Saturday, January 9, 2010

End of the First Week

Hey All,

This is Zach again. We have successfully finished our first week of Adventuress' centennial restoration! What a week it has been. I am exhausted. The learning curve is steep, but there are so many people involved in this project with expert knowledge, experience, and patience, that I have never felt overwhelmed - just sore!

The shipwrights have continued tearing off planks, some of the holes now extend as far back as the mainmast. This fact didn't really settle in until I was reaching for the olive oil in the galley, I could see light streaming through the bulkhead. Bizarre.

That said, it has been really fun to clean up after their wrecking because I get to examine the wood; I can now tell the difference between the newer wood, Douglas Fir, and the older wood, Longleaf Yellow Pine, mostly by the smell! The older wood is also denser and darker but I usually rely on my nose to differentiate.We're saving many pieces of the wood and the old bronze fasteners to possibly use for something in the future...

The new wood for our planks, African sapele, came on Wednesday afternoon. In the picture to the right you can see the wood's initial resting place. Notice the hammer on the big stack of lumber; that's my attempt to give scale to this picture. We eventually moved the piles nearer to the starboard bow, which was quite the process.

Due to the other projects around us, the forklift could not get the lumber close enough to the ship. The task was then turned over to experts in wood-schlepping: the trusty volunteers. We each summoned our inner Clydesdale and proceeded to move the pieces one by one. We would wedge dunnage under each board so the forklift could get in there. The lift would move the board onto a pair of wheels, then leave it to us to roll it over to the Adventuress. While we were rolling, the shipwright would drive around and meet us to unload the board. Once it was successfully placed, we would prep the next board while the shipwright drove back. This happened 12 times. What a day!

To keep this brief, I will just outline some of the other projects we have done.
  • There was some copper sheathing covering the stem, just under the waterline. That has been removed.
  • The varnish on the main companionway hatch is being scraped off.
  • The head-rig was examined, rust removed, and a list of replacement parts was made
  • The Edson Patent Gyber (one of my favorite things on the ship) got an overhaul, see left.
  • On Thursday we got our plastic cover on which took all day. It hasn't been shrunk yet, so it flaps quite boisterously in the wind.
Last, but certainly not least, the Explorers came to help out on Friday. The Explorers are young adults who take on different projects around the community. I'm new to their program, so perhaps someone would care to elaborate on my description. The explorers removed the blocks from our storage container and brought them to the ship. They then formed an assembly line to disassemble, clean, and reassemble the blocks. It was fantastic to have their energy on the ship. When the day was finished, we gathered with them the main cabin for snacks and chanteys. I was deeply impressed by their positive attitudes, hard work, and musical abilities. I hope they come back.

That's it for now. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Pictures: An Explorer playing the mandolin (excellently). The forepeak with planks removed. Volunteer Meg removing varnish. Nora anchoring the plastic. A bolthole through the stem in the forepeak.


  1. Thanks for the updates Zach! I appreciate the pictures and the narrative and am excited to see the progress unfold. The crew and volunteers working on this project are amazing!

  2. We really enjoy reading your blog, Zach. Keep it up.
    BJ and Sydney Blanchard
    Glen Ellen