The View at the Top

The above picture was taken yesterday from Mayflower II’s main top. It is a view through the rigging of the foremast and you can see Clark’s Island, Saquish and the gurnnet in the back round. I will explain the land marks in the future but for now the point of the picture is to illustrate the work we were doing today.

We, that is the maritime artisans department, have been involved in months longs endeavor, some say struggle, to prepare the ship to sail. Over the winter all the rigging you see, and much more, was either repaired, or replaced and all of it was overhauled so that we could put it all back up this spring. The spars, that is the yards and and topmasts, were scrapped, with the help of volunteers. We had a crew of four to six volunteers helping throughout the winter. Some came one day a week some came for two or three days a week and some came once and never returned.

Yesterday’s work included lowering, tarring and resetting the main stay. This sounds simple enough but the stay is a four inch diameter cable layed line with a huge elm deadeye made into one end. Fore course braces, and their fairleads, as well as a cargo tackle has to be attached while the stay is removed. Then after tarring everything the whole assemble is raised back up into place. The lower end of the stay makes onto a collar on the fore deck. Three of us worked on that while the forth member of our department worked on an ongoing repair to the after castle.

The after castle repair is a major undertaking involving replacing frames, planks, rails and and support wales. As this blog continues I will flesh out the descriptions of work, who we are, why we are doing this and how we manage to get all this work with minimal visits to the doctor/chiropractors

More to come

Peter

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