With Lynx once more afloat and a New England winter looming, the crew has turned their efforts towards reassembly. Most of the larger projects are done, or very nearly completed. At this point in the yard period, it becomes hard to discern what has happened this week, or the week before, or even just yesterday, as so many things happen at once; I must confess that I use the daily photographs and log book for reminders. Nevertheless, it is easy to see that Lynx is just about ready to be put back together.
The numerous days of sanding and prepping blocks finally came to an end. All the prepped blocks were strung up and treated with two coats of oil. And then they got to go back together. Empty oiled shells had to be paired with the Ziploc bag containing all of that block’s assorted gear. Sheaves had to be lined up with metal strops had to be lined up with pins, many of which had only one correct way to fit and had to be convinced of that way with a mallet. The chief mate led a short class on rope stropped blocks and they all went together in quick order. Several days of prep led to a day and a half of reassembly, leaving an impressive pile of ready-to-go blocks.
The ship’s time on the drydock was similarly productive. Working with the yard, the crew was able to remove all of the chainplates (the holding points on the hull for the shrouds); inspect, clean and replace strainers on the hull; and get a full coat of bottom paint on. The crew was even able to cut in the paint just above the waterline in the hours before the ship splashed again, simplifying the upcoming painting of the topsides.
Back at Gloucester Maritime, where the spars have been enjoying a rest from the work they are normally expected to perform, the crew has been hard at work as well. The yards, gaffs, booms, club and topmasts have all been repaired and sanded, and are now looking ship-shape with new coats of paint, varnish and oil. The leathers on the gaffs and booms have been repaired and replaced. All the spars are missing is sail. And possibly a few more coats of varnish.
With the chainplates out, it is a prime time to work on the deadeyes that are normally attached to them. It is a project akin to block sanding: small, intricate sanding work, done multiple times, with the added bonus of rust busting and metal grinding. Luckily, Gloucester Maritime has been kind enough to allow us some space in their (warm and dry) boat shop for the work, which makes it much more pleasant. Speaking of the chainplates, they were returned Saturday morning, freshly galvanized. After sanding down, cleaning and hanging all sixteen, they also received a coat of paint. Soon, the deadeyes and chainplates will be reattached to each other and to the ship.
As the crew races the winter and applies coats of paint or oil or varnish in between rain and what we tell ourselves is not freezing rain, we look to going sailing again. The lower masts are about ready to go back in, as soon as the chainplates dry and the deadeyes are back on. The yards are ready to be rigged. There are now more pieces going back together than coming apart, a wonderful turning point in yard.