Last Wednesday (November 18th), around mid-day PRIDE’s crew for the end of the 2009 sailing season said goodbye and everyone headed away to pursue their personal lives. PRIDE remains floating and secure inside a lagoon of docks. She rests under a white plastic winter cover, spread over a wooden frame mounted on her bulwark rail cap, protecting her from precipitation and sunlight. She has been completely cleaned out of all items save for tools and mechanical spare parts. All of her upper spars and gaffs plus the jib-boom are stored on saw horses placed on deck under the winter cover. All the rigging associated with the spars are stored in a container ashore along with her sails. She will remain thus until winter maintenance is supposed to start in January.
It took PRIDE’s crew fifteen and a half back to back working days to convert PRIDE from a fully equipped long distance sailing voyager to her winterized status. They all did a tremendous job. Not only did they disassemble the ship and carefully store her equipment ashore and assemble the winter cover, they also put a full coat of hull paint on the outside hull planking, as well as oiled the surfaces of the large lower masts. These coatings are critical to her protection during an extended period without her crew living aboard and continually available to maintain her on a daily basis. The white plastic of the winter cover will block the sun’s ultraviolet rays, as well as prevent daytime heating under plastic as it also keeps moisture off. Blocking ultraviolet will help with preventing aging of the varnish and other coatings while also reducing wintertime heating that can cause shrinking of drying out wood. Keeping rain off of everything should also help prevent moisture based rot.
PRIDE will sit this way until a selected group of experienced personnel are hired to repair the wear and tear that has accumulated in the spars and rigging from this year’s voyaging, as well as areas down below that have a full sailing season’s wear and tear from the live aboard crew and overnight Guest Crew.
During this waiting period between now and when the winter maintenance crew can be selected I will monitor PRIDE’s status while I assist Pride, Inc.’s office staff with voyaging plans for 2010 and also begin to form the 2010 sailing season crew.
Cheers and Happy Holidays,
Jan C. Miles, Captain
Pride of Baltimore II