The Tradition of Flags

 

The tradition of raising flags at 8:00am and lowering them at sunset dates all the way back to the late 1700s in the British Royal Navy. It is still practiced by today’s navy, as well as many merchant and private vessels around the world. The Schooner J. & E. Riggin is no exception. 

We fly an ensign, which in our case as a U.S.-flagged vessel, is the American flag. This is flown off of the peak of our mainsail when it is set, or off of the back of the main boom when the sail is down. It is used to communicate to other vessels where our vessel is registered. It is the first flag up each day, and the last one down.

The name pennant is flown from the top of the mainmast to give everyone who sees us the ability to read our name clearly. 

The house flag is flown at the top of our foremast this is intended to communicate something about the ownership, but until we have a house flag designed, we have decided to use the classic State of Maine Dirigo flag. 

The final flag you can expect to see aboard the Riggin is the “R” or Romeo flag and the First Repeater. We use this combination on the main spreader to communicate the presence of a Riggin Relic aboard a cruise. 

This week we saw the first of many raising of the ship’s colors for the 2021 season. Though historically greeted with the call of a bugle, ours was greeted with excitement and cheers from the crew.

Back in Action

After nearly a year of sitting stationary, the Schooner J. & E. Riggin left the dock yesterday under the direction of her new captains, Justin Schaefer & Jocelyn Schmidt. She was bound for North End Shipyard, for her annual haul out. The crew relished in the cool spring breeze on their faces, something they all had missed in their time away. 

 

“It would have been powerful to take her off the dock for the first time regardless of whether or not she had sailed last year.” Jocelyn said. “There was something exceptionally powerful about getting to be the ones to take her out, even just for the short run to the shipyard knowing that it was the first time in a year she had had the chance to stretch her legs. It feels like the start of a really special summer, and the reality of being able to have a season this year is pretty emotional for us.” 

This haul-out will be brief, just to put fresh paint on the bottom and replace the zincs which protect the metal beneath the water from electrolysis. 

“It feels good to be back out on the water and to return to a familiar routine with the vessel after a year of lying dormant,” said Captain Schaefer. “Generations of Riggin crew spanning several seasons came out to offer their collective support & wisdom which made for an extremely special day.” 

 

 

 

Spring at Home & Sea

Spring at Home

Spring has arrived at our home.

The grass is getting greener.

The flowers have been lying dormant,

but now, they peek out from beneath the soil

which has protected them from the harshness of winter.

The days are longer and the breeze is warmer.

Soon, the air will begin to fill with familiar floral smells.

They define the season around our home.

The familiar buzz of our honeybees will be heard throughout the yard.

The birds will be travelling back to us

with stories of their time away,

chirping and chattering on the lawn.

We love this time of year

when everything seems to awaken.

Spring at Sea

Spring has also arrived at the cove.

The water is getting warmer.

The Riggin has been lying dormant,

but now, she will emerge, peering out from beneath the plastic cover

which has protected her from the harshness of winter.

The work days are longer and the breeze is warmer.

Soon, the air will begin to fill with the familiar smells of pine & paint.

They define the season around our docks.

The familiar buzz of sanders & saws will be heard throughout the vessel.

The crew will be travelling back to us

with stories of their time away,

laughing and chatting on the deck.

We love this time of year

when everything seems to awaken.