Goldie is coming into his 5th season in Niagara. He started off as an Able Seaman in 2008 and 2009. He came back in 2011 as a mate and engineer. He also has worked 3 winters here at the Erie Maritime Museum working in the Rig Shop building the Fore Shrouds, working at the shipyard and tackling many engineering projects. This season he will be sharing Second Mate duties with Pat Crosby so both of them will be able to take care of their engineering or carpentry duties while the other one is standing the watch. Goldie’s time in Niagara was had him taking part in all aspects of the operation. He is both useful and competent in the rig or in the engine room and spends time doing both throughout the uprig period. Last Winter/Spring he even joined the carpentry crew at the shipyard to get some exposure to the wood working aspect of the wooden sailing ship world. Goldie is willing to work in any capacity to fulfill the needs of the ship and the ship is a better place for it.
Goldie has been looking forward to the 2013 season since his return in 2011 and with his help it’s going to be a great summer.
And in case you read his bio from 2009, he is still doing well holding up to the reputation of my childhood best friend who was a male golden retriever that I named Goldie.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
The first day of the season was on March 14th. 7 of the 17 seasonal crew are now here to add to the 4 full-time members of the pro crew. These 12 plus our numerous volunteers who come down everyday will be the crew that are going to rig the ship this Spring. The rest of the crew will arrive during the month of May after we start sailing. David Goldman, Michael Pierson and Sydnee Groenendaal have been here since Jan 4th as our winter maintenance crew either working down in the Rig Shop or out in the Engine Room getting ready for the 2013 season.
The crew has been fighting the elements to get the ship rigged so far. The first and second weeks of rigging were held up due to snow and January like conditions but they have been gaining ground everyday that it has not been snowing or not below 20 degrees. Once the winter cover came off we were able to get a crane to come in a week later to send up both topmasts and all of their associated rigging, both lower yards, the jibboom, the spanker boom, both anchors and all of the deck boxes. The crane has helped us make up some time from all the bad weather. The weather this week finally has temperatures in the 50′s and we should be outside everyday working so anyone who is interested in seeing how to put together brig come on down and we will put you to work.
Over the course of the next few weeks I will post a bio of each of the seasonal crew that will be sailing with us this summer so all of you can get an idea of who your crew will be this year.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Captain Wesley Heerssen has been awarded the American Sail Traning Association’s Sail Trainer of the Year Award. This is a big deal. Of all the tall ship sailors in the country ASTA has chosen Wes to be the best of 2010. This is a huge honor for him and we should all be proud to have such a Captain on our ship.
This is well deserved award. Wes has been tireless in his dedication and work for this ship and ultimately the trainees that sail on board her. He is a patient teacher that does not get frustrated or upset with the people around him and creates an environment that is incredibly conducive to learning. He uses positive reinforcement to get the most out of people and in so doing he gets everything that they can give him. Captain Heerssen also leads by example to create a work ethic on board that is unstoppable. He possesses a wealth a knowledge concerning sailing on board a tall ship and is passionate about sharing that knowledge with all that sail with him.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
On Saturday about 50 people were on hand to finish building the winter cover framing and strech the canvas over it. We ended the day with the canvas on and lights working inside. Thank you to all the people who came out to help.
This week will be spent fine tuning in order to get the cover water tight or more importantly snow tight for the winter. If you aren’t busy come on down and give Ryno and Isaiah a hand.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Here you can see Dylan and Matt, 2 of our OS’s, sewing whippings into some new topsail braces.
And here you can see Isaiah, an AB, and the new intern knitting a new headrig net.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
In an annual effort to prepare the Flagship Niagara for the summer sailing season, the ship’s volunteer crew will don their work clothes this Friday and Saturday, March 19th and 20th to remove the ship’s winter cover. Originally scheduled for removal on Saturday, March 27th, the project has been moved earlier due to the weather forecast for the next ten days.
Made of steel posts, wooden beams, and traditional canvas, the ship’s winter cover is designed to protect the ship during strong winter gales and heavy ice and snow. The volunteer and professional crewmembers will begin removing canvas at 11am on Friday, March 19, and will remove the cover’s framing on Saturday.
