As a down river denizen, I’ve followed the Onrust story for only about a year now, chancing upriver to see progress whenever I could.  The project is aiming for a late summer 2009 rendezvous with Manhattan . . . the ship will ply the sixth boro waters then, we all hope.  Yesterday though I saw their major display right at the entrance to the Javits Center (inland east of Pier 76) and a “even-more major” demonstration area farther inside.  Be forewarned of my prejudices here, Onrust‘s demo area was the only place at the show where you could smell the pine tar, see a small traditional wooden tender being built sur place using 17th century fire-bending techniques, hear a master sailmaker’s palm shove a needle pulling beeswaxed thread through heavy sail cloth . . . I could go on.

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Here the figurehead is taking shape.  Come see the chips fly to release the tree’s inner-lion and wood-perfume.

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Here a volunteer has just completed his first ever rope fender.

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Here the sail maker does a warm-up project –a drogue–before taking on the main spritsail sewing later this week.  His fingers flew as he regaled me with stories of ships‘ sails he has known.

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The rigger serves shrouds and stays with a serving mallet.  Notice the pine tar drips on the plastic-covered floor.

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Granted, my head got turned a time or two especially seeing friends at the show but also seeing a “cute”–and that’s a word I rarely use–Ranger (a “tuglet” from the Pacific Northwest) and a new Hacker (a beaut from way upstate New York) . . .  but where Onrust is coming together, restless to meet the appointment as an integral vessel, that’s where I spent most of my time.  And I’m headed back for more.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.