Surprise seems to be enjoying this unusual Maine winter as much as we are. Our winter cover allows lots of ventilation and whether the temperature is unusually cold as it has recently been, or during those occasional thaws, we are able to go onboard and do some projects while planning others which will have to wait until spring. It just feels good to look around at the spacious deck of Surprise and realize how fortunate we are to be able to take care of her. She is inches away from the water on her port side and inches away from the skilled craftsmen at Rockport Marine on her starboard side. Thats a win-win. Now that the Holiday is behind us and we were warmed by some great family moments shared around the Christmas tree and the dining table we turn our attention toward planning our 30th season in Camden. Wow ! We certainly have shared some great times with all of you and we are looking forward to sharing lots more when the sun completes its trek northward. As always our opening weekend will be Memorial Day Weekend but there is lots to do before we have YOU help us raise those sails. In spite of some snowfall during the night we have the heat on in the shop and Capt. Jack will be starting to take apart every one of our twenty-four blocks so he can grease them before we put the rigging back together. Even with the shop quite cozy during the day for projects we cannot yet think about varnishing anything because our night-time temps still fall quite far below freezing. But you can sand and prep in all kinds of temperatures. Earlier this month we actually got some cold daytime temps and some fluffy white snow. When that happens the shop door closes behind us and we head out to Megunticook Golf Club in Rockport where we can snowshoe and enjoy a breathtaking view across the Bay to Cadillac Mountain way down east. When we look out toward Goose Rocks and nearby Mark Island we realize what an amazing playground we have in our sailing season. We continually remind ourselves that we are indeed very fortunate to live and work in this wonderful place.