Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Schools Out! And the Kids Are Alright

School is finally over for the summer and we have been fortunate to have a lot of hardworking youths coming by to haul, paint, clean out the bilge, carry heavy items from the Maine, and generally do a lot of grunt work. But, the 16 and unders pictured here did a great job yesterday doing all of this and more. Their reward was pizza under the tree and a good time was had by all. thanks, you are great! Since each one tried to hide from the camera I decided to leave them unnamed. See the various ways they duck the paparrazzi!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Check Out the Launch of the Schooner Ardelle on July 9 at high tide early evening

The schooner Isabella launched in August 2006. The Ardelle is over 10 feet longer

The Isabella launch was great. Aug. 2006. This photo was taken by Todd Harrington

The Isabella was 38 feet, the Ardelle is 50 feet. This photo was taken by SAIL magazine. Harold is in the red shirt and will be  the last one near the boat just before it slides down the ways..leaning  farther and father before it hits the water. It is.  a nail biting experience to watch, believe me!

Launch Day is very hectic!
 Get ready for a good day on Saturday, July 9 as the schooner Ardelle will be launched at high tide around 6 p.m. Here are some photos of the Isabella launching in 2006...the Ardelle is a bigger boat and the whole process on launch day is a bit scary but also incredibly exciting. It is really a rare thing to see but worth every minute. Stay tuned.
Here is the schooner FAME sailing. She was launched in June 2003.
Schooner FAME launced in 2003

Schooner FAME on launch day - 2003 Photo by Todd Harrington

Friday, June 24, 2011

Schooner Launch Date Set for Saturday July 9 at High Tide (early evening)

Launching the Ardelle on July 9? I better hop off!
Please do mark your calendars for an epic schooner launch on Saturday, July 9 in the early evening (high tide). If you have never seen an Essex side launch, it is well worth cancelling other plans to be here! We hope for a great evening and we are told that the light will still be good for photographers. The best viewing area is the Essex Shipbuilding Museum and they will have information on their website.

Additionally, for those interested and living in the area, the Essex Shipbuilding Museum will be hosting a covered dish or pot luck supper and slideshow on Thursday, June 30 at 7 p.m. Harold will also speak and do a tour of the Ardelle and yard. It is a great chance to see Dan Tobyne's photographs in a fun video format. Please sign up if you plan to attend the supper or bring something at
Launching on July 9 makes sense.

Scary Clown thinks July 9 is a great idea. The tide is high around 6:30 p.m.

Justin Ingersoll is credited with building an AMAZING rudder in rapid fire time. It will hopefully be attached today.

Perry Burnham baked one of her best batches of cookies in recent memory the other day. She will be heading up the crew next week when the hull has to be puttied. We like to let kids do this...if they can reach!

Dan Tobyne has been shooting this vessel constrcution since last August.. He has been joined by others who have become devoted photographers here and we thank you all. But, Dan's constant presence and amazing shots - through every kind of weather, has produced some fantastic work. He is an artist.  So, please come to the slideshow of his work and a covered dish supper (please email to say you are coming if possible. But, on Thursday eventing, June 30 at 7 p.m. at the Waterline Center he is going to show us his best shots over this past 10 months of construction.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Looks Like We Are Launching on July 9!

Here's hoping that the schooner Ardelle launches Saturday, July 9 There was a vigorous debate amongst some weary boatbuilders at lunch yesterday and they all want to see the job finished up right..but are also anxious to see it splash with a bit of fanfare. Because of some factors at hand, Harold has made the call this a.m. to launch her on Saturday, July 9. So, make your plans to come by here or to the Essex Shipbuilding Musuem for the best views. We will provide more details soon.  Also, on Thursday, June 30 the museum is hosting a covered dish supper and slide show by our own Dan Tobyne. We are also going to have a tour of the boat. It all starts at 7 p.m. but please do sign up for the supper through the museums website and the link here is to their email address so you can sign up for the supper and if you have a dish to bring, let them know. Thanks!!!
 Dan Tobyne has gotten everyone in these pictures really putting their backs into the work. We see a lot of focused faces now..the last weeks of a project like this are exhilarating and exhausting. And, for all you kiddies out there, there will be a putty party very soon. That means we need you kids to help us putty the entire stay tuned for that. We think Perry is in charge of that job and will take recruits!

Frances Cleary is working on the rudder
Steve Willard is one of the strongest men we know and is outpacing everyone as he fares the hull

Harold and Chuck work in the focsle

Boatbuilding is a thankless job!

