Summer ’14

31 May

So I’ve been markedly absent.  Perhaps you noticed, but maybe you didn’t.

  We made it back to the states safely, and immediately got busy turning our world cruising schooner back in to a day sailing schooner.  Safety gear came aboard.  Snorkel gear went ashore.  Cupboards were unpacked, cabins moved out of, and the grind started all over again. 

Meanwhile, the blog fell to the wayside.  No facebook, no twitter, no emails even.  Spending so much time down south, unplugged from everything to the extent that we were, it was hard to come back and assimilate with the constant connectivity, the chaos and the machine.  Being borderline reclusive has its advantages, though.  The shower is done at the house.  Things are where they belong.  I’m much better centered, and have had some great opportunities to focus on what’s important to me.  I started running, too.  The Rugged Maniac came and went, and it was a total blast.  I enjoy pushing myself but, truth be told, it was pretty easy.  So I signed up for the Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race.  Sadly, I’ll have to reschedule on the Mudder as, once again, I’m headed back out to sea. 

Day sailing is fun and all, but you can only learn so much when you’re trying to keep the captain happy, keep up sail trim, serve lunches, keep the bar stocked, keep the boat up AND entertain passengers.  There’s not a lot of time for stopping to talk sailing.  I had intended to stay put for the summer, but a job came up on the billet bank, and I applied.  Before I could hear anything, I got a call from an old shipmate (Hi Jules!) that the Bowdoin was in need of a second.  Did I want the job?  Of course.  In the past week, I’ve gone from the day sail grind to gearing up for a 04:00 flight on Monday. Right now, I’m in Hampton at the Blackbeard Pirate Festival aboard Serenity.  Monday I fly to Philly before carrying on to Portland, Maine.  I’m there for six hours before the bus arrives to carry me to Searsport where, finally, the school will have sent a car to collect me and deliver me to the ship in Castine.  The plan is to head out Tuesday.  New York?  Cape Breton?  We’re not really sure yet, but it will be fun no matter which way we head.  I’m on until 15 August.  The last trip will be up to Halifax and back. 

Here’s a pic of Bowdoin

Pic is from Bangor Daily News @

Bowdoin is a beast.  She was built in ’21 for exploration in the Arctic Circle.  She was designed to be completely frozen into the ice pack without crushing, and she’s done just that, four times over.  Lots of history in this boat; lots of sea stories.  Here are the specs and some more info on her.  Also, the more astute of you may have noticed the “Track Bowdoin” link in the menu bar up top.  She carries an Iboattrack and, while it isn’t active at the moment, we’ll be using it once we get underway.  Unlike the Spot, you don’t have to wait for someone to push a button and send a position.  The Iboattrack updates automatically, complete with boat speed and nearest port.  Internet access should be great this trip, as much of the trip will be coastal hops.  At least, I hope that’s the case, as I’ve got schoolwork of my own to work on. 

Tomorrow is my last day in Virginia.  I’m here at the festival for the ever tricky “raft up” between Sinbad’s Meka II & Serenity.  Once she’s safely alongside, I’m free to go, putting on hold a two-year jaunt aboard the Yorktown schooners.  (It’s on with the right foot and off with the left, right?)  Tomorrow will be a whirlwind of packing, organizing, cleaning and filing.  Things left undone will have to be delegated or put on hold.  Friends to see, family to visit…and I still need to move the pics from this winter over from Facebook to Flickr, for those of you without FB access.  Catch you guys from Maine, wish me luck!

2 Responses to “Summer ’14”

  1. Rita Payne May 31, 2014 at 09:59 #

    Oh Honey —I am SO happy for you—sounds like a great adventure, fun, and of course a lot of work and intelligence—just your cup of tea.

    I know you will develop yourself in new and usual ways—seeing the world a snip at a time.

    Thanks for always including us in your journey here.

    I love you so much and we love you lots.

    GMOM and GDAD

    • Clownshoes May 31, 2014 at 20:12 #

      Thank you both so much for the support. I love you guys too, and I’ll be back soon with stories and pics of the journey!

      – JM

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