In which Emily and Morgan learn to sail, get motorcycle licenses, witness a meteor shower, sing “Mariner’s Revenge”, build and paint boat, and are infinitely grateful to The Apprenticeshop and to everyone who supported them with Michi Zeebee this summer
We built a boat this summer. We also did some sailing, exploring, and other things, but mainly we built a boat. In the mix of working we collected some of our most memorable moments from the summer to share with you all. Here it is in bits and pieces – our summer in Rockland – building a boat:
Gluing, gluing, and more gluing. We used so much PL glue (construction adhesive) we practically bought out Home Depot’s supply. From lap joints to plywood to our clothes and feet there was glue everywhere. At one point Emily got a huge dried chunk in her hair. She simply took a box cutter to it – problem solved to everyone’s astonishment at The Apprenticeshop. Sailing to the famed Eggemoggin Reach from Rockland to participate in the regatta. We sailed at seven knots with the wind under the little Deer Isle bridge through the Reach, heeled over so the sea was beneath our feet, the jib full and the mainsail curved like an inflated waxing moon. Emily had just emerged from a three-hour bout of seasickness triggered by too much binocular and camera work. Morgan and our guest from Miami, Kendra, were reading maps and learning to seafare, while Joao looked proudly on at his crew, even the sick one.
Putting the keel stringer and hull frame pieces together so that our project actually started looking like a thing that might float instead of bunch of loose puzzle pieces on the ground. Folks started coming around and asking us questions. Apparently everyone was waiting to see if we could actually build. Yes, we can. We can build a boat.
Burning up on asphalt as we swerved, turned, stopped on a dime, and did figure eights to prove our abilities on motorcycles.
Singing “The Mariner’s Revenge” every morning while we were commuting from Emily’s sister’s house in Augusta and then every day after that even without the commute. It accompanied us as we got ready to work on the boat, and we even sang throughout the day with masks on as we sanded. We pretty much had this song on loop throughout the building process.
Sweating so much that we discovered new places that sweat could pool. Kendra kept reminding us to drink water in between all of us gluing, sawing, and sanding. Thank goodness for Kendra! Thank you thank you Kendra for helping us throughout this building process – you are a rockstar! Throughout all this we had to wear masks. We like to think we look like an obscure indy rock band in this photo.
Lying out on the dock at night with Nina and Kendra to watch the Perseid meteor shower. We counted fifty stars falling across the sky as we talked about life, ate pizza, and drank cider, all the while the ocean’s tide lapped underneath us.
Shouting “heave” and returning “ho” in our first official rowing lesson, passing the undersides of docks and the working waterfront, sparks flying from a propeller as men welded the broken bones of a work boat, and the glistening sides of a black-hulled, many-masted schooner.
Taking a nap under the upside-down hull of the boat on its form, drifting off on a wooden board and waking up to a gopher two feet away, ready to protect its territory.
Sleeping next to seven people on a tarp that was too small for us in the largest tent at the campsite, pitched next to the smallest tent at the campsite. Sailors played their fiddles, harmonicas, guitars, and mandolins by the fire not too far away, celebrating a beautiful sail on the Small Reach.
Rowing and rowing and rowing in the dead calm from Rockland to Camden, Terry singing a sad song from the Ohio river while four oars dipped and pulled our sailing vessel for almost four hours.Sitting on the corner of the boat painting it copper oxide red when the twenty-foot-long tent covering Michi Zeebee was picked up by a gust of wind and sailed over my head, wrenching its poles from the earth and busting its welds. It moved over Emily’s head like a huge sail. Apprentice Joe, who was helping with the painting, caught it with his hands and ferried it to safetyPainting several coats on Michi Zeebee’s hull and slowly pulling off the extra-special, extra-pricey green painter’s tape to reveal perfect lines. She came together with hiccups and bumps and somehow turned into a thing that looks like it could be flipped over and floated down a (very calm, very long) river.
Thanking everyone, over and over in our heads and in person, and finally here: There are so many thank you’s, hugs, and high fives to go all around. We couldn’t have done it without the support of family, friends, our kickstarter supporters, and of course the fine folks at The Apprenticeshop. Joao, Nina, and Joe – thank you so much for helping us paint and supporting us throughout the building of Michi Zeebee. Tom, Kevin, Dale, and Sean – thank you guys for providing your wisdom and answering all of our boat building questions. Terry, thank you for teaching us how to row and helping us get our sea legs. Rose, Trish, and Tori – thank you for making us feel a part of The Apprenticeshop family. Kendra and Estella – thank you guys for helping us build Michi Zeebee! Rebecca and John – thank you for letting us stay at your beautiful place on the lake and letting us borrow that sweet vw bus to pick up lumber. Ramona, thank you for bringing us a mini fridge and sending us constant words of encouragement throughout.
And some personal thank yous, from Morgan: Mel, thank you for making sure we ate something healthy now and then, and supporting me throughout this project. Dad and sis, thank you guys for coming all the way out from California to see me and the boat. Mom, thank you for always supporting me no matter what. And from Emily: thank you to my fellow du Houxs. You’re a force.
Stay tuned as we build the cabin and prepare for our journey down the Mississippi next summer.