Weird Weather (updated)

Hyacinths blooming in fresh snow


(to start of project)

A few weeks ago we had snow on daffodil, crocus and hyacinth blooms. Yesterday it was almost 90 degrees. Abnormal is pretty normal here this time of year. I have photos taken several years ago of roses blooming in a snow storm. They don’t sleep well nights at the local vineyards and orchards until April is over and done with.

Continue reading “Weird Weather (updated)”

Toe Rail Layout

Toe rail, rub rail, and hardware mockup at the stem.


(to start of project)

There are more posts to do on Guatemalan boats, but in the meantime we’ve got our own boats to attend to.

Time for Toe Rails. This is a good example of how to take something simple and make it complicated. Or maybe things that look simple are more complicated than they seem.

Chapelle’s scantlings for the Toe Rails are 3/4” x 1 3/8”. Barto specs them a little thinner at 1/2”. I’ve seen Melonseeds done with big thick rails, no rails, and everything in between. Frankly, they all look good. I made some mockups to try different sizes out.

Continue reading “Toe Rail Layout”

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”

Home Port

Lake Atitlan from Casa del Mundo, after a storm


(to start of project)

We’re back.

A couple of times a decade we manage to take a nice trip somewhere. A few years ago it was the northern California coast. This time it was Guatemala, and what an amazing trip it was. A truly stunning landscape that left us literally speechless more than once. Continue reading “Home Port”

Good Riddance

 Full Moon, bare trees


(to start of project)

The oaks are letting loose their leaves now.

Driven by the wind, they pour out of side streets and across the road like wash over a sandbar, sea foam scudding on a Spring Tide.

It’s a young wind, too, gusting into the 30’s toppled some trees, and knocked the power out for several hours earlier in the week.

Continue reading “Good Riddance”


Sunshine starts a second snowfall




There are things you do in your 50’s that you thought you’d do in your 20’s.
This is a given.

What you remember is often what you wished for,
not what really happened.

Some things you declined to say when you could have will ring in your ears forever.
It’s better to say them all.

There will be more joy than you expected,
certainly more than you thought you deserved.

You will continue to have conversations with people you loved,
decades after they’re gone.

You will often cry unexpectedly 
not when things are sad, but when they are beautiful.

These are some things I’ve learned.