The UConn Avery Point EcoHusky Club hosted an Earth Day celebration on April 19 on the campus green. The spring weather was a bit chilly but the event was informative and engaging.
In coordination with the Earth Day event, the JGTSCA had an open house at the boathouse. JGTSCA members were available to describe our projects and activities. Ellie provided Mexican food which was appreciated by students, staff, and visitors.
(Hover over the photo below and click the Play button to view a slideshow.)
Mystic Seaport - June 23-25, 2023
Come one, come all to celebrate Traditional Small Craft in the place where it was born!
Mystic Seaport Museum, WoodenBoat and the John Gardner Chapter of the TSCA are joining forces to sponsor the best ever small boat gathering.
The Seaport Boathouse Livery will be available to all at no extra charge. Go try out working replicas of the original small craft from the Museum’s Small Craft Collection. To celebrate breaking ground on the new Small Craft Hall, we will be honoring replicas of the originals. If you have one at home, bring it and share its story. If yours is in the tradition of the original, say of more modern materials, but honors the essence of the original, that is OK, even encouraged in this age of trailer sailing and garage storage.
Included will be special tours of the Small Craft Collection. Go visit your favorites then come
back and take a replica for a ride. Observing an original or replica is all well and good but there
is only one way to see how it feels. If you can’t find one but really like it, pick up a set of plans from the Collections Research Center and bring back the new boat next year to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Small Craft Hall.
Activities will be going on all weekend. WoodenBoat is sponsoring a speaker’s series series
which is open to all participants. Shipwrights at the Seaport Shipyard will be demonstrating
skills in real time, making chips fly. Those demonstrations, too, are included. And throughout
the weekend members of the John Gardner Chapter will be offering rides in their dories or, if
permission is asked, in their own private boats.
We use our boats, not just look at them. Morning rows both up the river to the source of the
mighty Mystic River as well as down-river to our favorite sandbar beach kick off the days. Late
afternoons are reserved for sailing. Let’s keep the River busy.
Workshop presentations will include building stories, skills explained (make your own rope
fender?) or how to reef your Catboat sail, scandalize your Spritsail or add some new control
lines to your existing rig. Come to Australia Beach just behind the John Gardner Boat Shop on
campus and check in at the Workshop Tent or, better yet, visit the Seaport’s website and sign
up in advance. Launch off our beach or nearby ramps, some of which are carry-in.
Reach out and let us know what skill you would like to bring, boat you would like to talk about
or which activity interests you. We look forward to seeing you there.
Celebrating Wooden Boats
Some sights from the 30th Annual WoodenBoat Show and Small Craft Workshop held at Mystic Seaport on June 24-26, 2022.
Capsize and Self Rescue Practice
Our intrepid President Brian Cooper demonstrates self rescue techniques during some practice capsizes.
A self rescue after capsizing has two fundamental parts:
The first rescue is done with no water in the boat and demonstrates a situation where you may inadvertently lose your balance and fall into the water. Brian keeps his center of gravity low and is able to slide back into his boat. In this case, only a little water came into the boat during the self rescue and the boat is easily bailed out.
The second rescue demonstrates a situation where your boat completely overturns as could happen in rough water. A lot of water comes into the boat during the capsize, but Brian's boat has sufficient buoyancy (pink foam under the seats) that the boat rights itself. As Brian slides back into the boat, more water comes into the boat. Water is now up to the top of the seats, but there is still enough free board so the boat can be bailed. After some bailing enough water is removed to get underway. The boat still rows well and fast with water in the boat.
Brian did these capsize drills during the warmer months, but notice that he is wearing a dry suit and life vest. It's important to wear the proper clothing for the water conditions that you may experience. Many boating accidents in small craft happen in the early spring when the first warm days draw boaters to the water, but water temperatures are still very cold.
Have you practiced self rescue techniques for your boat?
UCONN Maritime Studies professor Matt McKenzie and his students visited the JGTSCA boat house to learn more about traditional small craft.
A big thank you to all JGTSCA members who participated. Excellent presentations by everyone. The students will long remember:
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