BP Spill and 9/11

Off the usual topic but I thought I should share this:

One of our digital (and binary) friends from the WoodenBoat Forum who sails in Mobile Bay was supposed to join us all at the WoodenBoat Show in Mystic next weekend. He posted the following today:

“I will not make it afterall. It is hard to explain and maybe you guys won’t understand, but my wife and I are going to go stay at the beach for a few days, eat in local restaurants, and do the stuff that our tourists around here do. Probably somewhere in the Florida panhandle.

I am disappointed about missing the trip up north, but we both feel that it is important to support our friends and neighbors right now during this tough time. It won’t be a lot of money that gets spent, but I am pretty sure that they can use every penny of it.

Just the fact that my wife feels that she can get away for a couple of days in the middle of the season speaks volumes. And I am going to go down and spend a day tinkering on the Dragon. I miss my boat so much it hurts, so this will give me a little time with her, and I will also probably go speak with my boatbuilder buddy about my next boat.

Sorry guys. I look forward to the stories.


Here was my response:

“Sorry to hear you won’t be joining us. We truly understand and weep with your neighbors. Julia and I went in to Lower Manhattan as soon as we could after 9/11 and tried to help support the local business people. We stayed at the Regency, a luxury hotel a few blocks away from Ground Zero, where I sought refuge that awful day.

Apart from the death of the eleven workers on the rig there is not the horror of 9/11; but there is certainly a loss of a way of life.

Maybe we can all try to throw a few dollars their way. Let’s go visit Mobile.

Next year in Mystic, ML.


Getting thinner

The first onshore wind in a long while is starting to thin the ice in the basin and the rain coming with this system will reduce it further. Not to say we can’t get another cold snap that will freeze things up again, but the sun’s getting higher and brighter each day. I’m looking forward to my first sail of the year.

Grey day
Spitting rain out of the NNE and just above freezing but the usual conditions below.

Open water getting closer. The gulls seem to be saying “how about some sausage bread scraps?”

On a serious note, I want to bring your attention to an organization that is and has been doing real good for the fisherman of Haiti. Sails for Sustenance has been collecting used sails from US sailors since 2006 and giving them to the sustenance fisherman of rural Haiti. The locals adapt the sails to their small WOODEN boats and broaden their opportunities. The rig used in the video is nothing more than the traditional sprit sail, used with variation throughout the world. I had such a rig on Puffin, a Hankin’s beach skiff I converted to a sprit rig years ago.

Check this out:

It’s kind of like the sermon about teaching a man to fish. Here a man already know how to fish but we can can give him better wings to feed a community. I have an old main and jib from Sjogin that I’ll send them.

There is a huge need for protein in the aftermath of last Tuesday’s disaster and a better harvest would certainly help. Please contact these folks and see if you can help.



Who made Thomas Hoving’s Rowboat?

Photo in the NYT obit today of this groundbreaking curator at the Met. The boat the happy Hoving is rowing appears to be a livery skiff but of uncommon grace compared to the slugs used today. It even has a bit of Bolger to it. Note the touch of bottom showing right aft.

Right over the center of the Universe
Nice lines. She looks like she would be fun to know. Any ideas as to provenance? I could see her on Stockton Lake.

Off today getting ready for our Christmas Dinner Party tomorrow and tending to a less than 100% Julia.


At least in the first race. Sailed with John Haas on his Sandpiper this morning at Seaside Park YC. Somehow we snuck through a weather mark scramble on Port tack. Got around clean (at least two others hit the mark) and never looked back. (Yeah right. It was hard to believe there were no boats in front of us.)

We then reverted to mean, having a third and two fourths for the day. We sailed quick Windward/Leeward courses, back in time for lunch.

Getting the thumbs up from Peter, the one man Race Committee.

Point man, point!
Point John, point. Trying to see off our competition.

Alomst third
We almost picked up third place in the last race. And barely held off Mr Five.

Skipper John
Our fearless Skipper, In a groove, going to weather.

Great fun, thanks John.

Sjogin’s out….

Annual haul out and makeover is later than usual. And also as usual we have been visited by a series of highs with lots of dry NE winds. (My favorite breeze.) I’m going to try to pull Sjogin in July next year. I’ll keep her out for her usual few weeks and relaunch in mid August, with her available for days such as these (summer boat traffic willing).

Here are a few pics from the last week or so:

Last heave to of the summer
August 24th, last heave to of the Summer. Went into the rigging dock after this sail and pulled the mast.

Just hauled
Fresh from the water. The crew at Beaton’s will wash off a long season of growth. Not too many barnacles this year.
Old man stairs
Back in my favorite spot. I even have old man stairs. What luxury.

