After a month of maintenance, today was the day we launched our boat Townshend. It was exciting to see all of the results of our hard work. We admired the water beading up on the freshly oiled wood, the shiny new paint on her thwarts and hull, and the new leathers on her oars.
We combined the launching of Townshend with hauling out our other longboat, Bear. Due to the cold winter weather, we all dressed in our orange exposure suits, grabbed gloves and hats and then headed to the dock. We towed Bear to the Boat Haven ramp using the motor launch Martha J, where Townshend was waiting for us on the trailer.
As with all wooden boats, we weren’t sure the amount of taking up (some might call this leaking) that Townshend would need after a month in a dry, warm shop. This is a normal process for wooden boats as the planks shrink as they dry out and need time to swell up when they hit the water. Because we were still taking up, we had two students bailing water, another student pumping with a gusher pump, and Martha J standing by as a safety boat.
We rowed and sang and pumped and bailed until we were almost back to Point Hudson. We stopped for a short snack and moment of silence in the cold winter sunshine. At the end of the day we appreciated seeing all of our work on the boat, working together as a team, having fun, wearing warm orange suits, and being back in the boat. See you next week!