gruelling schedule for the past three weeks, I was able to finish the two rowboats I have been working on in time for the Schooner Rendezvous in Cambridge MD. It is an event I have been looking forward to, as well as dreading, for several months since Maggie and I were invited to crew on Rosalind. As Maggie said previously, our sailing experience has been limited to a few comic journeys around the Inner Harbor here in Baltimore on a 26' Grampian sloop. This would be our first real sailing trip.The captain of Rosalind, a 106 year old fishing ketch, is the great captain Richard Griffiths who seems to know everything about sailing. I once commented to him on his vast reserve of knowledge and he replied, "The reason I am so good now is because I have f***ed up in every way possible before now". This colorful bit of wisdom is just one of the ways he has set us at ease with our learning process. It is o-Kay to be ignorant if you are learning and it is o-Kay to make mistakes if you learn from them.
It was a cold day on Friday and both Maggie and I had some butterflies. Neither of us knew what to expect. Would Richard yell at us for being stupid? Would we do something that damaged his beautiful boat? Would he ask us to do something terribly dangerous? Would we be completely swallowed up in the "Mighty Choptank river??? As it turned out, Richard is a very patient and understanding captain who has a gift for gently yet strongly stating what needs to be done in a way that even idiots like us can understand. Maggie planted herself in front of the inner jib wench and my primary responsibilities were to handle the outer jib and staysail sheets.
Before long Richard asked me if I would like to take the helm. Of course I did!! She was a lot harder to steer than I imagined. It took a lot of strength at times to hold her on the wind. I was assured that our boat, with her modern steering barrient, would be much easier to handle. In fact, after crewing with four others on this complicated old rig with her six sails, I have much less apprehension about sailing our boat with her modern rig and only three sails. After a few very chilly hours of beating into the wind, we arrived at the port of Cambridge.
Check out the great job Maggie and I did flaking that mainsail!! Now it's back to work on our boat. I can't wait to take her for a sail!!!