“This Saturday marks the beginning of the 20th sailing season for the Flagship Niagara, and we intend to celebrate it by sailing more, taking more people out on the water, and delivering our educational cargo to more people this year than ever before” said Capt. Wesley Heerssen. “To do this, we need to get the ship prepared for sailing earlier than ever before. This was an El Nino winter…shorter and milder than usual, and we intend to take advantage of the early spring. We’re going to uncover the ship this weekend with volunteers, then get the ship cleaned up for the seasonal crew to move onboard when they arrive in Erie next weekend. With any luck, we’ll only see a couple inches of wet snow in late March, which we’ll have to plod our way through, and then we’ll rig up the ship in time for sailing on April 29th.”
“The public are, as always, invited to volunteer as ship’s crew, and it’s never too late to get started. This Saturday, new and prospective volunteers are asked to show up at the rear entrance to the Erie Maritime Museum, directly at the dock, alongside the ship, at 9am. New volunteers should ask for the Chief Mate, Billy Sabatini, and he’ll get them signed up and started” said Capt. Heerssen.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Yesterday was the beginning of a collaboration with BCMS. The shipwright Bob Arlet gave a demonstration to 15 Erie School District high school students on how to steam bend frames for a boat. The t’gallant yards were then shouldered and brought over to the Bayfront Center by the students. The ship’s professional crew will be working with the Erie School District High School students starting tomorrow. Our goal is to dress the yards completely from sanding and varnishing to bending on the sails and all the work will be done by the students. We are all very excited to be working with the Bayfront Center on this project. This is a good opportunity for these students to see another aspect of the maritime world here in Erie. I hope that this is just the first of many collaborations between our organizations to utilise the wonderful waterfront maritime campus that we share.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Today marks the end of the 2009 sailing season. We will be down to only a couple seasonal crew left to help with maintenance. The galley will stop operations and the crew will start living semi normal lives again. We have sailed more days this summer than any other summer here in the Lakes. In 84 days at sea we sailed 2673 nautical miles. That is a lot of sailing for not doing a large voyage.
I am very pleased with how the crew how done this season dealing uncertainties the entire time but still holding true to taking care of the ship, their shipmates and when they had time themselves too. It has been an honor to sail with this crew and I can only hope that the 2010 crew will work as well together.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of Winter Maintenance. I know it’s not winter yet but it will be soon enough. As usual there is a big maintenance project going on. We will be replace at least one of our Main channels. I will post about that project as it happens. In the Rig Shop out goal is to get through all the pallets of rigging this year and we can use all the help we can get so anyone interested in volunteering come on down.
We made through this season and with everyone’s continued support we will hopefully be able to make through 2010 as well.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
OK, so I didn’t finish telling everyone who the crew is/was this year but they have all left for the most part. I also didn’t update anyone on what we’ve been up to this summer. Well, I apologize for that. I had the best of intentions sitting in my office in April but as soon as the sailing season hit I wasn’t sitting in my office anymore and the blog suffered. I do intend on updating more often this fall and winter as the work progresses.
That said, tomorrow will be our last sail of the season. We will actually will be sailing with Pennsylvania Sea Grant and doing a program with them similar to the program that we have done with them twice this season. We will be sailing with students from local schools both in the morning and afternoon.
If any of you are volunteers and would like to sail tomorrow let me know and we’ll go sailing! Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
While working at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as the Assistant Registrar Rocky started volunteering on the Barque Elissa which is a iron barque in Galveston, Texas. Elissa is also where Captain Heerssen got his start in tall ships. Rocky spent the next 10 years with Elissa volunteering making it up to the rank of Mast Captain. Rocky also spent the 2000 summer sailing in Niagara for Niagara’s last East Coast voyage.
In January of 2005 Rocky retired from the world of Academia, gave up her life ashore and went to sea starting out on the schooner Sultana as a deckhand during the 2005 season. By 2006 Rocky came back to Niagara as an AB and stayed for the 2007 season as well. Throughout the rest of 2007 and all of 2008 and part of 2009 she has been working for Sea Education Association as Third Mate with which she will continue with next winter.
I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Rocky for 2 seasons in Niagara. During the 2007 season she was my AB. Throughout that entire summer Rocky was ,well, my rock. Her dedication to not only the ship and her shipmates but to her new-found profession makes her extremely valuable. Her passion for sailing and sail training inspires all who work with her or for her. She makes everyone’s job easier and her presence is calming to all on board.
Rocky is a very patient and caring teacher. She will work with you until you have fully figured something out and can go forth and do the task with confidence. All trainees and crew will find in Rocky a confidant and a role model.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
« Previous Entries