Getting Dirty Down by the River

The ship is down rigged which means that the masts are down and all the miles of rope and wire have been removed. The ship now sits at the dock, tied up with a cover built on the deck to keep the snow off. Winter maintenance is in full gear.

There is a lot of work going on between painting, cleaning, engine work, and maintenance on the spars and rigging. Ship work is dirty work. Never a good idea for one to wear their finest attire while working. I spend the day down by the river doing all sorts of tasks. Last weekend, after we took the inflatable out of the water, I spent my time melting tallow and fixing the base of a bandsaw. This weekend I built a stand for the inflatable’s outboard motor and did work on the ship’s rigging. Both weekends I returned home covered in filth. It was great.

I enjoy working on and around the ship. More than anything else I do in my life, here I feel accomplished. I do things that have a tangible result. I don’t need to wonder why I am doing something or try to convince myself it will all pay off in the end. It is not such an intangible thing. I can see progress before my eyes.

My favorite part of working on the rigging though has to be the pine tar. To help protect the miles of rigging from the elements we coat it all in a layer of tar. The tar is similar to the consistency of maple syrup and I think it looks and smells kind of like BBQ sauce. It has to be one of my new favorite smells.

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