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We're going to the Chesapeake!

Crewmates, after a long hiatus from sailing to get some much-needed work done, this is it! This is the year that Gazela and her crew get to stretch their legs again. We're going to Norfolk Harborfest June 9-11!! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ The marine committee and board have voted to accept the offer from Norfolk to attend in our usual role as a dockside attraction vessel, and we all couldn't be happier! In addition, we are scoping out opportunities for training sails later in the season as well, possibly overnight trips, as well as not ruling out picking up another local port visit.

We have made a leap of faith to commit to this, and now we need YOU in order to make it happen! In order to sail, a current membership and minimum volunteer hours of 40 in 2023 will apply, but we probably won't get the work done if everyone does the minimum, so come down early and often! If sailing, you will also be expected to participate in open ship and/or reception events in port, where you get to gloat and brag to awestruck visitors about the pure awesomeness that is Gazela and the PSPG! If you are unable to sail but wish to join us in port to work the event, that is also appreciated and helpful! The more hands we have for these events, the lighter the requirements for staffing from each individual will be, and the more time off ship you will get to see the port and other visiting ships.

We will need as much early commitment from everyone to crew the trip as possible. Exact dates have not yet been determined, but we anticipate a two week trip, possibly with a stop in Baltimore as well. Right now, it's looking like June 1-15 or 6-20 will be the trip. We know concrete dates are needed asap, and that is being worked out as quickly as it can be. In the meantime, if you could let us know that you intend to sail, please do. We will update everyone again as soon as the exact dates are set.

Before we all celebrate though, Gazela still needs a lot of work before we are going to be able to leave the dock, and several more projects which would be nice to accomplish so we can really shine during our first major public event in several years. Among the list is planking, engineering, caulking, welding, cleaning, painting, rigging, provisioning, crew training (manuals are available on the barge), and of course getting the winter cover down in April this year as quickly as possible. As of this writing, we have just about 3.5 months to get it done. It's going to be an intense and massive challenge, but we are going to work hard and play hard in these coming weeks, and then we are going to Norfolk!

Whatever you can do, whether it be computer work or sling a plank into the hull, we need your help NOW! Come on down, stay the night if you like, and make a weekend of it or longer. There will be work happening during the week as well under both volunteer and paid oversight, so whenever you are available, come on down!

Let's make 2023 the year so many of us have longed for!

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