The Schooner Timberwind has a new captain, new crew, new town, and new life, yet the work has the comfort of a worn-in pair of shoes. We’re all seasoned mariners within the tall-ship world, and there’s such a delight in hearing the near-script of sailing with words like, “haul away”, “helm’s alee”, and “stand by to drop headsails.”
Our first sail on Sunday, June 21st was in the cold rain, but we welcomed our passengers as they climbed aboard in foul-weather gear, smiles of excitement abound. Our wood-burning stove was chugging along, churning out steaming coffee.
The sailing was pretty great considering we were soaked through, and everyone enjoyed the sailing credo of, “There is never bad weather-- only bad clothing choices”. The afternoon passengers were fairly sparse with most people shying away from the rain, but it left lots of time for getting work down below decks!
Monday’s sailing was decidedly warmer. We all woke up to sunny skies and brisk winds, perfect for enjoying Belfast Bay. After having such a success on Sunday, we felt more than prepared for Monday’s excursion. Before sailing, we spent time chopping wood, polishing brass, and getting the boat in tip-top shape for our sails that afternoon. Cool and breezy on the Bay, our passengers joined us for cozy sailing weather. Yay sweaters!
After a couple more quiet days on the Bay, Thursday brought our crew to full attention. We spent a raucous noon sail tacking back and forth, dipping the rail, our passengers beaming with excitement as they held onto their hats and cups of coffee. Locals and visitors to Belfast had seen our flags flying from the harbor walk, and they just had to come join us! What a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.
Then 3pm rolled around, and we knew we had our work cut out for us. Our first charter of the season, we welcomed a group from the Belfast Senior College aboard. After helping to haul our sails (as we love to have passengers do), our new friends sat back and enjoyed the blue skies, green hills, and creamy sails aboard our beautiful schooner.
Afternoon sails filled Friday, but the day also brought us our very first sunset cruise. It was a breathtaking evening with a soft breeze and picturesque skies. Our passengers (some even from Newfoundland!) broke out their wine and cheese after the sails were raised, snuggled in sweaters and conversations and watched the sun set below the hills of the Belfast coast. They also showed their Timberwind pride through their new hats and tote bags.
Saturday was abuzz again when we went out for our second charter, a full boat of boy scouts and their parents! Orange shirts were everywhere as Troup 59 from Massachusetts raised sails together, learned how to tack, practiced knot-tying, and munched on the snacks from our recently-stocked galley/coffee shop. Everyone left with smiling faces, hilarious photos, and great memories of their trip onto the Bay.
Now we’re at a new week, and things are again moving along at quite a good clip. Today alone, we’ve done quite a bit of housekeeping to make sure our lady stays in tip-top shape. Stay tuned for more great news and photos of the Timberwind!