ANSA faced a dilemma in May. A diver had cleaned off the barnacles on Fanstasea’s hull prior to the Hospice Cup Race in September 2014. Unfortunately, since two years had passed since the last time the hull had been painted, this cleaning also removed much of the paint. During the wintertime, this posed no problem, as barnacles are warm water creatures. Mill Creek’s waters would warm up in June, however, putting Fantasea’s hull at risk for damage caused by the barnacles while it was unprotected by paint.
Fantasea had been out of commission until May 17, because it was determined that the gear shifter needed to be replaced in April. Waiting for the necessary parts added to the delay. This pushed back the start of training for Piloting and Navigation, Senior Crew, and Watch Captain/Cruising Skipper classes. In the past, Fantasea had been on the hardstand over two weekends so that ANSA provide enough time for volunteers to do the work and also allow leeway in the schedule in case it rained.
This year however nine days on the hard stand would push training back so far that there might not be enough time to finish all of the classes. Although weather forecasts are often wrong, good weather was forecast for the first weekend. The marina was willing to be flexible with the end-date, so ANSA’s Commodore decided to gamble, and put out a call to the membership seeking enough volunteers to accomplish the work in one weekend.
Fifteen ANSA members answered the call and worked at various times on the weekend: Arnie Porter, Blair Anessi, Bonnie Becker Ramsey, Dave Wilson, Dick Gavlak, Harvey Snyder, Jan Gutierrez, Jan O’Conner, Jason Giroux, Jim Openshaw, Judy Taylor, Tom Richardson, Vilma Baez, Vivian Clark.
The operation started when Dave, Vilma, Tom and a young friend of Tom’s wife Jan motored Fantasea from Mill Creek to the Magothy River, and then into Ferry Point Marina (http://ferrypointmarina.com/) where the work was to be done. As Fleet Captain, Tom felt that taking Fantasea on the journey was safe with a crew of four because of the forecasted good weather, the experience level of most of the crew, and the dockhands waiting at the Marina. After Fantasea arrived at the marina, Tom maneuvered the boat into the slip where it could be raised by the marina’s crane. The marina crew detached the forestay and genoa from the bow, slipped some really, really big rubber bands around the hull and lifted Fantasea out of the water and onto the stands that would be her home for a few days.
For the next phase, Dick and Tom got a head start on Friday, sanding 80% of the hull, thereby putting the work on schedule to be finished that weekend. On Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, the work crew showed up and finished the sanding, then wiped down the now clean hull with mineral spirits. At 11:00 AM, the work crew again took break from painting so that ANSA Chaplain Arnie Porter could conduct the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony. (The blessing of the fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities and was meant to ensure a safe and bountiful fishing season. The blessing of the fleet is still held at coastal fishing communities throughout much of the world and was brought to the U.S. by immigrants.) The crew took a break for lunch at noon walking down to the Gazebo on the outer dock for a lunch of sandwiches, chips, iced tea and lemonade organized by Rear Commodore for Operations Bonnie Becker Ramsey. After lunch, it was back to work again to start painting. The crew worked until 5:00 PM and adjourned for the evening.
A slightly different crew returned at 9:00 AM on Sunday to put the second coat of paint on the hull. The painting went fairly quickly and all of the major work was done by noon.
A delivery crew composed of Jim Openshaw, Jan Gutierrez, Judy Taylor and Tom Richardson brought Fantasea back home on June 4, ready for training two days later. Due to the willingness of those 15 volunteers to chip in and do the hard work necessary, the training season was put back on track. Thanks to all of you for getting the job done!