The writing continues with fresh eyes, ears and nose. To give a reader a vivid picture it helps to include as many senses in the descriptions as possible. I had no idea when I started my journey with Tim that I’d be writing about it. The boat part yes, and I took notes, kept brochures and bought books to help write that part of our journey. The beginning part, our meeting and early sailing adventures, not so much.
When we returned to New England for a vacation a couple of weeks ago I was able to re-engage my senses. Some of the vacation was spent revisiting places we’d been to before, our favorite places and some were to help with writing my book. One such place was Plymouth, Massachusetts to see the Mayflower II. When we arrived there by boat in 2018, the Mayflower II was in Mystic for rehabbing. Now all spiffed up it’s back in Plymouth Harbor and I wanted to see it. I was even more anxious to see the shallop.
What’s a shallop you ask? In doing research for my book I learned that large sailing ships, like the Mayflower and the ships that brought settlers to Jamestown carried smaller boats in their hulls. These smaller boats were in pieces and reassembled using pegs. They were used to bring people ashore and to explore the coastlines. The large ships drew too much water to get as close to land.
When I tried to picture the shallop from my reading I struggled with it, even with illustrations the I found online. A shallop could carry about fifteen men. That seemed like a larger boat than I imagined. The shallops also had one or two sails. Being able to see the shallop for the Mayflower II in the water was a treat for me.
The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath was wonderful and a great source of information. The sound of the waves crashing against the rocks at Two Lights State Park refreshed my memory. I didn’t remember that sound being so prevalent and it was also a beautiful day to have a picnic there.
The combination of vacation time and research energized my efforts on Uncharted Waters. I don’t know if I will finish writing it by the end of the year but I’m trying. I’m going with good is better than fast but I also don’t like things dragging on forever. I now have a much keener understanding of why it takes so long to write a book.