“if you live long enough!” (Part 1)

written 28 June 2008
The Haddie Pierce House
Wickford, Rhode Island
6:00 – 7:30 am

Sarah poked fun at herself while showing me around the Gracious Lady. Her boat had been in the shop for two years and still needs major refinishing – enough to evidence a true labor of love (for instance, thirteen personally-applied coats of varnish on the main mast.)
13 coats of varnish.JPG.jpg
We were hosted for three spectacular days, leaving half-an-hour later than the Captain wanted – but by then we had a charged motor, a closed back well, provisions, and more tales to tell. Most importantly, Captain got to see her next boat in progress and have several conversations with the builder.
We arrived to beautiful Allen Harbor last Sunday morning.
shore view of Allen Harbor.JPG.jpg
We zoomed up the Narragansett Bay from Dutch Harbor in just over two hours during the prettiest part of the morning, arriving just as the skies began to seriously cloud up for predicted thunderstorms. Sitting around for the rest of the day on the boat in this gorgeous, well-protected harbor should have been more enjoyable than it was: parallel (perhaps) to how one sometimes gets sick at the beginning of a vacation, that space of relaxation after days of strenuous activity enabled tension to bubble up between the Captain and me. :-/
Getting to dock and being able to interact with other people was welcome. ­čÖé And these people – Captain’s friends and their friends – are fantastic! Tom and Sarah of New England Shipyard wasted no time getting over to meet us and promptly began problem-solving: how to get power to the boat (no electricity at this dock), how to get Steph to free wifi, and – the major activity – designing a board to fill the open well and brace the motor so we could reduce the amount of water splashing into the cockpit from errant wakes and following seas.
I got a pre-tour of the Chebacco in progress, meeting Patrick (the primary craftsman) and beginning to get to know Sarah (the unstoppable) and Tom (a bit more reserved). Then Sarah took me over to her historic boat, with its international character and multiplicity of projects underway and pending. Meanwhile, Kate was on her way with the van and supplies, and Captain Judy was also heading over to share the auspicious viewing. After days of isolated pairing, an incredible social outpouring! The swirl of activity was chaotic and a bit overwhelming, but the spirit of celebration outweighed most of the oversights.
Tom and Chebacco.JPG.jpg

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