We wag for schooners

I’m Maggie, and I’m scouting for a few newcomers to join our ASA PAWS pack. We’re not what you might call “official” like ASA MAC or GOM. It’s just that we all get to wagging at the sight of a schooner or the idea of a pack rendezvous. One of our goals is to get a raft-up going. That’s my idea because feasting is a specialty of my breed. Here’s a little background on our pack.

Tiller is our chief instigator. Here she approves the fitting of a new floor timber during the restoration of Peter and Sandy Thompson’s 1930 Alden 309 Blackbird. Her oversight on this long, challenging project has been invaluable.

Max powernaps between “ready abouts” on a grueling beat up the ebbing Potomac in Isa Lei with Jim and Sandy Davis on “The Commute to DC from Annapolis.” Note his powerful forepaws. The old boy has logged over 9,000 miles in 13 years sailing the Florida Keys to the Canadian Maritimes. Max is well known to Chesapeake schoonermen for his dedication to the Cambridge Schooner Rendezvous.

This is Effie on Effie, familiar to many along the waterfront as a key aide to Mary Anne McQuillan and Fred Sterner during their years of hard work on behalf of Ernestina, ex Effie M Morrissey. She was just a tyke here, but now she’s a mighty Newfie and qualified rescue dog. And a most affable friend to us all. So … I know you schoonerdogs are out there. If you have a companion headed to the Maine Boat Builder’s Show ask him or her to stop by the ASA booth. We have a special promotion going … free membership for your companion if he signs you up for a regular paid membership! Maggie of Green Dragon woof@schooner39.com

I guess the dog days are here!

Now I need to know if my cat, Minnie the Moocher, is going to be allowed to join this auspicious group. She's not as big as those bowsers but you'll never have trouble with rats or mice if she's aboard. OK ... she's a bit bossy but she's willing to show the canines where she hides those Tootsie Rolls in that sandbox if they're nice to her.

Can you wag your tail?

Minnie, if you've got paws you are welcome to run with our pack. Can you wag your tail?

There's one thing though. I must caution you to keep away from my fish chowder. You see that photo where I appear to be gazing at Bluenose II? I'm really luxuriating in the smell of the fresh haddock chowder wafting out of her galley. It makes me crazy just thinking about it. No critter is safe if he gets between me and a bowl.




I think you would be a welcome member of the pack. We might have to change our charter from Pooches Adore Wooden Ships to Pets Adore Wooden Ships, but that could be done.

Not sure if I want your hidden stash of Tootsie Rolls, but if you ask nicely I'll share my Muktuk with you.

S/V Isa Lei

Defining PAWS

Bill, I just discovered Maggie found my password, then logged on and started this business about PAWS. I thought she did a fair job with the post and I approve of her ideas, especially the rallying call to add to the pack, as she calls it. I would like to add a couple comments of my own however. As for her friends .. I know all of them and have told her she was too restrained in her praise. And I had a little talk with her about Minnie, since I know her to be congenial, wise and uncaninely independent. She would be a great asset to the pack. Maggie could have been more gracious in welcoming her. She needs to work on her food problem for she can be overly protective at times. Max, diplomatic as always, had it right. Make it pets, not pooches.



Minnie is obviously excited about joining the pack, she rolled over when I told her about Max's invite. I had a French Canadian friend some years ago who kept a huge Mexican tarantula aboard his Tahiti ketch to eliminate cockroaches. Soooo... we better be careful to limit our access to the PAWS group to onboard mascots that actually have paws. We might have to develop an auxillary group though for "Parrots Adore Wooden Ships". They are, after all, pretty traditional onboard pets for a certain segment of our membership.

Another recommendation for Minnie

I know Minnie loves fish, so she would be great to have aboard in case you need someone who can tell the difference between a piece of wood and a piece of salt cod.

I don't know how she feels about chicken, so I would caution any parrots aboard to be careful.

Office Manager
Schooner CAT-CHEER

PS Somebody tell Agnes about PAWS.

Minnie the Moocher

Minnie takes a little time out from patrolling A J Meerwald’s bilges to catch some sun on Barnacle Bill's new mast partners. They have worked for years as volunteers on this 1928 oyster dredge schooner at the Bayshore Discovery Project in Bivalve, NJ.


