January 15, is expected to be Capt Dan Cleveland's last day in command, after which he will take a long-delayed leave of absence, returning to his home in St. Louis to help in care of his parents, and decide his next professional options.
That left this past Saturday, as his last day to spend with volunteers who had worked and sailed under him.
Capt Cleveland had been serving the ship for the past 3 and a half years, as Chief Mate under Capt Bailey, and then taking command on Capt Bailey's departure. In that time, he took Spirit of South Carolina to Havana, Cuba in 2016. In 2017 he helped sail the ship up the Atlantic seaboard all the way to Quebec and back with over 7 ports of call, including Bermuda. In 2018, it was the Citadel Semester at Sea program, with 14 Citadel cadets and educators aboard, as well as a full complement of crew with 7 ports of call throughout the Caribbean. He brought with him a vast amount of professional experience and lessons learned, having sailed under notable tall ship Captains as an AB, and 2d Mate on square riggers, Bounty and Picton Castle, not to mention several smaller traditional sailing vessels.
And so it was, that in addition to the projects tackled by the 9 volunteers Saturday morning, they, and an additional 2 "Old Salts" gathered around after a hot lunch on deck to say farewell.
|Dan, examines the gadget|
probably wondering whether
to believe Bryan that it works.
|Bryan, after speechifying|
for all the volunteers,
presents Dan his sextant.
In a short ceremony they demonstrated their appreciation to Dan Cleveland for his leadership, and mentorship, not only on deck, but as a persistent, tenacious advocate for the ship over the past year. More so, he stepped up when COVID-19 hit, funds dried up, professional crew and officers laid-off, and no apparent way forward indicated by the ship's executive board.
I can get a horizon."
After a testimonial, Volunteer Coordinator, Bryan Oliver presented to Capt Cleveland the gift from the volunteers of an antique replica of a brass "travel sextant" a fully functional miniaturized version of a standard marine sextant. along with an inscription on its wooden box.
While the honors made to Capt Cleveland were the highlight, the morning was dedicated to some notable progress aboard ship. In this case it centered around "Dory", not the fish, but the ship's small boat. Dory was the nickname by which crew began referring to a small 'stitch and glue' kit boat which was built on deck by Dan Cleveland and crew during the two months Spirit of South Carolina cruised with Tall Ship's America in 2017.
|Deckhands enjoy an afternoon sail|
in Dory off Thunderbolt Marina
during Shipyard in 2019
Upon completion, the little craft bore a close resemblance to the iconic "dory" fishing boats launched from Gloucester fishing schooners, except with much lower freeboard. Dory was designed to be rowed with up to 3 banks of oars, (for youth) or sailed, complete with centerboard, main and jib.
Muster began with the recognition of two Volunteers who had achieved notable milestones in volunteer time devoted to the ship. Mikell Evatt, and John Whitsitt received Jibsail Volunteer pins for 50 hours of support aboard the ship. Dan Maurin, received his Foremast Volunteer pin for achieving over 100 hours.
Immediately following the 0900 Muster, volunteers broke up into work parties. Dan Maurin and Layne Carver carried Dory's spars and oars onto the dock and began a bleaching wash to blanch out weathering stains.
|While Bryan agitates the paint can,|
Calvin, Layne, and Charlie
tack down her interior planking.
|Dory looks almost new, |
while new coat of paint sets up.
The remaining six volunteers, Danny Johnson, Calvin Milam, John Whitsitt, Joe Gorman, Bryan Oliver, and Mikell Evatt, and Chief Mate Charlie Porzelt organized to take on the small boat. First, they capsized the Dory on deck to spill out rain water, rinsed out accumulated grime, dried and tacked down her inside hull, and mask-taped her gunwales. They followed that by laying down a coat of sand-tone-colored epoxy enamel.
|Dan and Layne start in on the chili.|
Mike checks out the hot sauce selection
while Danny checks the buffet spread he just set up.