Schooner "Revenante"

Friday, May 07, 2010

Back on track...

Revenante, true to her name, is back! Actually she never went anywhere, and work has been s l o w l y progressing over the past year, but she very shortly will. Before the end of May she will be gone from Cap`n Fairhead`s yard and will disapear down the concession rd on her way to her Kingston launching.

A week ago the structure we had up to protect her, and us, from the weather, blew down! Surely a sign.

Keep tuned to this site. I will garnish it with photos of the final preparations, and pick up the tale where I left off.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tiger - a sister ship...

It was wonderful to run across notice of another wooden "pinky", fully found. And better yet, accompanied by a video of her in action. The video, narrated by her owner, confirms what we have heard from Revenante's previous owners, and others ( including the historical record), about her safety, seakindliness and ease of handling. A link to this video is provided with permission of its creator, David Bruckner of Puchika Productions. It's just the boost we need to move our boat toward completion. Perhaps one day we will meet and sail alongside her.

You can view the video here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008 - a great year for a sail!

No excuses now - we have a boat, and the tools to build another!

Our inveterate collector/captain has procured a number of vintage tools two of which are illustrated here. The shipsaw is designed to keep large timbers safely and securely horizontal while angle cuts of varying degree are made by tilting the blade, not the wood. Are there futtocks in our future?

The other bandsaw is older yet, the column of massive wooden construction, creased, but not diminished, by age.

The sailplan has been delivered by the Kingston Sail Loft, and the sails are approaching the scissors. This winter will tell the tale...stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Captain's Mistress

OK people, there are coincidences and then there are coincidences. Consider this: when La Revenante arrived in Shawville we noticed a curious item aboard, which was clearly a game, but not one with which I was familiar. Since it's case was coming apart at the seams I finally brought it home, and put the power of the internet to work to find out more about it. Those more nautical than I will perhaps already have recognized that the game in the illustration is known as " The Captain's Mistress". What is surprising ( and amazing!) is the origin of the name. Those following this blog please take note at this point of the historical links already established between La Revenante and pinky schooners of the 18th century, with Joseph Banks, and with one James Cook...

I quote: " Legend has it that on his three major voyages, Captain Cook played this game nightly to relax with his fellow shipmates. . .naturalist Sir Joseph Banks and botanist Daniel Solander. Cook spent so much time playing the game that it came to be known as "The Captain's Mistress."

I rest my case.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A hiatus...and some history...

Ah, the responsibility of the blogger... to inform. So to all who have been wondering if La Revenante has fallen off the face of the earth, have no fear - we just took a break. Somewhere around the middle of May it became obvious that to try to make our Halifax deadline just wasn't fun any more - and above all, messing about in boats is ( and should remain) fun! So we have put off the launch to 2008, and in so doing will have all the time we need to do a proper job.

However, before I pick up where I left off, I would like to tip my hat to her previous owners, Mary Anne Seymour and Bob Schultz, who bought her from her builder and took loving care of her for 11 years when she was known as Amanda. Their interest, energy, and obvious love for this boat, will guide us as we bring her back 'on line'. Here ( in part) is what they say in a recent email:

"Amanda had a wonderful and enthusiastic following along the entire US east coast and throughout the Bahamas. (One year she was alleged to be the most photographed vessel in Mass. and was used in their tourist literature. She also appeared regularly in the Boston Globe as she sat frozen in the harbor each winter. Later, Amanda was the winner of the Mosholu Cup in Philadelphia - the trophy clock may still be onboard.) She was partied on and chartered by many in Florida as Amanda... I would love her many followers to find her,as LaRevenante, and be able to participate in her renewal, if not financially, at least energetically."

Stay tuned. There is much to report on, from the new engine, to the recanvassed cabin tops, and much more...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Got da blues...

...but that is a good thing! What I've got is a terrific Itronix military specs 'tough' laptop loaded to the gills with all the navigation software and charts that we are likely to need, and then some. It's waterproof, glows in the dark, and is internally protected against the slings and arrows of outrageous weather. The only thing it was not protected against was my stupidity in hooking it up to an external battery with the polarity reversed! However with some extraordinary help from the seller, and several trips across our 'longest undefended border' we have a tool which will help tremendously our project, and likely also survive the experience. If you want one too look for him on eBay by his handle 'ctsim'. Nothing but good things to say about the whole transaction.

Electronic charts are however only part of the equation, keeping in mind that part of our plan is to recreated the feel of 1759 when no good charts existed of the St. Lawrence, and James Cook was going about his business of producing the first accurately surveyed representations of the river. A gunter's chain, a plane table, an alidade, a sharp pencil, and a little trig is all it took. Bet you couldn't do it...

Saturday, March 31, 2007

March 30: Black Tot Day

35 years ago yesterday was the last day that Canadian sailors were given their daily rum ration, and no, that is not rum flowing from the spout, but the nectar of spring - sweet maple syrup fresh from the evaporator. Our Captain stokes the fires of this seasonal ritual which celebrates the awakening of the forest.

As the weather warms we are entering the home stretch for La Revenante and the job list seems long, and the time short. But the sun has a way of brushing away the seeds of doubt, and we press on! See you in Halifax!