This is getting serious

Hey guys we gotta be careful we don't fowl our den. Look at it this way we are all four footed furry critters that normally prefer to dine on, not with, fish and birds. For their personal safety it might be wise for them to form a Fins and Feathers Chapter.

On the other hand our next meeting could turn into a rather festive dinner, although it might be a bit hard on some prospective members. Just remember we don't talk about dessert with them.


S/V Isa Lei
CT 35


Things have taken an unexpected turn here. I figured we’d be hearing from a few more fellow dogs by now. Instead, this is becoming some sort of menagerie. Here’s the latest PAWS applicant. Hobie and Max have a good point about the safety aspect, but I’m hoping we can work out a way to include him. I say let him speak for himself.

Zach stands watch at the dining room window in Aram Nersesian’s Halfway House for Schooners in Solomons, MD as Mystic Whaler docks for the night on her return north after the GCBSR. The crew will be treated to Aram’s legendary cooking while Zach entertains. Zach also works as a greeter to charter groups on Aram’s schooner Heron. He is a spritely 31 year old African Gray who at age 23 laid his first four eggs. Best to check a bird’s birth certificate prior to naming.



Shiver me kibbles matey! I heard of peg legs but is that a red prosthetic tail I'm seein' on this bird? We felines like the cut of this critter's jib. Welcome aboard I says! And Zach provides eggs for breakfast too? I bet he (she) tells salty stories besides. Real entertainin' says I...so you wants to go to sea does ya?
Minnie and Hobie

Senile schooner dogs

Well mateys, when the time comes that sailing becomes too vigorous for our aching joints there is still a way we can get out on the water with our PAWS pals... in comfort. This information came from Minnie the Moocher's alert shipmate, Barnacle Bill

Senile Dog Cruise




Careful girl, I'm getting geriatric, but not senile. For this years Commute Daddy made me a ramp so I can get in and out of my boat (he calls it the dinghy). I'm not to sure about this contraption but I guess it is more dignified than a cargo net.

Max Davis
S/V Isa Lei

Simulated hydrant

Now Max, don’t be so sensitive. I wasn’t accusing you of being senile. That’s when someone throws a ball and you return with a stick. Geriatric is when it takes you five minutes to limp back with the ball but at least you remembered what you were supposed to fetch. Good idea your daddy had about the ramp. I see people on my boat that could use such a thing. A typical crew of two on Green Dragon has a combined age of more than 150.

Here’s a thought you might pass on to your daddy. You’d be making fewer dinghy trips to the beach if you had a hydrant aboard. Such a convenience could be fashioned easily from a piece of plastic pipe or an upside-down flower pot, although on a traditional boat like Isa Lei a carved wooden one would be more appropriate. Spray painted red of course. It would be portable so it could be positioned to leeward. Better yet, four of them permanently installed fore and aft, port and starboard so you could have your pick no matter where the wind. With this arrangement you’ll be attracting a lot of new friends. Isa Lei will be the perfect central feature for a PAWS raft-up.


I like this

Daddy has his laptop to play with. He could easily make several portable "P-Mail" terminals for us to use. It would also keep him happy that I would no longer be interested in his trees.

Of course the best part of sailing is the liberty on many strange and different beaches. I just love the smells and little critters I get to see while on liberty. Of course Daddy isn't too happy when I roll on some of the better smelling things.

Max Davis
S/V Isa Lei


Safe Harbor My daughter bought me a berth on the Thursday night pirate sail on the Kymar Knykle here in Lewes, De where we live. She didn;t think I was as enthuseastic as I should have been. I told her it was a good thing they have an all female crew because they have a lot of laundry to hang out. I have never seen such a complicated rig in all my life. The only reson she sails at all is because of all the cordage she has hanging in the rigging. I looked across the bay to the Mairice River and thought to myself, God I wish I was on the decks of the Meerwald or any other comand of an son of Lane Briggs. I,ve been a gaff rig'er for many a year and I spent all me money on Top'sls and beer. And now I'm return'n with blisters and fear but I'll not sail o a Dutchman without free beer.

Toolbox y'say

Though we've sailed alongside that beautiful vessel a few times I myself was never aware of the famous Toolbox. She could have been right there someplace in the rigging looking down at us ... invisible amongst all that cordage and jumble of spars. Here's a link with some bio and and a photo of the old salt. Toolbox

Maggie on Green Dragon

geriatric crew

Maggie wrote:

>A typical crew of two on Green Dragon has a combined age of more than 150.