Water access
The Bay remains close. (Sometimes too close.). I’ll try to launch her right there.

The view of the bay from my spot in the shed. Usually a breeze either way.

Tom Beaton
Tom Beaton stopped by with news of Saturday’s final A-Cat race at Seaside Park. Raven won the season by only three points. Another Beaton built boat rules the A-Cat season.

Russ, Jake Julia and others at North End
My third visit this season; still working on the amortization of my season badge. The usually smiling Jake, Julia and Mary in there somewhere. Fine day with no Sjogin visit. Back at it tomorrow after work.

It’s time for some A-Cat racing.

Season starts a week from this Saturday. If all are ready, there should be a dozen A-Cats looking for the Committee boat end on the 21st.

Here are a few pics on the subject from the last few weeks.

Lightning the 2003 Beaton built a-Cat,ready for the season. Beatons works on the boats in the Fall and Winter, maintaining and occasionally renewing finishes and repairing battle scars. These boats can take a beating in the closely contested Championship Series on the Bay.

Ghost and Lightning
All rigged and ready to go. They’ll never look any better.

Spyder, the new Brady A-Cat
Spyder, the new Brady A-Cat.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann and her Tennis Racquet tiller.

The A-Cats are in Island Heights this weekend for the pre-Season weigh in. Those under weight must add lead to meet the fleet minimum.

Happy Memorial Day

Sitting here on the porch with our flag waving in the brisk breeze, thinking of my father on this beautiful day. He was in WWII on a Coast Guard troop ship the Joseph P. Dickman, a converted Moore McCormack freighter, built in the 20’s. The stories he could tell.

Joseph P. Dickman
This is a photo of a pen and ink drawing I did for him years ago. He had copies made and would hand them out at the reunions.


Here are some pics from the last few weeks. Been busy with spring garden duties. The bind weed in the rose beds is getting out of control.

The barberry needs shaping but when it glows like this with the early morning light I keep putting it off.

Our side yard
Our side yard; outdoor shower on the left. Just six steps from the kitchen door; a delight from May through October.

Fine prospect
Lake side “garden” cleaned up and well weathered sling chair installed. Absent the summer high tide infestation of jet skis, it’s a pleasant place to watch sunsets and such.

Bagatelle returns
Bagatelle is 20′ sneakbox once owned by our good friend Wally. One of my first paying boat jobs was to help him fix some stubborn leaks. She’s back at Beatons looking for a new home.

Not much new

as evidenced by the moss growing on Sjogin’s jib halyard. Under the weather last weekend so little new “content”.

Need to air things out. Maybe this week after work; Tuesday sounds good.

Last sip warming
Last sip warming up yesterday morning. Quick visit and then edging and such in the garden.

H-15 back in shape
Progress on the H-15 with the framing done and a new mahogany sheer strake. As you can see her sweet sheer line has been restored. Planking next.

Finally, here’s a pic of the back steps at Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan. I was in the city for a business lunch and retraced my 9/11 steps. I’m working on a narrative about that day and will post same here.


The 2008 Classic Yacht Symposium

was held in Bristol, RI this past weekend at the Herreshoff Marine Museum. Julia and I made a three day weekend out of the event. Nice folks and we got to meet Halsey Herreshoff, Nathaniel’s grandson (and L. Francis’ nephew.) It was gathering of the faithful to celebrate and learn of developments in the restoration, use and management of classic yachts. Note this inculdes relativley small yachts as well. (Though probably not reaching down to a Sjogin level as she’s of workboat origins.)

One of our digital friends from the WoodenBoat Forum, Margo Geer, presented a paper on the ongoing restoration of her Concordia Yawl, Sarah. Her moving story is here. When available I’ll link to a PDF of her paper.

Here are few pics with more here as usual.

Part of the weekend events included shop tours in the Mystic area. Spartan, shown here in the McClave, Philbrick, and Giblin shop, is a NY50 designed and built by N. G. Herreshoff in 1907. The straps shown are placed in the vertical grooves as an additional way of tying the hull to the ballast.

Interior construction on Spartan.

Julia and the Booby Hatch
Julia inspecting a Booby Hatch to be installed on Spartan. On display at the Symposium.

Booby Hatch plan
And here’s the plan for said Booby Hatch as approved by Captain Nat himself.

Sarah being loaded on a freighter in Germany in 1955. Taken form Margo’s fine presentation.

Dinner at HMM
Dinner at the Herreshoff Marine Museum on Saturday night. Our table is by the stairs just left of center. Margo’s the redhead.

Bauers and Manheimers
Forum friends Steven and Mary Bauer join us for drinks before dinner by the hotel. Only sunshine of the weekend.