A Travellerspoint blog

Farewell and Hello, My Name is…

The Day That I Fell off the Boat

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Friday, September 27th, 2013

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

This morning we had an Education Sail. This means that during a day sail, we break into four sections and educate the passengers on topics as they pertain to the War of 1812. I really find this entertaining. In my “ashore life” I love teaching the public almost anything that is historical in nature and I have the chance to do it all of the time. On board the Pride of Baltimore, the cook doesn’t really get to teach anything. They assume that the cook will not have any interest or time to participate in education and even though when they were looking for volunteers to teach various topics I had stuck my hand into the air, I was overlooked. Perhaps my duties don’t allow time, who knows. Time will tell!

Today is an exciting day. Ok, every day is exciting when you live on the greatest ship in the world but today is more so. Our two new deckhands arrived! Brandon, the fashion princess, and Alex, our engineer and my cabin mate, are departing tomorrow. Chad, a Deckhand, has been training with Alex to take over as the Engineer. This means that he will be moving in with me. This also means that two Deckhand spaces are available. Enter onto the scene Jesse and Lydia! Today they boarded the ship and it was slightly odd that the crew, including myself that boarded in Erie, are no longer the “New Crew”. Oddly more so is the fact that seasoned crew are leaving, leaving us to train the newbies in. Wow, life is fast moving in the Tall Ship world. We also got a full complement, less one, of Guest Crew. This means that I no longer have to do any dishes!!! YEA Guest Crew.

Even better than not having to do dishes for the next couple of days, I did not have to cook dinner tonight! The DEA took all of the crew out for a seafood dinner and drinks as a thank you. I was so excited to go to a restaurant that, after meeting Jessie on the deck for the first time and with the Captain and the rest of my crew waiting for me dockside, I decided that I could jump on the cap rail and bounce down the gangway. I only got half of that right. I missed the cap rail completely, falling face first off the ship onto the gangway. But do not worry, I did bounce down the gangway, it was just on my face, elbows and knees. CLASSY, huh? Dinner did go better once I decided that I was not a Mexican jumping bean. Every crew member was even awarded a certificate of gratitude and a nifty lapel pin from the DEA! And to think that the DEA bought me drinks after I fell out of the ship.

Oddly enough, after a fine dinner with the DEA, the crew departed the restaurant for a night of debauchery out on the town. A proper final send off for our departing Shipmates as this was their last night with Pride. The question that is asked in a sea shanty, “What do you do with a drunken sailor…” can now be answered. Stumble around Boston and get more booze. All present could hardly stand upright and we needed to support each other, but we did take care of each other and behaved as proper sailors. Whatever a proper sailor is. Rather contradictory, I find.

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II

P.S. I decided that I would make both of them a favorite treat as a going away present. Alex requested Apple Crisp and Brandon wanted Gourmet Rice Krispy Treats. I made a huge pan of Apple Crisp this afternoon and am keeping it for tomorrow’s good-byes. I will make Brandon's treats in the AM. Too tired and drunk to cook tonight!

Posted by kitcusick 13:10 Archived in USA Tagged education lobster jesse lydia Comments (1)

Anyone Want to Pick Up a Sailor Boy?

When a Sailor Meets a Soldier

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Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Day of Provisioning is among us! So far I have provisioned in Erie, PA with Kathleen, the former Cook of Pride, and in Rockland, Maine with the Cook of the Victory Chimes. Today is the first time that I had to go solo, in an unknown town and without transportation. I did some research on my smart phone and I find what appears to be a decent-sized grocery store that is within walking distance to a Trader Joes. I was thinking that I needed to introduce my shipmates to Cookie Butter, which can only be found at Trader Joes. The only problem was that the grocery store wasn’t anywhere near walking distance to the ship. TAXI! It has been quite a while since I hailed a cab but I found that if you just throw yourself in front of a cabbie, 50% of them might stop. It is nice to know that Boston cabbies drive just like the NY ones do. I get dropped off at Trader Joes for a whopping sum of $17.00. Do the cabbies not know that the 10 minute cab ride is 2.5 Deckhand’s meal allowance for the whole day? I scored two jars of the Cookie Butter so it was totally worth it. I will have the entire crew at my disposal now.