And that's just Al and Maggie! How much is that in dog years?


Dog years

Hobie, if it was Al and me we'd add up to 149, but I sail mostly with his son Andy these day and we're just 117. Ever since I polished off the entire crew's breakfast of corned beef hash and eggs while they were putting in a reef, things have been a trifle tense between me and the old guy.


Last two weeks

Maggie and Hobie

I was out with Mommy and Daddy for a two week cruise, they had planned to take me to DC but the weather just didn't cooperate. It was so hot they thought they were going to loose me and Daddy kept pouring water on me to keep me cool. Heat Indexes in the 100's and not much wind. Other than the heat it was a good trip, we visited several nice small towns and I got to explore a lot of neat smelling beaches.

Getting back on the boat was a chore, remember I'm 90 in dog years so cut me some slack. Daddy made me a ramp to walk up from the dinghy, but I don't like it. Mommy had to lift while Daddy pushed. Kinda embarrassing but it did insure Daddy gave me extra long walks while I was on liberty. I also miss-judged the distance from the dinghy to the pier one time and if Daddy hadn't fished me out it wouldn't be pleasant as I have lost most of my fat and no longer have any reserve buoyancy.

Now I'm back in the AC and I think I'm gonna stay here until it cools down. If Mommy and Daddy want to go sailing they can just check me into the air conditioned Puppy Pleasure Palace while they are gone.

Max Davis
S/V Isa Lei

Puppy Pleasure Palace?

Max... you are a mighty lucky old fellow to sail with such considerate folks. When you got to sniff around those familiar beaches on the Potomac you must have been overcome with nostalgia. If you had the right breeze it might have been nice to see DC again, but nothing beats a low-tide beach. I don’t mean to lecture but the time has come when you need that lifejacket. That was a wake-up call when you got fished out. The heat must have been awful. I haven’t sailed in the Chesapeake myself but I’ve heard Al speak of it many times, once observing that he saw a hound dog chasing an alley cat one June day and they were both walking. If it weren’t for the summer heat and feeble breezes Green Dragon might well be down in the Chesapeake still. But here we are back in Cape Ann almost back in commission for the summer.

I was more than a little surprised to hear you might be headed for the Puppy Pleasure Palace. Seems like it might be a bit racy for such an old fellow, but if that’s what you want, go for it. Just remember your ticker isn’t functioning like that of a 25 year old. There are other options if you have to remain ashore. I know about this because I’m getting much less sea time since the CBH incident. I’ve taken up TV watching. Yup. I’m addicted, can’t help myself. Now, when Andy goes off without me he turns on the Food Channel and I’m in heaven.

So Max, take care of yourself, stay out of the heat and get yourself back in shape for the next Cambridge Schooner Rendezvous.


MegaWag for Ardelle

I had the good fortune to attend the launch of Harold Burnham's latest masterpiece, Ardelle on July 9, 2011. She slid right in, slick as a whistle, a beautiful sight. There had been a NW breeze during the afternoon and I was a little concerned it might hold back the high tide but there was ample depth.

I thought this was a curious way to get Ardelle in motion. In fact, when I saw these ladies repeatedly whacking Ardelle's stem I lost my cool and would have chased them off had I not been restrained. Anyway, this bizarre ritual seemed to have an effect, for after some minutes the schooner slowly began to make way, gathered momentum, and then with a bit of a dipsy doodle settled into a graceful float.

And there she be, floating proud.

I got the disappointing news from Cooper here that Daisy, beagle-in-charge-of-security, was in protective custody offsite as a matter of safety for the huge throng of onlookers.

I had a wonderful time swapping stories about clandestine food raids with my new friend Hanna who shares my passion for this sport. Hanna is a descendant of the famed Rin Tin Tin.

I made about a dozen new dog friends. And stole a hot dog. Altogether it was a perfect day.