Zach, 16,  (left) has literally gotten taller, older and wiser before our eyes since he started last year

Harold has to sand after Steve grinds the hull. All will be glad when this part of the project is done.
This is a bit of Yankee ingenuity and requires a strong back, too. Bruce Slifer sanding the masts
This looks like fine ahht to me. Thanks, Dan!
Perry and Cole painting the frames..more back bending work!
Wish we could see the future through these mast hoops
Everything must be carried up the staging - including the samson post! Chuck Redman pictured.

We just see so many shipwrights leaning into the job. Very seriously trying to finish now!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Shout Out to the School Kids

This picture includes Essex Elementary School children and Nancy Dudley, the museum's educational director.

Today is one of the last few days of school and the intrepid and hardworking Nancy Dudley and crew at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum have done an amazing job bringing kids to the yard, from all over the country. Today is a special day as the kids are from right here in Essex. The elementary school here has been a big supporter of the Schooner Ardelle. Over the winter, the second graders - with the help of the very talented Daisy Nell and her band composed a song about a mouse that stowed away on the schooner Ardelle. Now, Daisy has written a children's book called the Stowaway Mouse.. You can hear the song on this YouTube video. It's great!

Essex Elementary kids chat with Harold. Photo by Barry O'Brien

Essex Elementary children. Photo by Barry O'Brien

Photo by Barry O'Brien

Nancy Dudley, left front, is the educational director of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. Nancy is a great asset to the museum and she always comes by to help whenever needed. She also never forgets to bring a dog cookie for Daisy! Thanks for everything, Nancy!  
Photo by Barry O'Brien

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Everyone

Harold and his Father, Charles "Chuckie" Burnham. .

Today Harold and the crew put on the trailboards, and are working towards finishing the rudder. The faring of the hull is ongoing and everyone pitched in a great deal over Father's Day weekend here in the US.  Dan Tobyne, a great and devoted Dad, has been taking some amazing photos lately and I am going to post more of those tomorrow. Today, it seemed like a good day to mention some of my favorite fathers and their sons and even a father to be. They are all great men and in their individual ways they will always be among my favorites. I saved in the last photo a shot of my cousin David Upton, who is a father and grandfather, and I took this photo last August. In a very sad turn of events, David was shortly after diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and as today is Father's Day I am sending him my best wishes and love always. And to all of you out there, I just want to raise a toast to all of you fathers  and those fathers to be and do think of our grandfathers and great grandfathers too! 
Dan Tobyne, photographer and a great Dad, took this photo.

Alden Burnham, Harold's son, is 17. A gentleman and a scholar.

Alden, Chad Gadbois, and Harold. Chad is a great Dad, too, with young children.
Chuck Redman has three kids. His son Frankie has worked here many times.

Gordon Hertel, my 10-year old nephew is a great son. His dad is Frank Hertel.

Simon Koch, our neighbor, is expecting his first child and it's a boy!

My extraordinary cousin David Upton. Father of Kalie and grandfather of Grace. Both redheads!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Countdown to the Splash - Harold Will Announce the Date Very Soon

The deck is now down but it was actually qute fun walking on it like this.. All photos by Dan Tobyne

After this weekend, Harold is going to make his no turning back announcement about the date of the launch..which is quite soon and we are all getting ready for it now. There is a lot left to do but the work is going quite well.  Steve Willard is faring the hull and he is an epic worker so it is getting done quite quickly. Harold and Justin Ingersolll are building the rudder and Bruce, Chuck, and Zack are finishing up the stanchions. The bulwarks will go in next…and just last night the tide was high and lapping at the keel. It seems that the Ardelle is also ready to splash…Essex shipwrights always launched their schooners before the heat of summer and we are trying to stick with that tradition as best we can. Besides, at this time of year our loyal shipwrights are looking at the good sailing weather and everyone is keen to go sailing, too, and some of the workers have their own boats to get into the water. Time is getting close and it will be a real bash when the Ardelle goes down the ways. Stay tuned for the announcement of the date. And, oh, bring your cameras.

Chuck Redman at the helm

Daisy is always underfoot and hates to be left out of things.

From left Davis Griffith, Zack Teal, Jeff Lane, Harold and Chuck Redman

Charles "Chuckie" Burnham 

Bruce Slifer

 Chuck is working on the bulkheads in his Build Locally, Sail Globally. Yes, we did borrow that slogan and change it was originally Pete Seeger's call to Think Globally, Act Locally...but perhaps we have the same idea here!

Harold is working on this we paint the hull

My she is pretty!