Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

My Introduction to Boat Restoration and Sailing:
The Even Song (1975-76)

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Click thumbnails below for a larger picture


A view from the cockpit aft past the mizzen mast and out over the transom and bulwarks.  (Sep. 1976)

Jim returning from the bow alongside the pilot house after adjusting the headsails.

Jeff working his way back to the cockpit from the bow, where he'd given Jim a hand with the sails.

The Send-Off and Departure

Early on the morning of October 21, 1976, last minute preparations were made for our departure.  The crew -- Brad, Jim, Jeff and Karen, Monica and I -- scurried around with final chores, while Rip the Boatdog sulked, as if knowing he wouldn't be coming along for this trip.  With all the quarantine restrictions, regulations, and waiting periods for pets on each of the Caribbean islands we planned to visit, there was no practical way to bring a dog along, and potentially risky.  (Oct. 21, 1976)

By late October the weather had turned chilly, the dock was frosted with a coating of ice, puddles had frozen solid overnight.  It was certainly time to depart before winter came any closer.  Monica, like a few of us, had her camera handy and ready for the parting shots.  (My thanks to Monica, her mother, and Karen for providing me with copies of all their photos for my albums.)

Monica and a forlorn Rip, the soon-to-be-former Boat-Dog.  Monica's parents and family had offered and would be taking care of Rip for the coming year until our return.  Note the puddle of ice on Even Song's deck.

Our families began arriving at 8:00 for the send-off, congratulating us for finally accomplishing the hard work -- especially Brad, who'd first had the vision, bought the old rundown boat, then put in three long years to accomplish his dream.  Like the rest of us with less invested, he was beaming and anxious to get underway.

Mom and Dad Ford, my parents, were the first to arrive for our send-off.  We had to carefully escort them down the icy dock as each of our parents arrived.

The best photo I have of Monica and her Mom -- who does a lot of sailing with friends.  Mrs. Pelletier would take Rip home with her after we departed.  The poor dog obviously sensed or knew what was happening and wasn't too happy about it.  It'd be the first time he and I had been apart in the three years since I got him as an 8-week old pup.

From left to right, Monica's mother, Karen's mother, my mother, and my dad in the back row.  Brad's mother attended as well, but stayed on the icy dock.

Though they had their reservations, they all seemed proud that we were about to set off on the reward for a whole lot of our time and hard work.

The Salem News sent down a reporter and a photographer to chronicle the event and what had led up to it. The local interest story was published the following day in the regional newspaper along with a large photo of the crew.

Finally the moment had arrived.  Brad fired up the diesel and we untied the dock lines.  Karen coiled the shore power cord as we got underway on our big adventure.  Behind Karen on the pilot house roof is Monica, then Jim alongside it, with me behind him aft.

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