Every Race Week is special, but this year’s was one for the books. The captains decided the course in the morning at the traditional captain’s meeting. Even as we started the race at the sound of the cannon, we were at the head of the pack. After a full day of tacking and strategizing, we were on the last leg and just under the hills of Rockport off Indian Head Light. The sky was clear and the wind had died to a whiff, and we were all yearning for the forecast 15 knots. We’d had moments of excitement throughout the day, but they’d come and gone as the wind eased. With only two vessels in front of us, we saw wind begin to skim the surface of the water. Seconds later, the vessels ahead of us began to heal and then heal hard. And the wind was upon us. The Riggin gently healed over and when the physics of her majestic sails began to dominate, she started to move forward and pick up speed. The wind drove her with such purpose as we went from a relaxed, everyday sail to a thrilling chase that had us pulling ahead of one of the two vessels. With all of us cheering her on the Riggin finished 2nd in her class and overall! What a moment!
Photos by Susan Land (guest extraordinaire and long time Riggin Relic)
While the main cabin house is getting it’s makeover, the navigation station is also getting a total renovation. Those of you who have sailed with us for a while will remember Mouse, a long-time crew member who has, over the years, become a skilled carpenter and shipwright. He’s back in school for naval architecture and on the weekends we get his good, smart self in our shop. This beautiful nav. station will grace our cabin house this summer! Capt. will get to look at all summer long as he stands back by the wheel. Here’s some photos of the progress. We’ll post when it’s all on board and installed too.
It started with a discussion about re-caulking the main cabin house. It journeyed past replacing some cabin planks and lots of layers of varnish. It ended with a completely new main cabin house. Just like replacing a stove in a house which turns into entire kitchen renovation. Exactly like that.
Every year we choose a different area of the Riggin upon which to focus. That’s just how owning a schooner built in 1927 goes. This year, the main cabin house got our attention and we had a number of crew members working on the project. Here are some process photos from start to almost finish. And an hilarious short clip of the guys having fun. We aren’t quite to the final coat of paint or the re-installation of the skylight or nav. station but we’ll post those when that happens shortly.
No matter whether you call it a knitting retreat, a knitting cruise, or a knitting vacation, all of our knitting adventures are special. Taught by fabulous instructors who have been with us for years, these trips are a hoot from start to finish. Right from the beginning, everyone starts out sharing needles, stories, and patterns – even before we even set sail. Add the sailing and the delectable meals that emerge like clockwork out of Annie’s galley and you’ve got a recipe for success.
While this article is about kids and the benefits of being outside for our kids, we would suggest that adults need the outdoors, exercise, and adventure just as much, if not more. After all, a good life is about balance. If the bulk of our days are spent inside and on a computer, then the balance to that is to get outside and breathe unfiltered, fresh air in wide-open spaces surrounded by the the sounds, sights, and smells of nature. Unplugged from our phones and completely plugged in to our natural world. Might we suggest that the Riggin is the perfect place for this outside adventure?
Details in the galley. Details on deck. Details in the cabins. Some years we’ve got big projects which cause the little projects to be relegated to the bottom of the usually long list. We’ve had a couple of those winters in a row, so things like peapod repair, settee cushions, and new navigation stations have taken a back seat to the big stuff that most people don’t see, but is part of being good stewards of a National Historic Landmark. These would be things like planking and framing, iron work, rig replacement, new sails, etc. When these big projects are part of our budget in a year, they matter. It just means that the other (usually more visible things) need to take their turn and wait a little longer. This is the year of details.
Among the many details being tended to over the course of this winter are the cabins. The little details in the cabins which make your home for a week (or 4-days) nicer, a little more special. This year all of the cabins are getting a going over – new paint, new varnish… new sink skirts.
In cabins 1 to 4, these beautiful skirts hide the plumbing to the sinks and add to the charm of the cabins. This beautiful craftsmanship was done by Tyler King with an assist by Chloe Finger.
While the barn is abuzz with activity and woodworking, there are other folks who are also engaged and actively planning for another fantastic summer on the water with the Riggin. E (Elizabeth) is taking reservations at a rapid pace. And Annie is, among other things, sewing. Curtains, settee cushions, deck cushions, engine box covers, and so on. The list of projects is getting longer by the day!
What began as a “simple” slipcover for the house turned into the list above, which keeps getting additions by the second as Annie gets more comfortable with the work. Annie is lucky enough to have a friend with several industrial sewing machines and she’s always offered to teach Annie how to use them. This is that winter. When Annie isn’t on a horse, or cooking in the kitchen, she can these days be found behind the needle of a sewing machine.
And a powerful one at that. These machines are not your grandmother’s Singer, although they are just as dependable. They are finger-eating, strong-engined machines for which Annie has found some serious respect. They can sew through canvas, sail material, or 4 layers of upholstery material without straining. Magic and terror all wrapped up in one tidy package.