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Jibe Ho!

Monday, April 30, 2012.

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II is in southern climes!!!

Cobalt blue water, sunny sky, comfortable shirtsleeve and shorts weather…and gentle favorable breezes.

PRIDE is now between Cape Lookout and Frying Pan Shoals sailing in gentle breezes from NE-E. The forecast was clear that there would be SE breezes for this area. They would be welcome breezes. But NE-E is favorable and so we are happy to have them.

With the gentle conditions we are taking advantage of the first opportunity this year to work on cosmetic maintenance. This first effort is focused on spot maintenance where any paint and varnish has broken and begun to peel.

As PRIDE made her way around Cape Hatteras yesterday and last night the crew have been getting a chance to learn what jibing aboard PRIDE is by doing.The first one was at Diamond Shoals. Then one just east of Cape Lookout.Another off the tip of Cape Lookout Shoal. Another two just west of Cape Lookout Shoal. The officers are getting pretty good at organizing the these sail handling evolutions. Aboard PRIDE the jibe evolution is pretty complex.

First the eased out foresail clew must be brought inside the mainmast shrouds and the sail sheeted flat in. Second the sent forward fore topmast running backstay that permitted the eased out foresail to take a good broad reaching shape must be brought back and made tight. Third the square foretopsail bracing must be shifted to the new jibe angle. Forth the headsails need flattening by taking all slack out of their sheets. Fifth the mainsail needs sheeting in while the mainsail boom preventer tackle is eased out. Sixth, once mainsail is tight amidships the mainsail topping lifts need switching wherein the eased one is taken up and the tight one is eased off to permit the sail to shape itself to the wind from the new jibe angle. Also the main-topmast running backstays are switched wherein the eased forward one is brought back and the tight one is taken forward to permit the main boom to be eased way out. Meanwhile the boom preventer tackle is disconnected from the pendent one the old lee side and taken to be hooked up to the new lee side. Seventh the sheeted in mainsail is jibbed over and then eased out while the crew take up on the boom preventer tackle. Eighth the crew pass the headsails over to the other side of the head stays to be trimmed for the new jibe while also bringing forward the eased back main-lowermast running fore stay and taken up tight while easing back the other tight main-lowermast running forestay to allow the foresail to be passed to the other side of mainmast and trimmed for the new jibe. Also, the tight fore topmast running backstay is eased off and taken forward so the foresail can be eased fully for the broad reaching winds of the new jibe. Then the foresail is eased over and re-rigged outside of the mainmast shrouds on the new lee side. Ninth the main-gaff-topsail tack is switched to the other side of the main-gaff peak halyard parts above the mainsail gaff. Tenth all loose running gear is coiled up and hung or laid out on deck in a proper seaman-like manner.

Complicated enough for you? How about in a dark night with a heaving sea?All this and yet we have not set the studding sail. Another sail that could be up and when up adds a significant number of additional steps to a normal everyday jibe aboard an 1812 period Baltimore Schooner Privateer.


Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II