Ardelle's launching

I had a chance to look over the Boston Globe this morning before the people arose and came across this article. Apparently I didn't have it quite right about the bizarre ritual that caused Ardelle to slide into the water. The Launch


Ardelle launching video

I’m a newcomer on this thread, but since I have firsthand knowledge I thought I would pass it along. It was I who was attached to Maggie with a high strength leash throughout the event, and it is no lie that she lost her cool owing to her love of schooners during the ‘ritual’, as she called it. I had all I could do to keep her from dragging my 112 pounds to the launch ladies, and if that had happened the consequences could have been dire. With my free hand, however, I was able to record this episode of what Maggie deemed to be egregious treatment of a beautiful new schooner. Champagne ritual

As for her conclusion that the ‘ritual’ had set Ardelle in motion…. I believe I can explain that. There was an interval of perhaps 15 or 20 minutes between the bottle breaking and the beginning of the schooner’s slide. It seemed like forever to me, and it was quite stressful, because the incoming tide had already stopped incoming. Maggie, being 73 in dog years is a bit prone to distraction, and during the aforementioned interval her full attention had been diverted to a hot dog in the hand of an unwary three year old tot just beyond her reach. Again, I still had my free hand available to capture this during the critical moments. Away she goes

Nate, sometimes mate, Green Dragon
Age 13 in human years

You have a good photographer


Nate did a good job, you should have been a movie director. Of course I noted that while you had him filming you were doing the more important things. Nothing could be more opportune than a three year old with a hot dog. A crowd can be a wonderful place: hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream all there for the picking. My kind of place.

You, Tiller, Effie, Minnie, Hobie and Zac have to come down for the Cambridge Schooner Rendezvous. Bring your friends from the Ardelle along also. They have lots of food tables with BBQ, crab cakes, hot dogs, hamburgers and of course fries. We could possibly slip on board the Whaler where Captain John has his special chowder. Lets make it our first PAWS Rendezvous. Just tell your companions to bring their boats and we can have a howling good time.

S/V Isa Lei


It is my sad duty to report to the members of PAWS, that Max weighed anchor for the last time and crossed the bar this morning. He was alert and attentive to the end. His hips, legs and nerves to the back half of his body had been failing for a long time.

He will be remembered as a faithful companion, both at home and afloat.

Jim and Sandy Davis
S/V Isa Lei

On behalf of Tiller

Tiller was out inspecting the new deck beams installed by Joey Lowell today when I informed her about Max. She and the rest of our family send our condolences for the loss a faithful crew and best friend. After nearly 100,000 years of dependent association between human and dog the genetic bond between some of us is very strong. We undertand and feel your loss. Fair winds Max. An old tradion we follow is to have the favorate meal of those you loved and have gone before you on their birthdays. Max I hope your favorite meal was steak !

Membership Application to PAWS

Earlier this week I joined Jim and Sandy in their home in Maryland. I'm a bit too young to understand this sailing thing, but they tell me it is fun and I will enjoy it. Daddy has told me about rendezvous and hot dogs - I don't know what they are but they are supposed to be good and that people puppies are a good source. He has also told me that there all kinds of good foods and treats to be shared like Mystic Whaler chowder and Spam and eggs. Again I'm too new to know for sure, but I'm eager to learn and you guys seem to be the right ones to fill me in on the finer things in the sailing life.

Mommy and Daddy have told me of some of the adventures I have to look forward to like beaches and dinghy rides along with meeting Flipper (who is he?). He has also told me that I will get to make all kinds of friends when we visit different towns and that next year I will get to come to the Meeting.

Anyway I'm looking forward to it and I know it will take big paws to live up to Max's reputation, but with your help I can do it.

A bit about me, I'm a four month old Husky and am a Red Head with blue eyes and a bundle of energy. Even though the thing he calls the boat and our summer home is put away Daddy and I are walking down and checking it every day. I hope to get on it soon and start my sailing lessons.

Anyway enough about me and I hope you will let me join your ship's company as a new member.


S/V Isa Lei

Welcome Jaz

You have my vote kiddo! You'll come to enjoy boat life so much you'll prefer it over life ashore.

It would be nice if next summer you could get up here to New England where we have a core group of PAWS old-timers that know all the tricks. We’ll give you some beachcombing tips. With our 10 foot tides and vast mud flats there is great fun to be had. Can you fetch? I would be happy to let you take my place in those endless games of throw-and-bring-back.

Youth and vigor is welcome here. You might wonder about that when you see all those gray-haired people on our boats, but they're friendly and they seem to manage decrepitude quite well.

Your friend,