Thursday, May 6, 2010

Visit with Occoquan Yacht Club

The Occoquan Yacht Club invited us to visit the docks at Fairfax Yacht Club for a tour with activity, then hold our regular Ship 7916 meeting at the clubhouse. Our host was Harry Croft, whose wife, Pat, is currently serving as OYC Commodore.

Checking out boats on the dock.

Our host led the way to the covered dock where "Bay Dreamer," owned by the Crofts, is berthed. He noted various types of boats and their particular attributes, demonstrated the finer points of tying a cleat hitch and showed us a nifty way to stow long docklines.

Trying out the nifty way to stow docklines.

Afterward, Mr. Croft gave us a detailed tour of "Bay Dreamer," which is a very nice boat! He showed us the engine, told us how much fuel she uses, and took small groups of us up into the flying bridge to check out the Garmin and other cool equipment.

Mr. Croft in the flying bridge.

We hung out on the dock for a while, going through Q&A, before heading up to the clubhouse for our meeting. We noticed these interesting depressions in the mud under shallow water. Mr. Croft told us they were fish nests, and we could see the fish protecting their clutches of eggs. Neat!

Many thanks to OYC, especially Mr. and Ms. Croft, who were so kind to us and shared their interest and knowledge.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lightship Chesapeake Work Day

Sea Scouts from Ship 7916 put in about 6 hrs of work aboard the historic Lightship 116 "Chesapeake" on May 1, 2010. The scouts mostly painted, a constant job aboard ship. It was tedious and hot, but there was nary a complaint. "We're Sea Scouts, that's why!"

Happy Painters

Lunch was a brown bag affair in the mess deck where the skipper had eaten hundreds of times in her youth.

With painting complete, the scouts turned toward installing chafing gear on two of the dock lines. This took coordination and teamwork. Jared, Rebecca, Caitlin and Sarah took the pressure off the line, holding tight while their shipmates installed a piece of old fire hose to stop chafing on the line.

The scouts worked hard and felt the satisfaction of completing important work, helping to preserve a historic vessel.

The day also marked completion of a circle that began when the skipper started volunteering aboard "Chesapeake" soon after her eleventh birthday. When she turned 14 and of eligible age to join the Sea Scouts (called Explorers then), the National Park Service denied her application on the basis of gender, despite federal regulations. However, she continued to volunteer aboard the vessel until the fall after she turned 17. Now her own scouts--male and female--have spent a day aboard the Chesapeake, and so has she, not as a Sea Scout, but as a Sea Scout leader. Sweet.