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Trial By Fire

Good morning everyone. Today we finish another Wooden Boat Sail Training Course. It has been an amazing week. At the risk of sounding like a broken record I am once again in awe of this week’s participants and how much energy they have put forth. Yesterday our final exam was more of a trial by fire than anything else. A brisk nor’easter blew through during the late morning and early afternoon. With a reduced sail plan and teams at the ready we beat out into the waves and had quite the sail. We never did get to our final destination but instead anchored earlier than anticipated in the lee of North Haven. I think most folks had their fill of excitement.

We were singing sea shanties on deck Thursday night and so many of the songs dealt with the hardships of life at sea. What we have experienced, surging through the waves, and feeling the salt spray hit our faces, was better than any shanty. We have lived the 21st century version of the real thing this week. I don’t think the sailors or yore would have had food like this or a fire to dry their clothes by.

Yesterday afternoon we challenged students to put their skills to work by building their own vessels and racing them. In very windy conditions most of the boats flipped at the first start. We gave students 20 minutes to rebuild their boats and try again. The second round saw boats more heavily ballasted and reefed down. And the results were exciting. The team “Red Right Returning” built a very unique vessel that cleaned house on all the competitors. Their design is already at the US patent office so don’t get any ideas.

We have had a blast this week and will be very sad to say goodbye.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good

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