Sparring with Yards

First spars done, two sprits.


(to start of project)

Wow, been too busy to post. No Foolin. Got a lot done last weekend, but been too busy to stop.

I’ve had to modify the build schedule a bit, and take a detour into spar making. Dabbler tailors each suit of sails to custom fit the boat they’re intended for. Once I placed the order, Stuart Hopkins began asking for details I hadn’t anticipated, and surely couldn’t provide. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about sails until he began to ask me for specifics. For one thing, he adjusts the shape of the sail according to how much the mast and components bend under strain. The only way to give him what he needs to proceed, and get it right, is to actually make the mast and spars. So to keep from holding him up I’ve become a spar making fool. Continue reading “Sparring with Yards”

Breasthooks, Hatches and Cockpits

South, framing done


(to start of project)

Another great weekend, and the first full day of Spring. Bonus!

Really got a lot done in two days. Ordered my sails Friday from Dabbler Sails, and spent half Saturday writing out all the specs and measurements to send to Stuart Hopkins, sole proprietor. Dabbler makes some of the best traditional sails anywhere. His shop is also on the Northern Neck, just up the road from where I spent summers and learned to sail at my grandparents’ house on Windmill Point. So, besides the quality of his work, for sentimental reasons I really wanted to get my sails there. Continue reading “Breasthooks, Hatches and Cockpits”

The Antipode of Autumn

Listening to Peepers, outside in the yard.


(to start of project)

I hope you can hear this. The vagaries of computers and the web makes some things uncertain. But if you can, this is what it sounds like here, right now, tonight. Driving home from work late, just after dark, I rolled down the windows just to listen when passing a wet place in the woods, or a farm pond overgrown.

Nothing sounds more like Spring to me than peepers on the first warm night of the year, the same way calls of geese coursing southward overhead on moonlit nights, plaintive and cacophonous, sound like fall. Minstrels announcing the entrance and exit of a very hard season, with a harmonic flourish.

Continue reading “The Antipode of Autumn”

Mast Partners

Finished Mast Partner, plug below 


(to start of project)

Back in the saddle.

Finally had a good weekend. The cedars still wear dirty white socks of snow on their feet, but just beyond their shadows the crocus are blooming. At least there was no new snow. The humidity problem hasn’t improved much, but with warm days ahead, and rain coming, that should change soon. Until then there’s plenty to do. Continue reading “Mast Partners”


Brunch at the Blue Moon Diner


The girls drove back from school to have brunch with their old dad on his 50th Birthday.
T treated us all to great eats in a funky place we’re fond of. Nice.

Later, there was home made apple pie. Short vid: Continue reading “50th”


50 cents a ride.


(to start of project)

I got nothin. In five days I’ll be 50. I won’t be done by then. I was hoping to have a Boat Birthing/50th Birthday Party by February 28, but it ain’t gonna happen. Weather and Life have conspired against me. I’m two months behind. I’m flooding the basement, trying to bring up the humidity so my wood won’t warp. (No metaphors, please.) The power goes out, then comes back on. There’s still six inches of snow in the yard, with more on the way tomorrow, though flowers are coming up through the frozen ground.


How do they know?


I need more sunlight.




Lighting the lantern, power out again.
(photo by T)


(to start of project)

I admit I’ve said a few small prayers to the weather gods to bring more moisture, something to help with my humidity problem. Obviously, I should have been more specific. At least about the form that moisture should take. Continue reading “Weather”