July news

July news

posted in: Crew Stories, Gazela, News | 0

Al Ponessa included a great video link in his newsletter last night showing news footage of Gazela at Schaefer’s Canal House on the return trip from Norfolk in June.

Lots of other newsworthy developments as well. More good reasons to Subscribe to the newsletter!. You can read the full newsletter following the jump but here are some highlights:

  • On Saturday, July 13 we celebrated Paul Parson’s full life in the Quaker way on board Gazela. Over 50 friends, shipmates and relatives, including his daughter Naomi Paskins-Parsons and partner Beth Scheinfeld, shared fond memories of Paul.
  • Keep posted for some more summer fun with plays, art shows, etc. taking place on the deck of Gazela. Crew calls will be coming as dates are firmed up.
  • Tony Souza is building two more dories for Gazela. Volunteers needed. Check out progress.
  • For new members and those who need a refresher, let Al know if you are interested in Level 1 Training. For prospective members, you can contact the guild office if you would like become a member and take part.
  • Philadelphia Sailing Club will be conducting an Intermediate Sailing Skills training session in Bala Cynwyd at the Cynwyd Club on Aug 24 from 8:30 to 4:00.

July News

277We lost a great shipmate in June with the passing of Paul Parsons, one of Gazela’s cooks. I only sailed with him once on the recent trip to Norfolk but he lived up to the adage that a good cook is the most important person on board. Paul not only cooked great and creative meals, but he also provided entertainment and boosted morale at every opportunity. His pre-voyage crew e-mail exemplified not only his professionalism but also his sense of humor.

On Saturday, July 13 we celebrated Paul’s full life in the Quaker way on board Gazela. Over 50 friends, shipmates and relatives, including his daughter Naomi Paskins-Parsons and partner Beth Scheinfeld, shared fond memories of Paul. We sang some of his favorite shantys and remembered him with personal stories and anecdotes. Charlie Miller from the shanty group, the Singing Mermaids entertained us with Paul’s favorite songs, many having to do with Paul’s favorite subject, pirates and also included the touching and appropriate Fiddler’s Green. One of my (new) favorites is You Can’t be a Pirate.

Thanks also to Donna Vito and Lenore Khan and Janice Ursani who helped set up the memorable event.

Alan Baseden recorded an interview with Paul on the trip back from Norfolk. It is posted on our website and linked here: Interview with Paul.

Paul’s co-workers have made nice donations to the guild in memory of Paul. If anyone else wants to contribute in his name, contact Ann Preston at the office, (215) 238-0289 or Donate here.


The Norfolk-Baltimore Trip

On June 3, Gazela departed at about 0730 and headed south for Norfolk and Harborfest 2013. I was privileged to sail on the first leg of the trip. Winds were light so it was mostly motor sailing. We also had to rig some canvas and the lazy jacks. If you don’t know what they are you need to take a level one class soon… more on that later.

We had 19 on board, including some novices who quickly got their sea legs. Three of the crew (Ben Markle, Christopher Maleney and Peter VanBuren) were graduating that week, but they got permission to sail instead…a good deal in my mind. Actually Peter made it back for his ceremony.

We arrived at Lynnhaven inlet Wednesday night and anchored…a first for many of us. Under Sean Connolly’s tutelage, many of us are now seasoned veterans of the ‘chain gang’. Thursday we moored at Waterside. Unfortunately high winds and rain cancelled the Parade of Sail and other events on Friday. Madalyn Freedman demonstrated her artistic talent by ‘lettering’ our new life rings.

Saturday was a beautiful (and hot) day and we hosted over 2100 visitors. Nearly that number toured on Sunday. Monday was nice but the rest of the week brought rain, thunderstorms and a couple of tornadoes reported land-side. Gazela weathered and/or dodged the storms making it safely to Baltimore.