I walked the eight blocks over to Shaw’s Grocery. I had some major shopping to do and I was really looking forward to trying to cab it home with three cart loads of groceries. I had a brilliant idea pop into my head one block before entering the store. Post my needs on Facebook. Out came the handy dandy smart phone and my new Facebook status became “Anyone want to pickup a sailor boy in Boston, MA? Please have trunk space for some groceries. Need ride back to my tall ship. Sad but true.” Within five minutes I had two offers from friends that I didn’t know lived in the area! My WWI reenacting buddy, Pvt. McGee came to the rescue. He was able to be at the store in an hour's time, which gave me plenty of time to shop quickly. $500.00 later he arrived right as I was checking out. I was back at my ship with 22 minutes to spare before we had to head out on a day sail for the DEA. PERFECT timing and all thanks to McGee. You will be mentioned in the morning dispatches.

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II &
Proud Company Quartermaster Sergeant of the B.E.F., Neuville Sector.

Posted by kitcusick 13:20 Archived in USA Tagged trader_joes cookie_butter provisioning Comments (0)

Tours and Ghosts Abound

Expanding Horizons on the Road Less Traveled

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Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

A DAY OFF!!!! A whole day but of course I still made breakfast, I mean who wouldn’t, right? What is better than a day off in a new and awesome town? A day off with a pile of your shipmates, who also have the day off, in a new and awesome town!!! It gets even better when I learn that Brandon, the Fashion Princess, used to live here and is willing to give a walking tour of his home turf to Sam, Drew, Brittany and myself. The tour starts out by heading to a camping store where a bunch of us have money burning holes in our pockets. I find a beautiful cardigan sweater with a shawl collar in a lovely brown wool. They only have one and it happens to be my size. Damn it. It is on sale for $120.00, which is approximately $119.99 more than I was hoping to spend here. Actually it is closer to $120.00 more as we had already stopped in an Italian coffee shop for treats and coffee and after the shopping were on the way to grab food out. I decided that I could make the sweater when I got home. All I would need to do is get some photos of the design and copy it. No better way to take photos than to model it yourself and have a friend take photos. I got great detail shots of every angle, even the buttons, so I could faithfully reproduce it. Then I bought it. Screw it and just get it, right? Yup. Looks awesome and I love it.

I forgot to mention that on the way to the camping store, Tin Tin’s, that we happened to cross the bronze statue of Paul Revere, right by the famous church that still stands. It blew my head off my shoulders that we just happened to cross this area. I would normally take a vacation across the country to see something like this and here I didn’t even know that it existed and just stumbled on it. I love Boston.

We departed the camping store and went to the Market Square. This area predates our country! Original buildings, original streets and vendors still trying to take your money for wares sold. I finally got to try my first lobster roll on the East Coast. Delicious! Then I found a Greek baker that sold me three pieces of Baklava. One for me, one to share with the shipmates and one for Maria as I am planning on stopping by her shop this afternoon.

After lunch it was decided to break into smaller groups and I went with Brandon and Brittany for a beer at an Irish Pub and then to set-up Brittany’s hammock in the city park for a quick lay-down. I am not going to lay down, I was completely weirded out with the notion of setting up the hammock in public. They thought nothing of it in the least and only found my hesitation strange. How different we all are! I watched as they found two suitable trees and stretched the hammock across and then they both got in the thing together. Right next to the sidewalk path in the public park – downtown Boston! Clearly I am still trying to process this. I am so glad that I witnessed this, as it forced me to examine my sensibilities in life. Perhaps I need to live more, think less and only care about what truly matters. Thank you Brandon and Brittany for expanding my vision.

