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Random framing here, no need for assistance, as that flag might suggest.

Ardelle has been one of my favorites since she was launched from Burnham’s yard in Essex over a decade ago.  But this was my first time to see her schoon about. 

The Burnhams have been building schooners since forever.  If he’s not building new, he’s rebuilding older boats.

You have to love the lines of Ardelle as she sails, curves from the belly of the sail to the pinked stern;  no, that’s not the color.  Here’s brief, journalistic context from shallops to pinkys in North American NE fishing boat design.  

For a little deeper context and art historian illustration, check this Erik Ronnberg/Fitz H. Lane article.

Rides on Ardelle were sold out when I got there, but some day . . .

When Harold Burnham was invited to Washington DC a decade ago to pick up his National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA,

of course, he sailed there, and that was classier than any four-wheeled limo ride. 

I hope you enjoy looking at these photos as much as I do.

If you want more on Harold Burnham, click here. For his wit and his words, check out this clip.

All photos, WVD.

After bidding farewell to the fine folks and selkie of Gloucester, Bowsprite and Tugster left the site of the famed Sean Dive and headed around the corner to Essex to visit the historic Burnham yard, place of a recently started blog Boatbuilding with Burnham and

birthplace of 4000 schooners, including the current resident of the sixth boro known as Lettie G. Howard .

Our mission was to investigate the prolific sawdust output in Essex, daunting research requiring breaks between work.

After seeking high and

and low, we found it.  I felt silly not knowing how a riverbank  winding through the Essex marsh can produce thousands of finely-crafted wooden ships without generating heaps of sawdust!  After all, long ago I’d read and reread Gordon Thomas’ Fast and Able.

With this task completed, another identical twin of Bowsprite appeared, astride the tiller and protected by the pinked stern, offering to whisk us away to the next aspect of our mission.

Many thanks to the Burnham family.  Bowsprite’ and Tugster’s saga continues;  after all, some things Tugster can just NOT find by or for himself, ya know.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  something’s in the “whaata” (as Bowsprite’s identical twin would say)  here and here.

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October 2022