The Maiden Factor Blog

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Maiden Update Logs – by Aren Hemmings

Photos by Aren Hemmings

June 30 Log

The Maiden crew arrived at Maiden around 6:45, and left Brooklyn One15 around 7:15. We motored to our next destination, being the American Yacht Club in Rye and by 10:30 we were joined by the children’s sailing camp flotilla. They were so happy and welcoming and shouted “Welcome Maiden!” and “You guys are so cool!” over and over again. It was such a lovely welcome! There were about 6 sailboats, a few dinghies and one train of small children in little boats pulled by a rope attached to their coaches boat. 

When we were on our mooring, we were greeted by Jasmine Downing, the Club engagement manager, Jennifer Leary club member, Kevin a facility manager, and Derek the photographer, who all came to pick us up in their tender. Jasmine gave us a lovely tour of the American Yacht Club and then we had lunch at the Tea House, courtesy of the club. 

At 5:15 we had the “opening ceremony” at the JAYC House where the passing of the baton took place. There were so many people there to watch! Most of the kids that were at the sailing camp, the counsellors, Commodore Thomas Blackwell and Rear Commodore Elizabeth Alexander. Commodore Blackwell and Rear Commodore Alexander said a few words welcoming Maiden to the Club and thanking them for choosing the American Yacht club for their stop.

After the passing of the baton, we went to dinner in the main building at 6:00pm. There were about 40 guests including Maiden crew, present for dinner, and after dinner the crew went to the front of the room for a question and answer session. They each told their story, how they started sailing and how they got onto Maiden, and answered questions about boat living. Once the Q&A was over everyone had dessert, paired with watching “Maiden” – what a great combo! One by one the crew slipped away and we had an early night on the boat. 

July 1 Log

Today we left the boat at 7:50 and got a tender back to the American Yacht Club. The crew prepared for a day of STEM activities with kids at the summer camps at the club. The STEM activities started at 9:00am and ran until 11:30am alternating between three stations; lines and knots with Heather, electromagnetism with Ami, and aluminum foil boat building with Junella. Heather had a bench with some lines and a winch bolted to it and showed the kids how a winch works by taking it apart – so cool! Then they practiced tying some knots. Ami had 2 batteries and a screw with wire wrapped around it. Then they would hold both ends of the wire on the respective positive and negative sides of the battery, and then the screw becomes magnetic and was able to pick up a paperclip. Junella had a bucket of water and had the kids make boats out of aluminium foil and to test their buoyancy. They dropped nuts and bolts in their boats, trying to see how many their boats could hold!

After lunch the STEM activities continued but this time with older kids. They really enjoyed it and a few of them got really into Amis electromagnetism experiment. 

At 5:45 we picked the winners of the Sunset Series raffle and took them to Maiden to prepare for the race! It was a lot of fun and the sunset could not have been more beautiful. Each guest got to steer Maiden and try out most of the positions and jobs on the boat. 

We got back into the yacht club at 9:00pm and there was a great barbecue waiting for all of the race participants and club members. We ate food and mingled until about 10:00pm when we decided to head back to the mooring.

July 3 Log

Skipper Liz Wardley and Heather brought Maiden into the dock at the American Yacht club in preparation for 1:00pm, when the the open boat tours started with the help of club member, Jennifer Leary. There were lots of people excited and waiting by the time 1:00pm rolled around. By 3:00 around 200 people had seen and been on Maiden! During that time we also had the Hands Around The World spinnaker out and Messages of Hope being written, taking place on the bowling green just outside the Club. 16 kids got to add their handprints to the spinnaker and had a great time colouring them in and writing little encouraging messages on them.

That evening, the crew attended the Independence Day barbecue. There were 800 people there! Jasmine, the event coordinator, showed us our table where we ate until around eight. Then we met the raffle winners and got a tender back to Maiden to watch the fireworks. The club generously provided wine and cheese and sort of a charcuterie board for the guests. They were lovely and had a great time, and the fireworks were amazing. They seemed to go on forever!

July 4th and 5th Log

Yesterday, Maiden left our mooring at the American Yacht Club in Rye around 5:15am and we arrived in Oyster Bay at 8:15am. We had a tour of the Oakcliff Sailing Center, our hosts, and met the crew who live there. There was a great kitchen and quite a few rooms with bunkbeds for guests such as ourselves. The rest of the day was a maintenance and rest day for the crew, and I caught up on computer work at the Oakcliff Sailing Centre. 

The next day was meant to start with a talk in the main part of the Oakcliff sailing centre but it was postponed to 4:00pm, so we got to start our training day earlier than expected! Around 10:15 we motored out of the bay joined by Will, Marie’s brother, and James who is part of the Apollonia crew who did some STEM activities with Maiden in Kingston. Once we got into the Long Island Sound, our crew training day really began! It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. 

We arrived back at the dock at 3:30pm and the group from the Oakcliff Sailing Centre met us at 4:00 for a quick tour and chat. There were 6 people who joined us, all staff at the centre. They were very interested in Maiden and had a lot of questions! It was such a great day overall.

July 6 Log

My morning was spent on my computer as usual and the crew worked hard on cleaning and maintenance on Maiden. At 6:00pm we were joined by 5 people and around 6:30 2 sailing students got on Maiden. We were meant to be racing, which would have been amazing, however unfortunately there was no wind and many, if not most of the boats competing backed out mid-race because we just weren’t moving! In fact Heather had to hold the spinnaker out at the bow, just incase it could catch the tiniest bit if a breeze.

Despite the lack of wind, we all had fun, and I know the students were very interested in helping and one had about a million great questions. We docked the boat around 8:30 and our guests went on their way. Everyone helped de-rig and then went to bed, ready for a good sleep!

July 8 Log

30 kids from Sagamore Yacht Club came on board for some activities and tours. Kids from Seawanhaka and Oyster Bay also came to Maiden for about half an hour. 2 women from “Rocking the Boat” in the Bronx came to visit again as volunteers with one of the other community groups. The rest of the afternoon until about 5:30 we had open boat tours and had about 30 people come by for a tour.

At 6:00pm we went back to the Oakcliff sailing centre for barbecue. It was such a nice way to end the day and get to know some of the local sailors more.