After a short while I had to depart their company and make my way to Maria’s shop. I had some loose instructions, a vague map of the area and a water bottle. Everything that a sailor needs, I guess. I headed out to explore an unknown city, on my own. It quickly occurred to me that I had never done this before. I am a very social creature and enjoy companionship when exploring. I do not go out and explore on my own. I am more likely to do research on any given location, plan an outing with friends and make it happen. I might also bring a Victorian picnic along for snacking on, complete with aspics. But I would not explore alone, until now. I loved it. I still wish that I had the companionship but I do not think that I will plan so much in the future. With my new found sense of adventure, I decided to take the "road less traveled" by taking every back road and side street that I could. Guess what, it was brilliant! Out of nowhere, at the end of an alley, I literally walked into a cemetery called the Granary Burying Ground, est. 1660. Not just any cemetery but the final resting place of:

  • John Phillips (1770–1823), first mayor of the city of Boston
  • Samuel Adams (1722–1803), statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Crispus Attucks (1723–1770), African-American victim of the Boston Massacre, in a common grave with the other four victims and Christopher Seider, a boy killed 11 days before
  • Peter Faneuil (1700–1743), benefactor of Faneuil Hall
  • Members of Benjamin Franklin's family
  • Jeremiah Gridley (1702–1767), lawyer, defender of writs of assistance in 1761
  • John Hancock (1737–1793), statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • James Otis (1725–1783), lawyer, Revolutionary War Patriot
  • Robert Treat Paine (1731–1814), signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Paul Revere (1735–1818), silversmith, Revolutionary War Patriot
  • Increase Sumner (1746–1799), Fifth Governor of Massachusetts
  • Nathan Webb, (1705–1772), pastored the first new Congregational Church in Massachusetts started during the Great Awakening period for over 41 years
  • Benjamin Woodbridge (1708–1728), victim of the first duel fought in Boston
  • Samuel Sewall (1652–1730) Salem Witch trials judge
  • John Smibert (1688–1751) Scottish-American artist
  • John Endecott (c. 1588 – March 15, 1665), First Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • Phillis Wheatley (May 8, 1753 – December 5, 1784), American slave and first African-American poet and first African-American woman to publish a book

I took the time to look for almost all of these graves and spent hours doing so. This is by far one of the most astonishing places that I have ever been and to think that, again, I just stumbled into it in the middle of Boston.

I did force myself to leave the cemetery and continue down the road to find Maria’s wedding gown shop. Beautiful salon, lovely designs and well worth the walk. Should you ever find yourself in Boston and needing a couture gown, check out Maria’s work at her salon, Sabella Couture at 151 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111 or at www.sabellacouture.com. We had a lively chat and I got a tour of her work space, which I adore. It was wonderful to meet such a lovely and talented designer in Boston.

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Fashionable Shipmate Sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II

P.S. Maria, thanks for the shop talk. Can I be in your fan club? I promise that I have better shoes than you saw me wearing on the ship.

Posted by kitcusick 13:54 Archived in USA Tagged cemetery hammock brandon maria brittany paul_revere Comments (1)

Going to Boston

Talk, Talk and Shop Talk - Maria was her Name

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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

What an incredible morning! Had a wonderful, albeit short, night’s sleep, woke right up and got going on breakfast. I had it on the dry sink right on time and still had time to pop my head up and check out our entrance to the Boston Harbor. It is amazing to think about the history of these ports. I am arriving in Boston in the same fashion as our forefathers. I LOVE seeing Boston for the first time from the water side of life. I am a firm believer that everyone should consider traveling via Tall Ship. It is way more interesting than traveling by the same old auto on the same old road. Of course I got marvelous photos that perhaps one day I will be able to share. Boston’s port is absolutely gorgeous. We were all moored up by 09:00.

Now in direct contrast from my previous paragraph – I have phone coverage and internet access! I was finally able to Skype with my lady, Kate and my puppy dog, Anubis! So very exciting and so much to say and hear. I also made contact with my Mother, Father and Grandmother. I guess that you can say that I love the mixture of old and new technology. Most folks have this idea that the past is somehow more romantic in one way or the other. While I love recreating the past in all of my various groups, hobbies and interests, I am fully aware that the best time to live is now. Right now! Hopefully no one can accuse me of not living life to the fullest during this crazy adventurous time.

Interesting enough, while of living life to the fullest, I still had time to clean up breakfast, make lunch, clean up lunch, and “spit” polish the entire Galley. Tonight we have a very important reception aboard the vessel for Boston’s Drug Enforcement Agency. Our whole purpose in coming here is for the victims and rescue workers of the Boston Marathon bombing. The DEA has decided to host a couple of events on Pride as a thank you and to show support. I am glad that we can be a part of it.

