For our final leg up the Delaware River HMS Bounty sailed side-by-side with privateer Lynx. We were astonished by the strength of the current in the Delaware River and the amount of debris in the water. Many large chunks of wood and even a 30 ft tree!
It has been pushing 100 degrees the last few days with little to no wind, but we came in under full sail for the city of Philadelphia. It took the crew just 20 minutes to set every sail on the ship, quite a feat in the hot weather!! Although we were motoring in the calm conditions, those towers of white canvas were, as always, a wonderful sight to see.
After all the sails are set the work is not over, later when they are struck all crew must go aloft to furl them back up on to the yards. (Much more work than our sloop Velocir!!!!). It is exhausting for us to keep up with the crew. Hands become calloused and muscles ache. But after a few weeks you become astonished at your own strength!
One of the best parts of being on the ship is climbing all over it. Out to bowsprit, up the masts (three to choose from) and down into the depths of the ship. Amelia’s favorite spot is the bowsprit. It juts up and gives a beautiful view of Bounty cutting through the water.
Captain Robin brought the massive ship into the dock as smoothly as if she were our little Velocir. (He knows the ship well; even dropping the massive 900lb anchor twice doing a 180 degree turn in tight quarters with a side wind while we were in Annapolis to line up the dock just right.) After helping get the sails furled and the many, many lines coiled down; we went over to help the 110 year-old barkentine Gazela dock close to Bounty and watched yet another masterful docking of these huge ships. (www.gazela.org)
Amelia and Grant took the night watch of the ship last night so the crew could sing their chanties and drink their beer with the other tallship crew. While Grant was below pumping bilges (wooden boats…) he felt the boat suddenly heel 15 degrees….at the dock! Amelia was on deck saving the flags before the thunderstorm/squall came upon us blowing gale force and causing a complete whiteout. The crew stopped hanging the disco ball in the tween decks and burst from the ship clad in foul weather gear to rescue a tent on the dock that had exploded and then everyone jumped to repositioning dock lines and gear in the pouring rain after the wind had subsided.
We have had a lot of fun seeing old shipmates and getting to see all the historical sights Philadelphia has to offer. We will miss the wonderful crew of the HMS Bounty and although this the end of our journey on the ship, Bounty’s does not end: (www.tallshipbounty.org)
You are bringing back many fond memories, i too owned a Vega 27 years ago. If i remember correctly it was hull # 167. I sailed on the great lakes. The perfect place to learn how to sail, in ALL kinds of weather. When i retired from being a Firefighter in Lansing Mi 1980, My ship named SHIRAL, we headed for the Chesapeake Bay, Moon va. Apparently you sailed past the piakantank river on the way to Annapolis. I sailed from Lake Michigan, Huron, Erie, Erie canal, Hudson River, Delaware Bay, C&D canal to the Chesapeake. We now live in Lincoln De. 5 miles from the entrance to Delaware river. The two of you make me very envious. If you have time, please communicate with me. I am now 83 years young and a paraplegic, due to a flying accident. I should have stayed with sailing. I have sailed all over the world, just in books. I have had quite a interesting life, I wish you the very best.