Another week goes by, and more milestones to report. Well, it's true that the first meal cooked and eaten on board is a little bit of a big deal, especially to two boys who have barely spent any time on boats, but also we have just been handed our Coast Guard Documentation with the Coastwise Trading Endorsement. It feels great to have this in hand. While we of course had reason to expect that our vessel and its mission would receive documentation, in working with the federal government and homeland security there are no guarantees, and no way to know for sure how long things will take. We had to go back and forth with the USCG Vessel Documentation Center a few times to iron out details, but they were very helpful and cordial throughout, and now Ceres is a flagged vessel of the United States merchant fleet. Imagine that! A few short months ago she was just a stack of sheets of plywood! Even as work continues on getting Ceres ready to sail cargo, even more is being done behind the scenes to roll out our commercial model. Patrick Kiley is building up our network of producers and Colin Gray is working with the crew at yourfarmstand.com to transfer a version of their grocery ordering model to our website. We hope to have the model up and running in less than two weeks! Also, we have figured out how to use a tablet to upload GPS positioning through marinetraffic.com, which will allow people viewing our website to see the exact location of Ceres at all times. So that's coming up too. Also we are building up the schedule of proposed docking stops and activities on our first voyage to New York City, which involves building a lot of alliances with towns and cities on the Hudson and working with State and NYC authorities. And on top of all that we are also putting up hay on the farm, which is plenty exhausting all by itself.
Still, there are moments of reprieve. Here are some lovely summer eve photos of our first meal aboard Ceres. Erica, Julien, and Robin came out to Ceres where she lies at anchor in Kingsland Bay. We cooked up tortellini, spaghetti with marinara, fish and crab cakes, and baked salmon. Ceres has a three-burner propane stove that we scavenged from a friend's camper. Works great!
Robin in particular fell in love with the boat and didn't want to go ashore. "Is there a bathtub on the boat? Can I have my bath here? Can I sleep in one of those beds?" I guess we've come a long way from his more skeptical comment, "Looks more like a big box on wheels than a boat." Now it's definitely a boat, who could doubt it?