The reception tonight was quite fun I thought. I enjoyed talking to folks and showing them the Midship’s Main Salon and Galley spaces. Normal cocktail party chit chat, which, after doing all of the Diva fashion shows and all of the historic entertaining that I have participated in, comes quite naturally to me. I really do feel like a host for the ship and not a fashion designer at these things, however tonight I got to do both! I invited a lovely couple into the Galley and gave them my normal spiel. I do notice that she is fashionably dressed and looks marvelous with awesome shoes. A dead giveaway. We start chatting about shoes and within one minute I find out that she is a fashion designer, specializing in high-end wedding gowns with a shop within walking distance of the ship. I, of course, have to spill the beans on my fashion works and next thing that I know her husband has wandered away and some of my shipmates are just staring in disbelief that we can talk shop at ninety miles an hour, without breathing, pausing or blinking. I forgot to mention that she is from Greece and currently planning a big Greek wedding for her sister. I had just worked on a big Greek Jewish wedding the week before I departed for this adventure, so there was no stopping us. Maria invited me to her shop and I plan on going.

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing on the very Fashionable Pride of Baltimore II

Posted by kitcusick 15:22 Archived in USA Tagged maria boston dea Comments (0)

Get Outta My Way!

Boston Bound

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Somewhere in transit to Boston, Massachusetts, USA

There is a Lord indeed – we are departing Castine at 06:00! Personally, I think that we stayed for about 13 hours too long here.
Really nothing too exciting happened today. Just more general boat maintenance and basic sail handling. Lots of wind! I love going super fast. We are averaging 9.5-11 knots afternoon. I lied! Something exciting did happen today! I took the wheel! I wanted to get away from Castine so bad that I took the wheel away from the Chief Mate. Actually, I was given my first lesson in helmsmenship and stood a watch at the helm. So scary to “drive” this huge wooden boat about the ocean. All of the Deckhands take turns doing this every day, so they are completely over the thrill of it. Not me. I could hardly breathe when I had the wheel. Can I also say that there is a lot of muscle needed to keep the wheel where it should be? I was rather surprised with this. The Deckhands always make it look so easy.

Of course I cooked all day and I have a very carefully documented list of all items that I have made while serving as Ship’s Cook, all of which went down with the Great Laptop Crash of '13. Hopefully I can retrieve this list if the hard drive is fixed.

I am super pumped about tomorrow, though, we should land in Boston! I have always wanted to check out Boston and this will be my first time there. Cross your fingers that I have phone and internet coverage there.

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing and Driving the Pride of Baltimore II

Posted by kitcusick 14:40 Archived in USA Tagged wheel boston Comments (0)

A Hole Called Castine

Any Port in a Strom Except Castine

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Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Castine, Maine, USA

Today was a fun day for some. The other tall ships departed and our crew had time to travel ashore on the small boat. They enjoyed Frisbee and other exciting times – or so I am told. I was stuck on the ship cooking more dang food. I didn’t even know that leaving the ship was an option but I guess that it was for most folks. Most of the time this cooking gig is rather thankless. Thank goodness that I get to play with the sails and lines on occasion.

After lunch was cleaned up, we hauled up the anchor hook and departed the Cove. Rumor had it that we were heading to Castine, Maine. Don’t know why and I don’t know where that is either! Am I being held hostage and I haven’t figured it out yet? Maybe, but who has the time to think about it much less do something about it.

We arrived in Castine, so at least my sources were accurate this time, at 17:00. There is a HUGE steel vessel, “State of Maine”, that is used by Maine Maritime Academy, that we were able to tour. Did I mention that it was huge? Made us look like a small dingy raft. I got some great photos of the vessel as well as some truly awesome shots of Pride from on top of “State of Maine”, which was a great vantage point. Sunset was glorious behind us. Again I would love to share but……

Dinner tonight was Fettuccini Alfredo served with Italian Sausages (both sweet and spicy options) with a side salad and fresh baked Italian bread. Yummy. After dinner I was able to tour another sailing vessel that our Chief Mate had served on previously. The vessel is the Schooner “Bowdoin”. It was so very tiny compared to the luxury that I am now accustomed to but really neat to see, especially the Galley. Mine still wins the “Best Galley” award.

