Sunday, February 28, 2010


It's been busy days filled with lots of learning. I did more work on leather, specifically putting leather on the eyes of stays. I learned to do a herringbone stitch, which I think will prove helpful in many things, and I'm growing confident with the sail makers palm.

I also spent a good bit of time with the Chief Mate dealing with floating debris near the boat. There's an old dock rotting into the water, dropping huge timbers which end up floating between us and the dock.

We also did a safety orientation and talked at great length about weather patterns and reading weather maps, which I hope to learn more about as the season goes on. The Captain clearly knows a great deal about such things. Hopefully he'll be willing to teach more about it.

Today was stropping blocks for me. I got to do the seizings that were briefly taught to me a few days ago. I say with absolute confidence that I need to practice that one a good deal more. Four blocks done in a nine hour work day; it's a little embarrassing.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Need to organize my bunk better. Lost my pen and couldn't write without it. Finished varnishing the blocks, and learned to do a whipping. Need to practice that more, that first one was a little ugly.I also did some light leatherworking which was also new for me. I am starting to see exactly how much stuff I don't know yet; how much further I have to go before I am actually competent. Once I get paid again I have to pick up some things; A sailmakers palm, a stone for my knife and some line, assuming said things are within my price range.
Still trying to find my place with the crew, but I think that is more my self doubt than anything else. Only time and practice will tell.


For the past month life has been mostly sanding and varnishing with bits of tar and paint and fluid film to break up the regularity. Today however, was move on day; the next big event. Eleven of us currently living on the boat, as the Captain has a home nearby with a wife, so he's sleeping there. Seven of us sleeping in a room smaller than your living room; I can't tell you how excited I am. I'm lying in my bunk, dubbed "The Cave" due to its tiny little cave like appearance. I can hardly wait to get this finished so I can go to bed, wake up, and be that much closer to getting her sailing. The Captain is an intense and serious man, which are good qualities for a captain to have. I truthfully don't know why he hired me, but I intend to live up to my responsibilities that I accepted by doing so.
And now, to sleep.


Lunch break on day two. Lots of sanding yesterday. We spot sanded blocks and did a full sanding on the spars. Today we're prepping other blocks for their second full coat of varnish. Getting to know the crew and working on earning trust and respect. Working as hard as I can; think I'm doing fairly well. I know it's going to be tough, but I didn't pick this for an easy life.


Sitting in a small coffee shop before my first day of work. I shook the Captain's hand yesterday and took a tour of the boat. All her spars are down on deck to be varnished, along with the blocks. Two of the crew, Fortek and Shannon were brushing the standing rigging in the shop. I didn't sleep as well as I'd hoped, but coffee and excitement will keep me going; I suspect willpower will handle the rest. Dawn will probably help as well. Even the coffee shop owner asked why I was up. I'm happy with it.

Introduction and post dated log entry

As an introduction;

Brendan **** Licensed Merchant Mariner and for a little under a year, Tall ship sailor. Reformed bartender and repentant college dropout. As I write this I'm sitting in Florida relaxing and preparing for my first real sailing voyage. I've recently been signed on the Pride of Baltimore II for the great lakes voyage, along with sailing in Baltimore, and winter maintenance.

My sailing experience to date is fifty days on the U.S. Brig Niagara. In that time, I did learn a great deal and absolutely fell in love with the life. I don't think I can accurately discuss that time now, and that's not why I'm here. This is to talk about the future; This is to talk about the voyage to come.

In just over a week I'll be in Baltimore working on the winter crew getting the ship ready to sail; painting and sanding and varnishing. Moving forward is always good.