Thursday, July 14, 2011

Set Sail

Several months ago, when the weather was much chillier than it is today, I made a stop in Essex, MA at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. Originally what caught my eye was a 83 foot schooner called the Evelina M. Goulart; because this is my mom's maiden name I had to stop to find out more about it. 

The Evelina M. Goulart was built in 1927 by Arthur D. Story in the Story Shipyard(now the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum). She is one of seven surviving Essex-built fishing schooners and the only one to be virtually unchanged from its original configuration. 

As I poked around the museum's shipyard I looked across the way to H.A. Burnham's shipyard. H.A. Burnham has been building boats since 1635. Harold Burnham, a 28th Burnham, master boat designer, shipwright and sailmaker now carries on this craft using modern day technology, and age old techiniques that were handed down from generation to generation.

At the time of my original stop they were in the process of building The Ardelle, a 50' schooner. When I saw its frame it reminded me of a whale's ribcage. I wondered if that's how the original shipwrights got their inspiration, from a whale. 

Photo by Dan Tobyne

Photo by Dan Tobyne
This past Saturday, June 9th, H.A.Burnham launched the Ardelle. Although I was unable to be there I understand that aproximately 2,000 spectators gathered to watch. Here is a must watch video of the launch. I can imagine the excitement that Harold Burnham and his crew must have felt seeing The Ardelle finally take center stage in the Essex River. 

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