I walked around Castine for less than five minutes and had time to see almost everything that it had to offer. Very picture perfect – for a Stephen King horror film. Great architecture – not so great folks. The town is filled with naval cadets from the academy and apparently it was “Rush Week”. This was made painfully clear because they were awfully obnoxious with yelling and screaming out of car windows, making derogatory remarks, and generally making fools of themselves. I think that hiding out on the ship is the order of the evening. I can only hope that we have a VERY early departure.

I still do not have any internet or phone connections. I really want to check in back home and let folks know how I am doing and get some of these blogs posted!

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing and Hiding out on the Pride of Baltimore II

Posted by kitcusick 15:09 Archived in USA Tagged hole castine Comments (0)

Boys and Their Toys

Orange Glop

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Holbrook Cove, Maine, USA

The Pride of Baltimore has some really hung sailors. Let me start that again….We departed Rockland, Maine at 11:30 today with a ship full of provisions and some really hungover sailors. For the record, I can still say that I have never been hungover a morning in my life. I woke up unusually bright, cheery and right on time, rather like when Snow White awoke in the Disney film. I think that rays of sunshine actually burst through the galley hatches to illuminate my smiling face as I beamed happy thoughts at my shipmates. It totally pissed them off. I loved it.

It was my understanding that we were to “mess about” with some other tall ships from the area before departing for Castine, Maine. We had a flotilla of tall ships with the Victory Chimes, the Lewis R French and Pride all playing together. It was really interesting to see just how maneuverable the French was. She was just sailing in circles all around us, just like a bee flies around a flower. The Victory Chimes was very impressive to see out sailing. I could get a sense of time travel when looking at her and seeing her sail with us and French. I really enjoyed watching the captains “play” with their ships. It seriously reminded me of boys playing with boats in a bathtub or at the beach.

Now I said “it was my understanding…” because I was a little surprised to hear that we were going to anchor with both of them in a cove by the name of Holbrook Cove, Maine. Granted, I didn’t actually hear that we were going to anchor, in as such as I only figured it out when I heard the command to ready the anchor hook and saw that the other two vessels were already anchored near each other. How I love communication! Luckily it didn’t really change anything for me other than the ship was going to sit fairly level, which means only one thing. I can bake! I took this rare opportunity to bake my mother’s pumpkin bars, to which I added dried cranberries and covered it with a lovely cream cheese frosting. The crew were just atwitter at the aroma and thoughts of these bars. The Captain was unaware of my baking efforts. The bars came out perfectly baked, level and moist! I was so very excited. I prepared a great dinner and was expecting an “All Hands” dinner, since we were at anchor. Much to my surprise, the Captain did not show for dinner. It turns out that he took the small boat over to the Chimes for dinner! I love that even in the middle of the ocean, trapped on a boat, I still cannot get an accurate head-count.

Dinner was good and as we were sitting around the Main Salon table, much to my surprise some of the crew from the French came over with a pie! I ended up sitting right across from the two cooks of French. Needless to say that it didn’t take long to start talking shop, complete with the full Monty tour of my Galley. Awesome ladies. Everyone wanted the desserts and raved about them. I served most of them up and only left 3 or 4 bars for the crew to snack on later. The Captain returned home shortly thereafter and came into the Main Salon. Upon entering he spies the pan of leftover bars and asks “What is this orange glop?” I looked at him and said, “The orange glop is pumpkin bars, but not for you!” and I whisked the pan out of his reach. The whole crew, including the Captain, though in shock, laughed out loud. He actually apologized and asked if he could have a pumpkin bar. While eating his three pumpkin bars, he said “apparently the cook is a bit sensitive about orange glop.” You got to love a good Captain.

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II

Posted by kitcusick 12:24 Archived in USA Tagged boys toys orange glop Comments (1)

Work Hard, Play Harder

Shoulders Back, Chin Up, Bust Out and Make Love to the Camera, Princess

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Friday, September 20th, 2013

Rockland, Maine, USA

Produce! Groceries! Produce! Dairy! Produce! Eggs! Produce!

