The Dory Shop

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada | (902) 640-3005 | info@doryshop.com

Stories from the The Dory Shop


The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 8 - SEA TRIALS OF THE AMAZING SCHOONER CALANOVA

SEA TRIALS OF THE AMAZING SCHOONER CALANOVA

WHEREIN THE CREW CLAMBER ABOARD, THE SKIPPER GAUGES THE WEATHER, GETS UNDERWAY AND PUTS THE SCHOONER THROUGH HER PACES AND RACES A LITTLE AND IT GETS COLD AND SAILS INTO HER NEW HOMEPORT OF LUNENBURG NOVA SCOTIA THUS BEGINNING OR ENDING IT ALL – NOT SURE WHICH.

The day had come. The amazing schooner CALANOVA had been laying at the dock. She was all ready for sea, or sea trials anyway. Sea trials are where you take a vessel out for the first time and sea how she does and to see if everything works right. Slaunwhite and gang had done a fantastic job on this schooner. Let her magic loose! Beware the seas!

There she was. All beautifully built, painted, launched, all swelled up and did not leak a thimbleful. Masts stepped, bowsprit fitted, rigging set up, running rigging rove off, sails bent, steering tested (you know, move the tiller back and forth and look over the side to see if the rudder moves at the same time in the same direction – it did, YAY!). Wood stove had a crate of dried split birch to keep the coffee and chowder hot. A couple anchors on the buffalo rails as a proper vessel should have, ready to let go as needed. The auxiliary engine was not quite sorted out yet – but who needs a cranky engine when ya gots a fine sailin’ schoonah under your boots?

The aforementioned crew (see The Calanova Chronicles Chapter 7) had made it aboard here just after dawn. Some fresh and chipper and excited, some bleary eyed and weary to the ways of the world. No matter. All solid schooner fare. Many a mile of thick halyard and mainsheet had been hauled by these calloused hands over the years. And today some would be working on picking up some callous. A couple dories had been nested on the starboard side for lifeboats. This was long before ZODIAC and VIKING rubber life raft suppositories you see wound now. A dory is a real boat anyway, not some gummie thing better for making play pools on a lawn for kids. Now if this had all taken place today, I know that a fair amount of time would been logically devoted to sundry emergency drills. But this was back in the day so not much of that stuff. The bilge pump was checked to see if it worked. It did. Nice piece of gear too. You could suck horses through that thing. They had to dump an apple barrel of sea water into the bilge to give it some water to test it as the vessel was tight as a drum. Speaking of tight… some of the crew were still a bit tight too. Oh, well, this was all back in the day… and this day would give then ‘the cure’…

The dories on the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA. They launch in an instant and can keep the seas.

Captain Himmelman takes charge this fine morning. He is eyeballing his crew for the first time. Some he knew, some he knew too well and some not at all. Well, it’s the sea that makes you a seafarer. And soon enough she will be headed to sea. The skipper gauges the wind, checks the high cloud for signs of things to come. Doesn’t say much but he figures that it’s light enough here in the lee of the bay but likely to pick up as the day goes on. Get fresh it might, or even sporty as they say around here.

With the sun making its way above the trees a light breeze sets in. Gulls follow a couple salt banker dory trawlers and eastern rig draggers headed out of the harbour bound to the banks to toil in the salty deep. the draggers will be back in a week or so. The salt banking schooners may be out months heading into various ports on the coast of Newfoundland for bait, or horrible weather from time to time. Newfoundland outports are friendly sorts of places to put in.

Making her way out of Mader’s cove….

The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA sails off the dock on her first day under way. Capt’ tells the gang to let her go and she drifts away from the dock in the light morning airs. “Give her the foresl and jib, stand by the main next”. No fuss, Captain Cool.

The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA tacking out of Mader’s Cove stretching the gear for the first time, beating her way out to Cross Island.

Out from under the lee of land the breeze is picking up.

This why they call it a “shake-down” sail. The dory rides like a gull…

Slam her to it!!! Putting The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA through her paces, nary a rope yarn parts...

A pick-up race into harbour between the schooners CALANOVA and the GERTRUDE THEBAUD. The famous THEBAUD never beat the CALANOVA in a match race. Nope, never happened.

A rare image taken of the Amazing CALANOVA from the decks of a schooner she just passed – and to looward at that!!!

Lee rail under! Sails stretching in good! Hold on buddy!

 

So, the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA slashed across the bay tacking and jibing. Heading out to sea to find some waves worthy of the name. Dashed up to Halifax to take a look and down to Riverport too. A pickup race with the GERTUDE L. THEBAUD coming to take on a new stack of dories at The Dory Shop. Half the price of the Gloucester dories and stronger built with full knees. Nothing parted (well, maybe a little breakfast). The rigging got a good stretching, it will need another tug on the lanyards to snug up the rig again. Maybe a couple leads will get shifted. Someone tie down the damn clapper on the bell, puleeeez! The wind shifted from SW to NW and got colder as the day came on, but no one felt a thing. the salt spray reached the masthead and eventually the CALANOVA headed back into port after a day well wasted.

The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA getting tide up in Lunenburg after her sea trials. It got cold.

The sweet CALANOVA sailing into Lunenburg harbour. Does it get better?

The powerful and daunting Schooner CALANOVA moored at the old Zwickers Wharf with a couple near and dear sisters, the Mighty AVENGER, now in Bequia bound for Carriacou - and the Fast & Able MARTHA SEABURY, now bound for Norway.

Coming soon….the mysteries of an auxiliary engine, making the sails, and then on to adventures and exploits the ages. Specs, vital stats and heretofore poorly understood history and contributions to western civilisation and some eastern ones too.