Chesapeake Float 2016 ~ Cocks Crow

 Sunrise at Freeport Landing


Dawn is very noisy. There’s a rooster. A rooster very near, like next to my head. The sun is barely up, and he is hard at work. Also, something else making a racket I can’t quite place. A sheep? No sleeping it off, rise and shine.








Lightning #2833 with the boom tent

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Chesapeake Float 2016 ~ Arrivals

 Mike’s Melonseed “Pepita”


“Don’t wait for me.”

“Where are you?”

“Just pulling out of the driveway. Of course. Still a lot of things to fix.”

“Oh. OK, well, call when you get here. Not sure where we’ll stop, but we’ll be back sometime tomorrow.”

Two hours later, Freeport Landing looks deserted. The sun is low, throwing long shadows across the water. A row of empty trailers lined up near the ramp. One lone boat there. Hmm, maybe someone went along as crew and left their boat. And Mike’s Melonseed is anchored off the beach. Not a soul in sight, though. Sometimes people double up for company or to lend an extra hand.


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Steerage ~ Semi-final Rudder Repair



After seeing those new Lightnings up close, I got some ideas for how to do a few things on old #2833. Still much to learn, but it’s a start. And I got back early enough Saturday to get started. Then had all day Sunday. Two good days in a row, a new record. Main thing is to finish the kickup rudder. That’s essentially done.

John included the plans for the boat, and those came in handy for this. I could draw out the original rudder lines on plotter paper to see how Sparkman & Stephens intended it. Laying the parts down on the lines made it easy to make final decisions and adjustments.



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Lightning Potomac Regatta ~ Doc Gilbert 2016

Lightning Fleet #50 prepares for the Doc Gilbert races


With the Chesapeake Float coming less than a week off, it’s a bit disconcerting not to have had a chance for a single test sail in the Lightning. We set a record last week for most consecutive days of rain, weeks of rain, and that really set back progress on the boat. It may still be ready, barely, but I had hoped to have taken a couple of shakedown cruises by now. Lots of unknowns, and I keep finding ways to break things. Sunday morning it was the valve stem on one of the tires, which promptly went flat. I expect a handful of things to break the first time I try to sail in any wind.

I decided to try and see what I am in for, so took a drive to the near side of Washington, DC, to see some other Lightnings. Fleet 50 has an annual weekend regatta on the Potomac out of Leesylvania State Park, known as the Doc Gilbert. Was a couple of hours of driving, but well worth it. Many years ago I had some projects there with the CBYCC. The park has come a long way since then. Continue reading

Global Shipping, Visualized

This is fascinating. An interactive map of all commercial shipping worldwide in 2012.



You can pan and zoom to different parts of the world. Turn on color codes corresponding to shipping types for a dazzling visual effect. Play the audio/video for a quick tour and narration of what’s going on. Really interesting.

via Kiln via The Big Picture