I am so excited that today I got to provision the ship. The tall ship Victory Chimes lives in Rockland and her cook was willing to drive me about and show me all of her favorite haunts for grub. The very cool part is that she took me on all of the back roads and we got away from the downtown harbor. I was able to check out Maine the way the locals see her. So very beautiful. She brought me to two farmer's markets, the knife sharpening place, a cheese shop (Lord have mercy on me,) the butcher and three grocery stores! I also got a great tour of the Chimes including the Cook’s cabin. I loved seeing her, partly because it confirmed just how great I have it on Pride!

I was thrilled to see a thriving small town fishing community. It fit all of the descriptions that I have ever heard. So you might ask “What does the crew do when arriving in said small fishing town?” Well if I am aboard, we do a fashion photoshoot – of sorts. Brandon, a very seasoned Deckhand, with a beard that you can lose a badger in, made the mistake of verbalizing in my hearing that we needed to do a photoshoot with him wearing a previous deckhand’s skin tight and sheer tank top and pair of Daisy Duke cut off shorts as a joke. Little did he know that I would leap to action and bring my fashion photoshoot skills along for the ride! If I was able to post some of these photos, it would all make sense in a moment, but alas and alack, dead hard drive. The look I wanted was a classic pinup calendar girl circa WWII and Brandon looks a little like Grizzly Adams but with a slightly bigger beard. He is the coolest individual and looks like the least likely member of society to pull off this look, but he nailed it. We laughed so hard it was almost impossible to take clear, sharp photos. He was willing to do anything, so of course, I kept giving him instructions like “Make love to the camera, Princess”, “Shoulders back”, “Keep your chin up” and “Push your bust out” (though I might not have used the word bust.) I am thinking about paying the hefty fees just to recover Brandon’s photos. They are worthy of any centerfold or calendar in my opinion. Work it, Girl!

After the afternoon delight of the photoshoot, I got great news that dinner was out on the town again!!! I had managed to produce breakfast but that was it. Lunch was done by the Duty person of the day, as I was out provisioning, and now dinner was on your own. AWESOME. The only thing better was that we were planning on meeting some of the crew from other tall ships that were in town for drinks at Myrtle Street Bar. If you ever wonder why there is a stereotype of drunken sailors taking a town – it is based on my crew. We work so damn hard during voyages that we tend to play even harder when given the opportunity. We can drink, dance, drink, sing, drink, chat, drink, smoke and drink for hours! Between the gin, rum and beers that I had and the fact that I am still working on finding those dang landlegs, my dancing was outrageously stupid. I love the fact that my shipmates all want to hang together and dance and sing as a group. You would think that after being side by side with the same 12 folks for two weeks, we would want to take a break from each other when given the chance….NOPE. I guess that we really are “Pride Tight” and I doubt that this evening will be topped anytime soon.

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II and Dancing and Singing the Night Away

P.S. Thank goodness that I have the ability to process liquor in such a way that I have never had a hangover in my life. I have informed my Mates of this fact. I hope that this hasn’t changed since going to sea.


My fellow shipmate, Brittany, just shared the photos that she took of the photoshoot. While these are not the “professional” ones, they do capture Brandon at his best. Thank you, Brittany!

Fashion Princess

Fashion Princess

Brandon Hard at Work

Brandon Hard at Work

And the money shot comes from shipmate Rebecca
The Money Shot

The Money Shot

Posted by kitcusick 15:43 Archived in USA Tagged fashion party photoshoot dancing brandon maine rockland Comments (1)

A Tailor’s Work is Never Done

Land Ahoy!

