“…I have a sort of sea-feeling here in the country, now that the ground is all covered with snow. I look out of my window in the morning when I rise as I would out of a port-hole of a ship in the Atlantic. My room seems a ship’s cabin; and at nights when I wake up and hear the wind shrieking, I almost fancy there is too much sail on the house, and I had better go on the roof and rig in the chimney.”
Herman Melville – in a letter, December 12, 1850
It snowed again last night, big wet flakes that clung to everything. Overnight, a breeze blew the trees bare along the ridge line, leaving the forest frosted thick in the lee up the hillsides, so the mountains are stark white, outlined in black. Really striking.
Progress has been steady, though you’d never know it from the blog posts. There’s some catching up to do.
The Hatch Cover and Mast Collar are almost done, as are the Rudder and Tiller. Used the same sandpaper trick to shape the Mast Collar to the curve of the deck, and tried to lower the profile of this one a bit so it isn’t so prominent. The Hatch Cover turned out well, despite attempts by the wood to curl in on itself. Just took a lot of careful scribing and clamping – and leaving that bucket of water in the hold all week.
Managed to get a little work done between New Years festivities, etc..
The weather warmed and melted all the snow, but humidity is still very low. Getting the hatch cover cutout back to it’s original shape required several days in a tent of plastic with a wet paper towel inside.
Fresh snow got home before we did on Christmas Day. After dinner with family in DC, we drove back south, headlong into waves of a big storm as it broke over the hills on the way north. The last hour of driving was spent tacking back and forth in the dark, looking for cleared roads. We’re getting used to this by now, and the novelty has definitely worn off.
Winter is surely boat building season, or at least boat dreaming season. Over the last few days I’ve heard from three people making plans to start their own Melonseed projects: Guiseppe in Bari, Italy; Kirk in Colorado; and Bob in Hobe Sound, Florida. I completely sympathize, as I’ve been reading a lot about boats lately, too, while Winter makes itself at home. This is what it looks like here today (note how disturbingly diminished the wood pile is):
Rain and cold, freezing mist. A long lazy weekend, spent mostly by the fire with a good book. Been reading a lot lately, I’ve missed it, and have quite a backlog of good stuff to last all winter. It’s rather nice to spend a morning drifting in a story where boats play some part – a little history, some adventure, or just plain good storytelling – then take a hot mug of coffee downstairs to do a little work on one. Adds a little spice to the process, like a gumbo versus plain soup.