We've run into some hiccups in the Coast Guard certification process. Nothing dramatic, however, our plans are still in Washington DC awaiting approval. Until approved, the local guys cannot issue our COI (Certificate of Inspection). As a result, we had to postpone our first week of educator sails. Instead of starting on June 22, we now being our programming on July 9.
The only negative to this change is that Sarah and I had to call 150 educators to reschedule...about two days after school got out, which proved problematic because many of the educators gave us their school contact information! We have about 40 left to confirm on new sails, but seem to be making progress. Also, it looks like we may actually top 500 educators in less than 20 sails. We'd been hoping for 400 with a secret goal of 500, so we're excited.
As far as things aboard go, the mainmast is rattled down. That means that the ladder-looking (and acting) lines finally up so we don't have to haul each other up to work aloft. As of yesterday, we also have footropes going out to the end of the jiboom so we can more easily furl the jib.
We also got a new liveaboard deckhand this week. Sam and I are thrilled to have one more person to talk to, as we have spent a little too much time together in the last month. Additionally, the new deckhand is female. I'm no longer the only girl!!!
This actually turned out to be a sanity saver yesterday. One of our fairly active volunteers was aboard yesterday and it turns out is pretty sexist. In the past, this volunteer has offered me a hand when I've been getting on the boat, but I wrote it off as an attempt at good manners (in addition to refusing the offer-getting on and off the boat without help is pretty much a job requirement).
Yesterday though, this volunteer went well beyond polite offers of assistance. It started with him saying we needed a few winches so we wouldn't have to work as hard, to which I reminded him we were going for a traditional vessel. He said, "If it were traditional, you wouldn't be on board."
After lunch, he was acting as a docent for the tourists flocking the dock (and he did a fabulous job of that, we got more donations in the box yesterday than the previous two weeks) and made a few comments that were pretty demeaning. For example, someone asked him about female captains in Charleston, and he replied that there were lots of girl skippers and he'd even raced against some girl skippers in his boat. Hmm, that's pretty cool, you don't see too many 12-year-olds out skippering racing boats in adult competitions....
By this time Jaime and I were pretty riled up and feeding off each other's annoyance, so when he started telling a tourist about how we don't have winches on board, it takes a lot of testosterone, I really piqued. I'm pretty certain my testosterone levels are normal "for a girl" and I have helped raise every one of our sails, just about every time the sails have been raised. He hasn't been on board every time they've been raised. GRR!
The kicker, especially since it followed every thing else that had been said for three hours, was when he came over to where Jaime and I were doing some canvas work. First he complemented our sewing skills and then said he'd been telling people we were making a bustiere! For some reason, if we were male and didn't have busts, I really doubt he would have said that one. Just a hunch.