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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Across and Back, every point of sail!


First real sail, across the river and back. It's soooo good to sail again
I'm calling these pictures "Debauched Digital Photographs"(DDP's)

Coincidence, universally appropriate, call it what you might but on my birthday, a sail across the river makes me feel as though I am reborn, and sailing again for the first time since "A Very Bad Day Sailing"
I believe I had truly forgotten what it felt like to feel welcomed by the water, the river that runs down to the sea and connects to all the oceans of the world.  It is good to be back.

Did I cross back over the river from the under world, The River Styx
Or was it needing to forget, The River Lethe
have I, crossing, got me over my woe, The River Acheron
have I left the shores of lamentation behind, The River of Cocytus
The fires of the river have died down and the water carries me again, The River Phlegethon

I am the ferryman, and I am the passenger
I am the boat, and I am the river
I am the sea

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Micro camp cruiser

This is a concept boat that I've been thinking about for a while.  A 15 foot camp cruiser with a
small cabin to sleep one and gear.  It would have unstayed mast(s) for easy transport or clearance under bridges......
The cockpit is large enough for sleeping too.  Oars would be the other source of propulsion.
Digital manipulation of photo of chalk drawing on wood
DDP (Debauched Digital Phots)
It would be a small cabin, even just for one, but not so small that 2 wouldn't be able to cram in if needed.  I would like it to be under 300 pounds in weight. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The difference in a day

The difference a day makes is between the potential for fun, and calm and satisfying that craving to be on the water, and looking from the shore, longingly and in amazement at the horrible beauty of the ice covered pond.
3rd day of january, the pond freezes over.
A little more than 15 years ago, in the same week of january, my small yacht sat out on the river, bobbing at it's mooring, an ice ball hanging from the pennants.  That was on a sunday, on monday morning as I made my way to work, going out of my way first to check on my boat, but mostly to get the fix I needed, of seeing here there afloat, before I tackled commuting, masses of humanity and the fast pace of the city, I didn't see her in her usual place.  Something else was strange, the river looked odd, oddly motionless.
Over night the wet and moving river had frozen over and my little boat caught in it had been dragged up river dragged, mooring and all.  It was a transforming moment.
I spent a week believing that I'd lost the boat.  Not only did she get dragged up river, but a bit closer to shore and in shallower water.  At low tides she'd be  be grounded and she'd heal over at an angle that made me feel sick to see.  It brought up images of Shackleton's ENDURANCE.
To skip ahead, the boat was fine.  Much to my disbelief, not only did she rise back up with the high tide but a week later there was some free water and she was tide up at the bulkhead of the local boatyard.  She had no damage, none.  The only thing the ice had done was to clean off the scum line on the bottom.
It was a learning experience and I felt I got of very lucky.
So yesterday I had the possibility of going out on the water for a row, no need to start a car just heft the pram down to the pond and enjoy a bit of time messin' about.  But to day the pond just holds longing for a time a bit further away.  So it's to the shop to have my boat time.  Plan, dream, cut, shape fasten conjure up another magic carpet for a time yet to come, Spring and fresh water.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

Keeping with my tradition of trying to get out on the water, first thing, first day, of the new year, I took the pram down to the pond and went for a row.  Lots of cloud cover, temps in the high 30'sf, but comfortable and the water was wet, as oppose to frozen.
It's a good way to start the year, and to plant a seed for what might be in store for the rest of the year.
Happy New Year!
First row of 2016
The more I use this little boat the more comfortable I am with it and the more useful it seems to be.  What I took as instability when I first got in here I now realize was initial instability, like any narrow boat, a canoe, or kayak for example.  She stiffens up pretty solidly at about 15 or 20 degrees I'd guess.
I am actually surprised that I have not come across many more documentations of this type of boat.  For the person on a budget you can't get much cheaper.  The one sheet of plywood that it requires cost $14.00, and the rest was of the wood was gotten from scrap, but an 8 foot 2x4 would probably have covered the chines and gunnels and another the framing, and you'd have left overs.
This boat seems to be a good answer to needing a tender for a small cruising yacht, as would a kayak but this boat is open and could haul a bit more water or supplies to and from the mother ship.
The wooden floor is down in the shop now so I am just about ready to start setting up for building.  I have become convinced that I should do some work on the skiff.  All these books I've been reading about american heritage small boats, especially the Sharpie's, has me thinking that adding a centerboard to the skiff will produce a decent sailing boat.  We'll see.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The warm days of Winter

I was out on the pond again yesterday, in Tartlet.
 There was ice at the shady, shallow end of the pond but the rest was wet and ruffled by the breeze.  Tart is becoming more and more pleasing to me as I, more often, easily lift her to my shoulder and hike on down to the pond.
A sense of quiet grows as I get further from the road and closer to the water.  Once in the boat and on the pond the sound of the oars takes over, though they are barely audible and what I do hear of them is very pleasant.
There is something about the rowing position that is conducive to meditative, peaceful, experience.  I believe it has much to do with looking astern.  There is the sense of discovery as the world is slowly revealed to my peripheral vision, and I am allowed to linger on it as it gently gets farther away.  This is such a great contrast to looking so far ahead to where one might be going, and then as the approach and can capture attention they are more understandable until the moment they suddenly pass out of ones vision.
Occasionally I look over my shoulder, usually one and then, the other.  If I don't do this I run the risk of running straight up into something, but, what's ahead is not the focus, rather something to be aware of.
I think this has a lot to do with my preference for rowing over paddling.

I just finished reading "The Rudder Treasury" and "The Compleat Cruiser".  Both were great winter reading.
Happy Solstice!  Happy Winter!