A few little goblins from the Balboa Park Botanical Garden are ready for trick or treats.
Some flowers went as spiders this year:
Reporting in on week's worth of work on the still nameless Everglades Challenge boat. Or more exactly, the Everglades Challenge hull, which is looking more and more like a boat that would support human cargo.
Clothes might make the gal, but paint will make her what she ain't. Plus we could all do with some knee bracing.
Thanks to recent changes in the rules, the nameless boat can have up to three human beans onboard for the 300-mile Everglades Challenge this spring. That means perhaps a bit more sleep for the adventurers, and that the team would have a navigator, an engineer, and a strategist. Three guys would bring approximately 150 years of sailing experience to the boat if O.H. Rodgers (wonder what HIS tribal name will be?) joins TwoBeers and MoresailEsaid.
Here's the stately stateroom that O.H. has been working on. I suggested that he go with red-velvet tufted upholstery, possibly with matching bobble trim, but he's favoring a sportier Ralph-Lauren look.
Can you spot the boat designer in his lair?
Stories are pigeons. Flapping up out of nowhere, gobbling up scraps and crumbs, cooing frantically. And way way too often, they wing their way back home from thousands of miles away. You send them off, and curr-hee, currr-hee! they reappear on your doorstep, fluffing their feathers and glaring at you with a ruby-red eye.
So when a story that's been sent out into the world actually does land someplace else –– published! –– it's a happy day.
My "At My Back I Always Here" appears in the Fiction section of Stone Coast Review Literary Journal, Issue #3, which came out yesterday. <Insert sound of stadium cheering because, after all, fiction.>
Still nameless, the boat got a lot closer to the expedition and adventure this week. (see also Everglades Challenge)
They say if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. And it seems to be true in this second act of my favorite skipper's working life: he trots off early to get to cracking on the boat, and returns tired and filthy and full of enthusiasm at the end of the day.
In the past week or so, the boat got decked (which is more like patio decking, than, say, round-housed-by-an-angry-bar-patron decking, for those interested in words).
The decking -–– raw, slender okume plywood –– wouldn't last a weekend outdoors without protection against the weather.
Then came the reinforcements. Not just Brent B. and brother Johnny who lent a hand along the way, but also the structural reinforcements. The points where the chainplates attach to the hull got an extra few layers of fiberglass, as did the centerboard trunk and the mast-step.
The spots where the hiking racks and the two rudders (two! rudders!) will attach to the hull also received some additional material.
This process was followed by a close shave –– the tool of choice being a single-edged razor –– to remove any excess resinated material, and then an aromatherap exfoliating scrub. That is, a dusty sandpapering.
Next up: make-up!
I mean paint.
Another entry in the series of stopping and reflecting on what's wonderful in my corner of the world.
After the Great Summer Experiment of 2015 (three months together in under 100 square feet of living space! Whee!), Mr. Linton and I spent a few days putting the pieces of our neglected household back together.
Whereupon my favorite skipper and shipwright high-tailed it back to the boatworks.
The deck will go on shortly. There's still a lot to do, including glassing and painting and rigging, but it's possible –– without squinting –– to picture the boat sailing by as soon as maybe November. Knock wood.
After brainstorming a playlist for the Flying Scot Wife-Husband Championship regatta party –– Bon Jovi! The Carpenters! Sir Mix-a-Lot! Weezer! Pure Prairie League! –– well, I am not done with it, but the internal jukebox is pleading for a break.
Thanks to the civilizing influence of National Public Radio, here's the music that I am listening to now:
Ah road-trips. Nothing compares to that moment when you have to stop the car, wrestle open the map and try to match the spidery black roads with reality, and knowing that you have no real idea where in the hemisphere you are located.
Granted, maps are full of promise and romance. So many options! Secrets revealed! Knowledge! But how restful it is to have an authority on board.
Even though I second-guess the GPS, it's a relief to have those satellites and that digital power backing up my navigation.
A qualified relief, anyhow.
We logged something like four thousand miles over the past three months in the Winnebago. The first leg took us north to Canada, where we discovered that Alice, our GPS (named for the naughty song) was blind north of the border. Luckily we'd been to the Buffalo Canoe Club before, so getting there was painless
Seems like we could just change chips, but alas, Alice aged out some time back. Seems like updating the GPS by computer would be simple, too, but the last time we tried it, Alice lost New York. Misplaced the entire Empire State.
Given the price of these things, Jeff went shopping. For $99 –– on clearance –– he got a new unit that covered all of North America and Puerto Rico. Only $99! On clearance. The brand-name led us to dub her Mary.
I fired Mary up for the third leg of our trip (The Farm to Bar Harbor), trying to get used to the different set up (new neural pathways have never given me a bigger headache than when switching operating systems). But when Mary's target arrival time held steady at 10 hours during the first two hours of our trip –– I had to retrieve Alice.
Ten hours versus seven hours. Disturbingly differing itineraries. Two insistent machine voices telling us to "Turn Left!" I shut them both down and got us across Maine the old-fashioned way.
Turns out that Mary might have been on clearance for a reason. She's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
And critically, there's no British accent option for Mary. If someone is going to demand that you make a pointless exit from the Free Way, so much the better if she has a prissy accent.
When suggesting we turn on Hwy 509, she calls it "H-West-Why 509." For $99, you don't get "highway" programmed into her vocabulary.
Still, for Leg 4 (Bar Harbor –– Bay of Fundy –– Cape Breton Highlands ––Digby –– Portland, ME), Mary did her job the best she could. Bless her little iimited on-clearance brain.
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