Friday, February 26, 2016

Tarwathie's Soul Restored

Marathon, FL

I don't think I told about this story on the blog before.

When we first moves aboard Tarwathie, the ships clock was there.  It is a quality clock, made of brass, and the old-fashioned wind up type.   My father, who was a life long fan and collector of clocks, would have loved it.

A ships clock is special.  It strikes the ships bells.  In case you don't know what that means, every half hour, it adds one more bell.  So the first half-hour it rings once, the second it rings twice, up until eight bells (four hours).  Then the idea is that you change the watch (who is on-duty), and it starts over again.  Eight bells happens six times per day at 0000, 0400, 0800, 1200, 1600, and 2000.

We came to love the sound of those bells.  At sea, they allow the person on watch to know the time without looking.  At anchor, they serenade us.   We are accustomed to those sounds in the same way that we learned to be accustomed to the sound of railroad trains at night in the many houses we lived in over the years.  Like the sound of songbirds at dawn, it is part of the environment.  Libby and I have come to think of those chimes as the audible soul of Tarwathie.  The sound is dear to us (although some visitors on board find it to be disurbing).

One year, our clock stopped working.  Libby was devastated.  Clock reparimen (like my late father) are extremely hard to find.  She looked and looked and finally found a man in Vergennes, Vermont who fixed it for $75.  He told Libby that he had to replace the original clock works.

Also over the years, the lacquer wore off, and polishing the brass became more and more difficult.  So the shine was wearing off.

In 2015, it stopped working again.  I heard that one could send it back to Chelsea for repair, and for cosmetic restoration to factory new.   So I sent it back.  Their reply was that they wanted $700 for the job, including $400 because the original clockworks was missing.

Fortunately for me, I mentioned it to Jen.  Jen did a little research and found someone on Ebay selling the exact same Chelsea Shipstrike clock.  But this one was factory new, still in the box, and the price was only $300.  I bought it as Libby's Christmas present.  She loved it.  I love it too, having the serenade of the bells once again.   Tarwahie has her soul back.

1 comment:

  1. I believe I remember that clock being there when my father owned the Tarwathie



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