My eye has been on this tale since it went to press and I should have been more punctual in adding a review since I am acquainted with the two old codgers and have detailed knowledge of the events Jay has described. I am the schooner Green Dragon. With the assistance of skipper Al I compiled a slide show pertinent to the tale. It's not a talkie, so if you skim over this first you might have a better idea of what you are looking at.
As for me, beginning in 1939, I was built by Chester Spear in Scituate, Massachusetts from plans by Scotty Gannett. It was 1951 before I was launched -- as Lady Millie. By 1962 when I was acquired by Al I had already been renamed Brenda Lee. At the time Al lived on Long Wharf in Boston near the site of the Green Dragon Tavern, "Headquarters of the Revolution", for which I am now named.
The tale begins a couple years back when Jay joined us in Spruce Head, Maine. We sailed about in Maine some, thence to Gloucester, which has been my home for many years. In 2008 my Graymarine gas engine gave way to a new 29 HP Yanmar diesel, now much beloved since I tend to wander between Maine and Norfolk and the crew does not have unlimited time to wait for the right breeze. In September I have had the habit of heading to Baltimore for the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race (GCBSR) which ends up in Portsmouth, Virginia, in mid-October. In this race, in six starts, I have a third, two seconds and three firsts in my class, but nowadays the skipper watches it on the internet, which is just as well, because it sometimes gets a mite arduous for a little boat of my age. When I raced I remained over the winter in Norfolk until early summer. This made for a lot of (mostly) enjoyable back and forth sailing, and Jay has been aboard for several of these trips. There is mention In the tale of a side trip we made to Washington before heading back to New England in June.
I know I must be objective in this review, and that is not easy, for Jay has done more than his share of hard work attending to my maintenance. You name it, he can do it. He is a master at rigging and a terrific all-around mechanic. Woodworking, refinishing, caulking, whatever. Wooden boats like me come in just two categories y'know... (1) those in need of restoration or (2) those in the process of decay, and we value those talents. Not to mention navigation, as in keeping me off the ledges and sandbars during long watches, day and night. He never even complained about my deck leaks. Or about the food Al dished up. And always congenial. Then there was the time he went over the side in icy Maine water to untangle a lobster pot warp from my prop. They just don't make sailors like Jay anymore. So how was the tale? Five stars, easy. Doggone good memory for a 78 year old. He told it just like it was. Has me raring to go back to Fells Point again with those two old codgers.
Schooner Green Dragon