24/04/2010 - Bending Sail

High temp: 10.5ºC
Another blue sky,.. this is great! And perfect for bending sail. The morning was spent transporting the sails from the warehouse to the ship and preparing them for lashing to the stays and yards.  Robans (string made from sections of unwrapped rope) were made by the hundreds as they are used for the lashings and distributed around the ship.  I was left in charge of the inner jib, which despite meaning I was not going aloft meant I was out on the bowsprit, which was almost as much fun.  We were attaching the hanks (metal circles) to the sail using the previously mentioned robans using the traditional “wrapping, frapping and seizing” method,.. God, I hope I did it right otherwise the jib is going to come flying off in mid-journey!

The captain turned up mid afternoon to have a look at her and for the first time we unfurled all the sails that had been “bent on”.  She looked pretty impressive sat at the dock with her sails set, and we had a small posse of admirers grouped together on the next dock taking photos and muttering amongst themselves. 
Obviously what goes up must come down and so once things had been checked over we had to furl all the sails; orders were shouted on deck and we rushed around like decapitated poultry trying to figure out which ropes did what and getting used to where they are. Uphauls, downhauls, halyards, braces and sheets were slackened off or tightened depending on the sail and I was sent up the main mast to tie on the main course sail and the main lower topsail, this time the nerves were pretty much gone and I managed to complete my task without any drama, There was a hint of the shakes on returning to deck, but they were banished when news of a barbecue and a dory shop party was circulated!

A new trainee arrived, another brit!  Now, despite no-one actually knowing Jimmy, there been a superbly detailed picture of him taped to his bunk in the “Bro-cave” for a few days and he was famous throughout the boat before he even arrived, so now he was finally here and jokes about the 4 limeys colonizing the boat and teaching everyone the Queen’s English abounded.

The party was great fun, with much dancing, a bit of singing and, thanks to Fred, a considerable amount of booze!  It also coincided with Michael’s Birthday,.. and he thought he’d got away with it!!!

Things wound down pretty quickly and by 10.30 a group of us decided to head for the pub in search of more booze and a nightcap….  And then bed in anticipation of a chilled Sunday ahead of us!
Apparently the First Mate is also a stereo technician! Even my Bose couldn't compete with this speaker tower!
Lugging sails
A thoroughly unimpressed Birthday "Prince"!
Givin' it some!
She's looking good!

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