Fairing

 A job well done.

 

(to start of project)

I once had a job digging up the bones of dead monks for room and board. The pay wasn’t great, but it was a good job, and I liked it.

On the first day, a portly, pompous Frenchman named Bernard, the foreman, lined off a big grid on the ground with string, making six foot squares separated by one foot borders. Each digger was assigned a square. The job was simple: Dig the six foot square eight feet deep. You could not, however, use a shovel. The only tool you could use to remove 288 cubic feet of dirt was a small mason’s pointing trowel, which you had to supply yourself. Furthermore, you could not dig with the point of the trowel – doing so would be grounds for immediate dismissal. Instead, you had detect and carefully scrape away slight variations in colored layers of dirt with the edge of the trowel, a thin skin of soil at a time, like peeling an onion, scoop that into a pail, then empty it onto a spoil pile 100 feet away. We had three months to finish.

Continue reading “Fairing”

Boats of Guatemala: Lake Atitlan Cayucos

Dugout Canoes on the beach at Santa Catarina

 

(to start of project)

The boats native to Lake Atitlan are the cayucos, a unique form of dugout canoe. You see these boats all over the lake, from dawn to dusk, though usually near shore where the fish are, as fishing is their primary use. Rows of them are pulled up on the beaches of every small village and town along the shore. Continue reading “Boats of Guatemala: Lake Atitlan Cayucos”

Boats of Guatemala: Lake Atitlan Launches

The Mayan crew, pounding the boat across Lake Atitlan, just ahead of a storm.

 

(to start of project)

I’ve started on the toe rails, and hope to have progress to report soon, once I get it figured out.

In the meantime, here’s some boat related reporting from our trip to Guatemala. Coming from such a car-centric culture, the widespread use of boats for transportation there was fascinating; not only the extent of it, but the types and their construction, as well. Continue reading “Boats of Guatemala: Lake Atitlan Launches”

Ruminations

Notes on the Plan

 

(to start of project)

Visible progress is entering a slow phase as I take on a couple of tasks that require a lot of mental horsepower. Sometimes I get tired and just have to sit and think, or take a break from thinking, and then interesting things start to happen. Continue reading “Ruminations”

Batteaux

 Batteau Anchor and Sweep Oarlock

 

(to start of project)

Scottsville is over 150 miles from the coast. The western horizon is rumpled by the Blue Ridge and, beyond that, the Alleghenies. It’s a small town of about 500 people, give or take, situated in horse country at the northern edge of what was historically a tobacco growing region. Not exactly the kind of place you’d expect to find a hot bed of traditional boat building. Continue reading “Batteaux”

Dreams 99¢

New York Dog Cart

 

Added a piece written on the road while traveling recently, in the Mostly True section.

I’ve had a lot of nice comments on it, and it’s one I particularly like:

 

Dreams 99¢