Day 3: The Birth of Tusk

Posted from Eastport, Maine, United States.

Today was another busy one. We finished fitting on the new Radar to replace the old one with a jury rigged scaffolding we made out of some lumber that was left on board, we also hooked up the auto pilot the best we could to the old steering wheel that is in the pilot house (an original wooden wheel from a Canadian Schooner of all things!). We also hooked up the head to a stable pseudo platform just below and behind the wheel house with straps and screws and a weird slab of wood and twisted metal we found. Should be sturdy enough for the strongest of craps. Although we bought a water tank for the express purpose of feeding the toilet with water we opted to use 2 barrels we bought in Eastport instead to keep things simple, those will be lashed to the starboard rail during the trip.

We got ready to move the ship around near a crane at the end of the pier to pull down the mast (The previous day I had drilled a whole bunch of holes around the base of the mast about 1′ up to act like perforations to make it easier to cut with the Sawsall today). A few things happened that made this a particularly ticklish operation. First the engine wouldn’t start properly so we called over Butch (one of the previous Captains of the ship) to help us start it properly which he did by spray ether directly into the air intake. Then when we pulled out nice and slowly the auto pilot got in the way of proper steering of the ship (it wasn’t until later that we discovered we had left the clutch on the thing on thus locking it in place… didn’t matter anyways turns out the zip ties we used to attach the gear to our wheel were too weak to control the wheel anyways and literal snapped like dry noodles). Next since this was the first time we had taken it out ourselves my Dad was at the helm… We tried to approach the pier twice before we veered out to the bay a bit and make 1 last attempt. This ended up being more exciting than we thought, the boat being as heavy and big as it was, AND unfamiliar at this point essentially got away from my Dad controlling it a bit. The rollers that Hal (another previous owner and the broker for the boat) built are designed so that the “Bruce Anchor” when pulled up would roll up onto it and seat neatly in place. In our case it acted like a powerful wood plane and shaved of 2 inches and several feet of wood from the dock. This literally threw wood and gear all over the place… but the boat stopped in the right location after a bit of man handling from the lines that were hanging from the pier. Soooo ya… That was dangerous.

Anyways we’re leaving tonight with the evening tide… Seriously how many times does one get a chance to say that?

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