Archive for April, 2007

Pimp my ride


Pirate pimpin’.  Well, I’d be scared if I saw this heap headed my way on the freeway!

Today’s mermaid


More scrimshaw.

Quote of the day

For will anyone dare to tell me that business is more entertaining than fooling among boats? He must have never seen a boat, or never seen an office, who says so.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Happy Vappu


This evening in Finland and elsewhere in the North marks the start of the May Day festivities.  Vappu in Finland is the big celebration of May Day, which is both the Labor Day holiday and the celebration of the arrival of spring.  The drinking and pranks start in earnest, though on the evening before (April 30), and by 9:00PM you will see people falling-down drunk.  Packs of students roam the streets in logo-decorated matching jump suits and white student’s caps (they look like little yachtman’s caps), and there is a ceremony of dunking matriculating students into the river from a bridge using a crane.  Fun!

Today’s mermaid


The fine art of scrimshaw.  Don’t wear your eyes out.

Anchovy returns to the sea. Sort of.

bait time

Mooching at Santa Cruz South Reef.

Quote of the day

“Master and Owner of the Racundra.”  Does any man need a prouder title or description?  In moments of humiliation, those are the words that I shall whisper to myself for comfort.  I ask no others on my grave.

Arthur Ransome  Racundra’s First Cruise

The Boats of Swallows and Amazons


Stuart Wier’s excellent article on the boats of Swallows and Amazons, which was homeless and  lost for a time, can now again be found at the Aussie TARs site, and also here at downtothesea.  I will be writing a lot more on this topic to help introduce readers to the world of Arthur Ransome — a man whose books have launched literally millions of small-boat dreams.

Today’s mermaid


In keeping with the boatbuilding theme, today’s mermaid is brought to you by MAS Epoxys.  Looks to be a good choice for the Ulua(?)

Ulua Day Zero: plans arrive

The Ulua plans came in the mail today, making this DAY ZERO. Included are a number of 1:1 scale blueprint sheets (haven’t seen real, blue blueprints in quite a while), and a CD full of addiional drawings, pics, and instructions in pdf. ulua_plans1-450.jpg

The first step for me was to trot down to Kinko’s to get the more detailed sheets printed up at D-size (at great expense), and wallpaper the living room with them.


Next steps:  Since I am fitting out the workshop (i.e. half of a 21′, two-car garage) at the same time as building the boat, I am thinking to start small by building some of the accessories, like the hiking seat, as a warmup.  I also have some Norseboat projects in queue, like re-inforcing the centerboard trunk and making a set of floorboards with integral footblocks for better rowing.

Gone fishing. Laters!

whale tail 1

Today’s mermaid


Fredric Leighton “The Fisherman and the Syren” c. 1856

Goin’ campin’ and mebbe a bit o’ fishin’ this weekend!

Quote of the day

“Why is almost every robust, healthy boy with a robust, healthy soul in him, at some time or other, crazy to go to sea? Why, upon your first voyage as a passenger, did you feel such a mystical vibration, when first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land?”

Herman Melville  Moby Dick

Marketa knows tiller


With all due respect to Tillerman, I think I would go with Marketa the Tillergirl as guest crew.

An American boat (like a Catalina 29) would likely have most of its cockpit taken up by a big stainless wheel so the skipper could pretend to be an AC jockey.  No cupholders in sight, but note the autopilot and the traveler on the bridgedeck (vs. the cabintop with a 6:1 purchase.)  It’s all good!

 Marketa knows better.

Damn Straight


From Humu Kon Tiki