So recently I was permitted to volunteer aboard the gaff-rigged schooner Mary E as she sails out of Essex, CT.  Periodically Captain Dan sends me a text and off I go after my day job is done; the crew have been very patient and gracious with me as I try to gain some first-hand experience of what being a ship hand sailing the CT must have been like.  While I juggle other projects and aspect of life, slowing down the writing process for this book, things like being something of an honourary crewmember really helps to bring my mind back to the big project!  The crew are also inspirational, teaching me things about the culture of the river that I simply had no way of knowing otherwise.  I find myself to be deeply grateful to them all, captain and crew.