Pride of Baltimore II alondside her winter berth in Canton
Friday, March 16, 2012
March is here and the “madness” is in full swing.
The first part of March is when the newly boarded sailing crew convert PRIDE II from her winter covered state to her rigged up state. This involves uncovering the ship and reinstalling her rig. Uncovering the ship cannot be done until the spars on the ground are uncovered. Rather a lot of careful dis-assembly is required of the cover frames for both the spars and the ship…considering the cover frames are reused each time PRIDE II is rigged down and winterized. Meanwhile a lot of fiddly rigging detail work is required to ready the spars for hoisting.
Halyards need roving off (run through their respective blocks that have been put in place on the lower masts). Topmasts have to be moved aboard then hoisted into a semi-hoisted position…we call this “housed”. Then all of their supporting rigging is attached…rigging eyes slipped over the top. Then the topmasts are hoisted the rest of the way and “fidded”…the “fid” (key) slipped under the heel of the topmast and the topmast lowered down onto.
Meanwhile the yards need to be “dressed” before they are hoisted into their position. Dressed means rigged with all of their square-sail running gear. We go to the extra effort of actually bending on (tying on) the square fore-topsail to the top-yard before hoisting all into position because rigging the square-sail on the ground is easier by far than doing so up on the yard hoisted some 80 odd feet in the air.
In addition all of the equipment and supplies that we keep aboard for both operations, safety and maintenance must come aboard before PRIDE heads off for dry-dock in Portsmouth, Virginia this coming weekend.
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Jan C. Miles, A Captain of Pride of Baltimore II
Acting Executive Director