Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tooting about

I have been negligent in my postings as I've just not had time to blog these last couple weeks as it is that time of the month and charters are kicking back into gear for the season.

The week before last, Greybeard and I had gone up river just a bit from us to check out the lightship moored up there. It is for sale and kicking keels, is a rather date-worthy endeavor. (Tugster had tweaked my interest in lightships with his post on the Nantucket Lightship which I've had a link to for some time.) This boat had been down at Celtic Shipyards for years and when they took that apart last year it moved just up the river from us. We can see it from Mitchell Island.

Over Greig's shoulder is the Maudi Morgan, former Relief Lightship #76. (click on the links for more history on Lightship #76) It is one of the oldest wrought iron lightships still in existence, built in 1904 and though in need of extensive renovations, it is utterly amazing. I have a "shwack" of photos to post on it. It is roughly the same length of the Bowie but much wider and roomier inside. They've got the same portholes and there is tons of light coming into the interior of the vessel. I found it kind of funny as when we were tooling about and checking it out, those KJ folks were snapping pictures of its sister ship, the Swiftsure. These two ships came around the Cape Horn together, alternately towing each other to conserve fuel. At one time it had two masts and they've since been removed.

I wish we had a video camera on Kent when he was taking us about. It has been in his family for many years and his knowledge of the vessel and all its workings is quite extensive. It would be a shame if this vessel isn't preserved somehow and that it can "pay" for itself. $30k could get you a nice lightship in need of repair.

It was a treat. Much like just floating down the river was afterward with the outboard motor shut off and drifting on the current. The freshette was ripping us along. The song birds along the shore serenaded us and we watched the bullying of a Golden Eagle by several crows as we came up to the tip of Mitchell Island. Alas, those pics came out too blurry to post.

2 comments:

rob said...

Whoa! thats the life eh! Ive always fancied a lightship, they ( trinity house) were selling them off, over here, (mostly without engines) for a pittance and they would easily take a 350 Hp Cummins and borgwarner high torque engine set up. but Ive never had the " guts " to go forward at it! lots of potential accomodation space and great head lights :o))of course.

Greg and Jamie said...

Love the shoes, darling! Those really made me smile ~ j