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Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Rockland, Maine, USA

Still feeling a little queasy but overall I feel totally pumped about land! Look out Maine, we here come! Breakfast happened on time and I had just enough time to get the galley cleaned up and get lunch in the oven before I was asked to stitch up the Staysail. Now before I get too far in the story, I would like to point out that I was not needed for this repair. The Mates, Bosun and the Deckhands are all plenty capable of doing the job and would do a fantastic job with it. In fact they did most of the heavy work but left me a good sized seam to repair so that I, too could leave my handiwork on the ship. I truly have awesome shipmates. So back to the stitch job – I was fitted out with a sailmaker’s thimble called a palm. This is aptly named as it goes not on your finger but on your palm. I picked my needle of choice, which was a sailmakers needle (the pointy end of the needle is not round but triangular in shape to help separate the heavy fibers of the canvas sails) as thick as a probe on your meat thermometers. The thread is a prewaxed hemp thread which could almost be considered a fine cord. The only other tool is a piece of 2X6 lumber to use as a table and to push the needle against. I have sewed a lot of canvas and I have sewed a lot of seams by hand. I would have thought that maybe this part of sailing I might have a leg-up on a deckhand. NOPE. Holy Hannah is sewing a sail nothing like anything else that I have ever encountered. I didn’t even have enough hand or arm strength to make it work! However after a decent while of trying to stitch the thing, with most of it still rigged to the ship, sitting up in the Bow, I got the seam nicely repaired. My sewing is now being “showcased” if you can call it that on the Pride of Baltimore II!!! I love it. Again photos and videos might follow should the hard drive resolve itself.


Here we come, ready or not. The sun is out, the weather is perfect and we are within sight of Rockland, Maine. We are so excited, most of us are slightly giddy. I want to step on land almost as much as I want to run to the nearest grocery store for fresh provisions. In all of my travels with reenacting I have never seen Maine. I have always wanted to go to Maine, as I pictured it a beautiful state filled with lots of Lobstermen, fresh seafood, awesome harbors, goofy accents, and glorious views of the ocean. Turns out that I was very correct! Maine, amazing Maine.
We were moored up by 15:00 and I was on land by 15:00:30. Sea legs no problems, but land legs are another thing! Time to explore the town and the best part is that the crew decided that we would have dinner ashore, which means no cooking for me! I found the best pizza shop. Amazing garden fresh ingredients, local cheese and hearth baked pizza by the slice. YUMMY!

Please point me to the nearest Hendrick’s & tonic and I will stumble my way to it.

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II and Drinking Ashore in Maine

Posted by kitcusick 14:24 Archived in USA Tagged pizza tailor maine stitching rockland Comments (0)

Dump it on Mount Crumpit

Everything Unravels

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Under Way to Rockland, Maine, USA

In my excitement yesterday, I forgot to mention that I did actually cook dinner. So while I was seasick most of the time, I still managed to get breakfast out, direct lunch and cook dinner, all on time, and I never lost my cookies! All in all, I would consider that a successful day.

I woke up this morning still feeling a little sick, but it is a lot better today. I was able to perform all of my cooking duties as expected and cleaned up very successfully as well. In fact, I even took photos of my clean-up efforts as it formed a mountain-tall stack of cleaned dishes, pots and pans that nearly reached the ceiling. It was very impressive on the rolling seas. I bet you wish you could see a photo of it – me, too.

The other thing that I took a photo of, which you will not be able to see until the damn hard drive is recovered, should it be recovered, is the Stay Sail that blew out. A seam let loose, leaving us with a gaping hole about 18” inches long. Luckily it was a just a seam and not the fabric itself. That would have been a major issue, but all we need to do is to repair the seam. We just flew her today as it was and we are keeping an eye on it to make sure that it wasn’t going to spread further apart.

Looking super forward to touching land again! I haven’t touched a toe on stable ground since we departed Erie two weeks ago. Rumor has it on the grapevine that we should land tomorrow afternoon. Also, I am starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel in the way of fresh provisions. I had a sneaking suspicion that we had departed Erie short on eggs and it turns out that I was completely correct in that thinking. Must get more eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, milk, cheese, lettuce and everything else that makes a ship float.

By the end of the day my seasickness was all gone for the most part. I feel a little nauseous every day at some point when cooking below but a trip on deck for 5-10 minutes fixes everything. I am aiming for a barf-free voyage!

Sweet Sleep All,

Kit Cusick
Cook and Proud Shipmate Sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II

Posted by kitcusick 15:25 Archived in USA Tagged seam Comments (0)

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