- While I have you here at the capstan, I thought I'd share some boatbuilding and boat rehab news. Our old pal Ernestina is... Look, here's Executive Director Brawley, with a press release/update:
Happy New Year! The capital repairs continue to make steady progress at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine. A winter cover was erected over the forward
half of the ship providing protection to the carpenters and the area being worked on. At this point, the masts and standing rigging have been slushed; damaged deadeyes are being replaced; final installation of futtocks and stanchions is underway; deck beams and foremast partners are also being installed, and planking the hull continues. The project is on budget and the ship is due to return home no later than May 9.
- If you want to help: Make your tax-deductible contribution to the Schooner Ernestina Commission Trust and mail it to Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010. Or, at least check out http://www.sailernestina.org/ or http://ernestina.org/news/.
- On the other hand, some projects never should receive funding at all. Bono and The Edge, for instance, have a new project that will probably end their careers once and for all. They're working with Julie Taymor on the rock'n'roll musical "SpiderMan."
- In better news, there's a better-than-the-jukebox musical turning some heads in Leicester Square. It's Hit Me! The Life and Rhymes of Ian Dury, playing untill Valentine's Day, even though opening night was cancelled due to a power outage. The chappy still can't get a break.
- Back last Fall, I saw a little article in some paper about some well-intentioned maritime-history folk who are hoping to bring TallShip™ sail training back to the nearby waters of Narragansett Bay, which has sorely lacked such an influence for quite a while. I promised myself that I would look into it further, so before I started procrastinating, I squeezed the link to their (at the time, very undeveloped) website in The Gam, and then forgot all about it.
- The site is much prettier now, but with less information, so here's what I know: The plan is to complete the Oliver Hazard Perry, which, according to the promising site, will be "Rhode Island's own sail training Tall Ship, providing our state with a showcase 207-foot long, three-masted sailing vessel to join the select fleet of Class-A size Tall Ships hosted by the maritime nations of the world."
- And this I do not doubt, because I recently got a very urgent e-mail from a familiar captainy pal (who identified himself as "Captain Blood," but we know that Bailey is the old man on OHP) who invited me to Bowen's Wharf, Newport, to check out the hull. The hull that, with 5 million or so more recession-era dollars from those of us who don't believe in recession (we're known as "depressives" in economic humor circles), will be the Oliver Hazard Perry.
- Of course, I have to check with my admiralty law guy first, but it seems that my bank (BankNewport, of course) has already slid them $25K.
- But remember: the Oliver Hazard Perry will provide employment to local shipbuilders to deck and rig it. Tall Ships Rhode Island will single-handedly save the marine industry economy in Rhode Island!
- In the meantime, they suggest, according to some memo or other, that "To learn more about making a tax-deductible contribution, contact Perry Lewis at TSRI, tsri07(AT)verizon.net, 401-841-0080, or David Guertin at Vantage in Philanthropy, david(AT)Vantageinphilanthropy.com, 401-619-3990."
- One ship that definitely won't be making the Waterfront Festival Circuit is H.M.S. Beagle, and not because its famous passenger, Charles Darwin, isn't popular with the creationist crowds that show up for those things. It's because the hull is probably under a few metres of mud in Essex. The BBC explains.
- And of course, there's this: