Monday, February 25, 2013


Things are moving along sorta. The interior is painted, the majority of the varnish is finished or at least close. Finished parts and pieces are all over the shop. I've yet to build the spars or finish the centerboard and the sails will happen down the road towards the end of March. I'm thinking an early April launch. Yeah right.
You can just see a dab of green paint on the sternpost. That is the green that the hull will be painted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sigmund. Or Alice, or whatever the hell I'm going to eventually name this graceful craft, inches along.

After some decent progress while I should have been working, things crept to a halt during a rather intensive period of actually working. Progress however is imminent.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Maybe the Right was right.
Part One.
Well it’s been a little over a week since Washington State made gay marriage legal. What a momentous event. After being legalized legislatively, same sex marriage was finally legalized by a vote of the people.
During the lead up to the election the conservative right alleged that the passage of r-74 would lead to the erosion of traditional marriage, recruitment of our nations’ youth into the gay, immoral lifestyle and countless other socially detrimental activities as defined by the intolerant standard bearers on the Right.

I’ve always leaned way left, although I prefer my politicians to hover just to the left of center. For me gay marriage is about social equity and inclusion, notions lost on the Political right. But after only a week and the law not yet fully implemented I’m having second thoughts. I've begun noticing a profound moral shift in and around the small community in which I live.

These are some of the things I’ve seen:

High school age girls being gang scissored by uber butch,lesbian teachers. Apparently all educators, at least in godless, liberal , urban areas are homosexuals and the schools themselves little more than homo incubators whose sole focus is increasing the risk of our little babies bumping the wrong kind of junk.

Pre-pubescent boys wearing tighter than normal white tee shirts and saddle shoes, discussing not X-Box or any box, sports or girls, but instead the last episode of Glee. Blaine’s such a bitch.

Groups of teenagers, discussing their excitement over being able to choose their sexuality when the time comes. Gushing over the possibilities of a brave new world where their sexual identities are as flexible as Larry Craig’s lower leg in an airport urinal. And to think I’d always thought it to be biological. How could I be so na├»ve.
Unhinged, empty looks upon the faces of heterosexual couples abruptly confronted with the grim realization that their unions are suddenly devoid of meaning or substance, as they wander aimlessly through a barren emotional wasteland that is the new nuptial norm.

So now I know not what to think.  Could it be that the Right was on to something? Shudder to think, but the possibility exists that those of us who believed that rights for all was a solemn truth, were little more than misinformed Pollyanna’s.

No, that’s bullshit.







Monday, November 12, 2012

Platform bed


This is our new platform bed. Cedar posts and the remnants of old fir high school bleachers from Bellingham.  The little creature is Sir William. Pretty regal looking and showing decent posture for a change.
Recycled fir is beautiful and super stable, but it's often pretty challenging to work with. Saw blades and router bits blow out corners and splinter off edges right when you think you're in the clear.

...Alice

Alice lives.
This reminds me of the billboards in the early seventies that read: Frodo lives. Probably not as dramatic though.
Well, after a long summer building shit other than boats, I'm back in the shop in fits and starts.


Alice has seen her rails installed, breasthooks, bulkheads, centerboard case and deckbeams begun. I'm trying to discipline myself to sand at least a little during each work session. There's nothing worse than waiting until the end and being inundated with this thankless task.

Friday, November 2, 2012

This is what an Iain Oughtred, Arctic Tern looks like from the water line.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hope Island Networking




My father was a terrible storyteller. The narrative arc of any tale he was spinning was frequently interrupted by detours back to the start or belated side trips to relevant subtext. I realize now, months after beginning this blog and many too many months removed from my last post that the genesis of this whole tale was never sufficiently explained.
 
In September of 2011 I took my pulling boat, Herman on a trip through South Puget Sound.  The inspiration to build Herman and the idea for this trip came after competing in the Key Peninsula Road Race in the late nineties.  During this fairly grueling bike race, while I struggled along at the back of the middle, I spent a great deal too much time thinking and planning and scheming when I would have been better served peddling just a touch faster.
The building of Herman was begun in 2002, but the combination of a mid life re-invention and far too many shiny things allowed for approximately eleven minutes of progress that year and for the years to come. Work resumed during the winter of 2010/11. And after roughly 200 hours, Herman hit the water in May of 2011.
There’s a bounty of subtle beauty in and around the southern end of Puget Sound. Contrary to what is seen further north, the forest descends all the way to the water.  Trees, both conifer and deciduous, lean out over the tide line. Beaches are scattered infrequently. Sand is sparse. There is a slowness, a meandering which, from the thwart of a wooden rowboat is just about perfect.
I planned a four day journey. One day on the east side of the Key Peninsula, rowing in and around the village of Home, and then three days to circumnavigate Harstine Island. The second night was spent on Hope Island, just seemingly a stone’s throw both from the nasty ass sprawl of the Olympia suburbs and the serene emptiness of Squaxin Island.
Upon arriving at Hope Island several canoes lined the southwest beach. One of them appeared abandoned. Two of them looked shabby but useful. After pulling Herman above the high tide line I began walking around. In the uplands sat what appeared to be one of the canoes’ owners. When I asked if he paddled over from Olympia in one of the canoes he gave me a slightly aggrieved yes. I thought it odd the question annoyed him. We chatted for a bit and then I walked on.
After a bit of exploring I returned to Herman and moved to a beach further east. There I saw pulled ashore a lovely Adirondack Guideboat. A Guideboat is a sleek, sixteen foot, canoe like (to the untrained eye) rowing boat. A few minutes later Bruce, the annoyed un -owner of a not- canoe walked down to the beach.
We quickly established that the Guideboat was his and the cause of his irritation was due to everywhere he rowed he got asked about his not-canoe. After seeing me rowing along in a craft that to the general population is a fairly obtuse vessel and seemingly being ignorant of his boat’s design, he was more disappointed than irritated.
That night and the following day we talked about boats, among other things. It’s inevitable that when boat people converge, talk eventually tilts towards; “The next boat”. As it turned out, Bruce and I had similar ideas for our next boats. Boats that could be rowed or sailed equally well. Boats that didn’t need auxiliary power. Boats that would demand only minutes at the launch ramp. And boats that are pointy at both ends.
As we rowed towards what would be the end of my trip and the middle of Bruce’s, I was well on my way towards new boat fantasy land. As luck would have it so was Bruce.