The Baltimore visit was fun for the crew as always, with Gazela returning to Penn’s Landing on Saturday, June 15th, just in time for Portuguese Heritage Day on Sunday. On the way out of the bay, there was an impromptu stop at Shaefer’s Canal House in Chesapeake City, providing an unexpected surprise for the patrons. The visit was recorded by the local news:


Dockside Events

The next big event was the July 6th Fireworks on the river with Gazela providing front row seats. A sold out crowd enjoyed the celebration of our nation’s birth right here in Philly.

Two other events followed in rapid succession…Gazela “42” on July 8th and a private reception hosted by KYW. Both were huge successes. Eric Lorgus previously provided information on Gazela “42”, celebrating the 42nd anniversary of Gazela’s arrival in Philadelphia. This event was hosted by the Independence Seaport Museum and involved silent auctions and a tour of the ship. This will become an annual fundraising event. Over 80 attended this year.

283Mary Smith (pictured right) and members of her family attended. There was also a video from the 1971 journey that was enjoyed by all. The Heart of a Ship and/or copies of Yachting Magazine featuring an article on the book were provided to guests.

Mark your calendars for next year…the date will be the same, July 8th for Gazela “43”.

Alan Baseden, a new member, recorded the event and posted it on our website: Gazela “42” Video. Alan has completely reorganized the website so if you haven’t clicked-in recently do so and see what is new. Thanks, Alan.

A special thanks also to those volunteers for these three events and for those who moved the ship twice to support them. You all stepped up on short notice and I really appreciate the effort. It reinforces that the Guild depends on the many volunteers.

Keep posted for some more summer fun with plays, art shows, etc. taking place on the deck of Gazela. Crew calls will be coming as dates are firmed up.


Scuttlebutt

As previously mentioned, Tony Souza is building two more dories for Gazela. A few have volunteered to help (Lisa Kolibabek, Sean Null, Stephen Bercik and Nick T.). If anyone else is interested let me know. Here is an update from Tony on his progress: New Dories.

Tony also reported that Mile Carlsson wrote a nice letter to the editor of Wooden Boat magazine stating he has been a “volunteer on Gazela, Philadelphia’s tall ship for ten years. We are lucky to have a crew from high-school age to seniors. Whether we are sailing on the Chesapeake or the Atlantic, the joy of being on a vessel that you help maintain is just wonderful.” Nicely stated! The letter was published in the July/August issue.

Lady sailors on the Swedish tall ship Göteborg will be wearing Gazela block earrings. On June 17, Tony Souza sent off 10 pair, 5 singles and 5 doubles, to Siri Botnen, third mate on Göteborg. Siri, formerly on the Picton Castle, bought earrings from him when they met in Nova Scotia. She now sails on the “largest wooden tall ship actively sailing” whose large crew admired her ear rings and asked her to arrange to buy some of their own…..nice job of cementing international relations with Sweden, Tony, but I thought Siri was the little lady inside i-Phones.

Thanks also to Alan Baseden who has been our audio-visual go-to guy. Besides the fundraiser, he video’d Harborfest Activities and updated our website. Visit it often to see what is going on.


Level 1 Training

For new members and those who need a refresher, let me know if you are interested in Level 1 Training. We hold sessions several times a year and the last one was in May after the cover came off so we are due for another. Just e-mail me and if interest supports it, we will conduct another class in August.

Philadelphia Sailing Club will be conducting an Intermediate Sailing Skills training session in Bala Cynwyd at the Cynwyd Club on Aug 24 from 8:30 to 4:00. The cost is $25 and topics include advanced sail trim, docking, anchoring, diesel engines and useful sailing ‘thumb rules’. A light breakfast, and lunch will be provided. Contact me if you are interested. The training is open to anyone who wants to attend, membership in PSC is NOT required.

Thanks again for all the volunteers who helped make the July events a great success. Don’t forget there is lots of work to be done on both ships, including taking Jupiter for a spin around the landing to knock the barnacles off. All are welcomed to work both ships, many common basic skills apply to both ships. Don’t limit yourself to one of the other. So come on down, the weather is fine and you can hone your ‘ship maintenance’ skills.

Sincerely,

Al Ponessa
Small Stuff Editor
Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild