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Fire Company Tradition Brightens Skipjack For The Holidays

Volunteers from Cambridge Rescue Fire Company recently brought their Ladder Tower No.1 truck to Long Wharf in Cambridge in what has become an annual tradition of helping light the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester for the holidays.

Firefighter Rick Travers, Jr., used the truck’s bucket to give a lift to skipjack volunteers. They lashed a small tree to the top of the mast and outlined the skipjack’s sail pattern in garland and lights. Nathan crew members John O’Reilly, Tom Kish and Michael Hoff took turns in the bucket, while other volunteers handled decorating on deck.

The Nathan went “green” this year, with a gift of LED lights from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The new energy-efficient bulbs replaced its previous glass incandescent bulbs. Capt. Frank Newton, who supervised the decorating, noted that the new plastic bulbs should last longer and draw much less power, reducing breakage and blown fuses.

Newton added that the Nathan’s lights contribute to the Cambridge waterfront holiday display and are readily visible as one crosses the Choptank River Bridge into the city.

He thanked the Fire Company and skipjack volunteers who took time out from their Thanksgiving weekend to participate. The Fire Company returns after the holidays to help remove the lights.

For more information, to charter the boat or to volunteer, contact the Dorchester Skipjack Committee at 410-228-7141 or visit its website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.

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