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.