Happy Solstice
phano
I'm a little early, but how was your autumn?

PSU Scandal, 18th Century GPS and Custom Sound Holes
dolphin
phano
Since I tend to make dreadfully long entries with a particularly boring writing style, I have mercifully decided to cut this one.Collapse )


I was going to add something about not feeling like drawing or something dumb like that too, but this journal is long enough.
I hope everyone is doing well. :3

Autumn Rambles
map
phano
Photobucket
It will be a long winter, I can feel it. I can't say how cold it will get, but oi have reasons to believe there will be lots of treacherous ice and heavy "cow flop" snow. At least where I live. It has been a short, wet summer this year. It's been raining/dirzzling/misting non-stop all week and I've been loving every minute of it.


Photobucket
I walked down to my swamp today to look for ducks. There is something compelling about this swamp. Most people don't see it. In it's normal state it isn't really even a true swamp, just a narrow stream snaking through a bunch of weeds with some dead trees here and there. There is a crude sitone bridge the crosses the stream about two thirds up the foot path that is currently inundated as you can see from the photo. It is no more than fifty paces wide and somewhere between 100-150 meters long, but it is one of my favorite places to be. Especially at the southern end of it where it meets the woods again and the stream passes under a large tunnel. Lots of mushrooms here.


I had a few goals this summer: finnish working on the boat, become proficient enough on her to solo sail in Cape May, make wild sumac tea and not kill anyone at work. Only two of these were accomplished but due to several circumstances including weather and crew reluctance I was unable to practice sailing at all. I guess sailing isn't very interesting to young people anymore. Also, I wasn't sure when sumac berries get ripe. I am planning on sailing with my uncle again this weekend though.


I am thinking of goals for this winter now. I want to take the next sailing class: celestial navigation and ocean passage making where we sail across the Caribbean Sea using the sun and the north star as guides. Also, I've been thinking of learning how to play the dulcimer when I'm not doing nautical homework, but I'm still unsure about it. I'm sure I could do it, but I'd be too embarrassed to practice. I think it would be like learning how to draw with everyone in the house watching. Drawing is quieter though. The hammered dulcimer, although I do like the sound of the mountain dulcimer as well.


What about you? :3

Attention Prospective Adventurers!
hook
phano

Come sail with Dragons on the glorious S.V. Dawn Puffin, a legendary 1977 BOSTON WHALER HARPOON 5.2 (17') Fractional Sloop, recently re-fit and skippered by the Knowledgable Phano the Dragon, who has piloted through Hail Storms on the Historic Chesapeake Bay and faced Killer Bees in the exotic WEST INDIES. Neophytes Need Not Worry, the skipper is rated to command sailing vessels up 50 Feet in Length day or night with an inexperienced crew.


Now is your chance for one last Adventure before a Long and Cold Winter. Don't let this opportunity fly away with The Already Turning Leaves! You may sign on wherever this poster is present. All necessary survival gear will be provided by the skipper.


Photobucket
Fair Winds and Following Seas!






I've been reading too much Patrick O'Brien..

I'll Come to You on the Whispers of a Zephyr
hook
phano
I went sailing with my uncle today. I'd say our average speed today was about a half a knot. An almost imperceptible speed, much like the minute hand of a clock or the moon sliding across the sky, if we hadn't seen the tiny weed particles and junk floating past at a crawling pace to confirm our suspicions of mobility.


Photobucket


It is difficult to tell if the sails are trimmed properly when there I hardly any air moving past them. We induced heal by sitting on the lee rail to keep the sails to one side, but I've found Dawn Puffin sails best when she is flat and trim, at least in the gusts that decided visit us for a while. But most of the stronger wind would just taunt us by playing with the water just out of reach and disappear like a ghost when we clawed our way to them. We also had the full batten at the top of the sail tensioned to keep it curved. It was kind of funny, but not at the time, when we were hoisting the main and I stopped to adjust the batten only to have the velcow fastener just rip off. I put some sail tape on it, and that worked for a while until it unstuck and the batten stuck out a few inches and made the upper sail as flat as a board.


Photobucket
You can't really see my uncle here. They don't call them blocks for nothing I guess! Actually I just couldn't see what I was taking a photo of. :P


Photobucket
Don't mind me, I'm just being a dork.


All in all, it was a good day and totally worth the wait. My boat handles very and we even made a wake once or twice sailing close hauled in a good puff. And at least I know I can squeeze as much headway as possible in even the slightest hint of a breeze and with improperly trimmed sails to boot! I just wish the wind didn't freshen and stay as soon as we doused the sails and struck the mast.


Who wants to go on the next cruise?
Tags:

Kilo - "I wish to communicate with you."
kilo
phano
A maritime signal flag... About nothing in particular, but nobody else will listen to me.
If the weather holds out this weekend and if I can drag myself out of bed on saturday I may be able to sand and paint the boat by monday. I'll probably document the process because I like to think somebody might find it useful. The weather has been much too wet to really do any of that kind of work so far. Not that I'm complaining, I'd much prefer a wet summer over the hellish summer we had last summer. I think either case is possible though this year, but I digress. I had ordered a new trailer today and will get here in a few weeks after it's built, galvanized to prevent rust and shipped. I decided getting a new one was better than used for a multitude of reasons, but most importantly, this one is very adjustable since I'll need to transplant the mast crutch and other pieces from the old one. I'm very certain I will be sailing in June if I can recruit enough hands for the first few times until I can sail alone. The hull still has hideous yellow splotches from the resin that didn't cure right last year, but in the words of Horatio Hornblower "I'd rather have an ugly looking ship afloat than a good looking one on the rocks." I just don't have the resources to fix it right away, but I will do something about it before Cape May. The other major thing I need to replace is the center board lines. Long story short, I managed to inspect them, but can't get at them to change them. But I was telling someone that if I lose control of the centerboard, jury rigging was originally a nautical term and I could use the oars as lee boards like the vikings or the irish curragh, or cut a notch in the after part of the board and run a line from the bow to keep it in place.
I rescued a pocket sized turtle today. It was a tiny baby red bellied one that some how managed to come inside the school. A teacher found it but didn't want to touch it, so I took it down into the swamp nearby. Of course, when you have cupped hands everyone wants to see what it is. I felt bad for the boy who wanted to take it home, but I have a very strict no captivity policy, and it wouldn't have survived anyway. The turtle was anxious to get back to the water I think, being quite languid and dry looking in my hands, but when (s)he heard, smelled or saw the water I had to catch it from jumping. But I let the poor creature go and explained to the boy (and his mom for giving him the idea) that it wouldn't live very long as a pet. So another crises averted!
How have you been?

For a Ship to Sail and a Book to Read
map
phano
A ramble.

The other day I was surfing the web, looking for nothing in particular, and I came across a cute little website run by a family of sailors who like to take excursions on the misty Chesepeake Bay on their cutter, Sea Dragon. I find sites like this all the time, but I happen to like the type of boat they sail and there will always be a place in my heart for the brackish bay where I first learned to sail. there was a picture that caught my eye of a leaning lighthouse called Sharps Island Light. http://www.cheslights.org/heritage/sharps.htm

Anyway, my point is I miss going sailing. I miss seeing interesting things on the Chesepeake like the beautiful wooden schooners under full sail, or going to exotic sounding places in the West Indies like Cayo Pirata in Culebra. It's not just the destinations though, sailing is about getting there more than being there I think. I want to exercise my hard earned knowledge of the science of wind and weather and just to be on the water which, just off Puerto Rico is the most alarming shade of blue you've never seen. Grey works for me too though, I have a thing for dreary weather.

The boat is so close to being launched. Just a bit of paint, a trailer, and a crew to practice with is all I need. I was going to make one of those vintage cruise line posters for the boat to try to enlist a crew since impressment is kind of illegal. :P

This recent stormy weather also makes me wish I had a book to read. I had ordered the last two Horatio Hornblower books and a few Redwall novels but they haven't shipped yet. The Hornblower series is a sea faring adventure saga (Who would guess?) that follows the career of the title character from midshipman to admiral during the Napoleonic wars through sequels and prequels which can get a little confusing to make sure you have it in the right order. They are nearly always exciting, and there is always a new problem that the self criticizing hero must solve. Whether it's chasing privateers out of a protected bay, or trying to remember the proper etiquette at a snooty dinner party. There was only one so far that I didn't completely enjoy, which was Lord Hornblower. It just felt too much like a text book on historical politcs and many, many dinner parties. Highly recommended books, but have a nautical dictionary on hand, or at least brush up on port and starboard.

If I could sum up Redwall in one word, however, I would use comfortable. The stories are a little predictable and sometimes repetitive, but that is sort of why I like them. They remind me of cartoons or those old westerns, where everything works out in the end and bad guys are sent home with their tails literally between their legs. Plus, mice with swords, you can't lose.

I hope this ramble wasn't too boring. <3

My Latest Headache
phano
Photobucket My sister is very good at finding puppies. But I guess the whole family can't visit the shelter without bringing half the animals home with us. Anyway, a few weeks ago she was with her friends and came across this little guy for free in a parking lot. So naturally, they took him out on the town, thinking of excuses for taking him home. She already had three dogs (one of which she found abandoned in a box at the side of the road.) and we stressed to everyone that another dog is not on the top of our list of desires. But we are nice (idiots) and couldn't say no to that face. :P He is a mix between a beagle and a blue healer, so everyone started calling him Blue and it stuck. (Although later I thought Azul would be much cooler but this is by the way.) He looks blue too, in a certain light, and in the sunlight, one might think his fur was made of spun silver. He is a fast learner, but still there are new clean spots on the carpet every so often. Last weekend we had a decidedly successful "puppy shower" but he couldn't have the brownies. :3
Tags:

(no subject)
phano
Photobucket This is a sculpture I've been working on (looking at and then going to work) for a few months already. It's the first victim in a large trade, so I feel bad for taking so long, but when I do work on it I usually accomplish a lot in a short time. This is really a crummy photo, both blurry and a bad angle, but I had to show you something. It's Snort, the dream eating tapir demon, a character of a friend of mine: http://twinklestah.blogspot.com/ Anyway, he is supposed to be holding a bowl of dreams up to his mouth like soup. I wasn't sure how I was going to sculpt a dream, but my grandmother suggested stars and, of course, that lead to glow in the dark clay! :D Photobucket I've been drawing a lot of Dragonairs lately. <3 I don't normally like drawing eyes unless they are dots, but she's been helping me practice. I drew this a few minutes ago, but I won't color it tonight. I don't like coloring and linework on the same day. I guess I feel like the latter is more technical than the former, and I can't get the colors to blend when in that mood. Anyway, I'm rambling now. :3
Tags:

"My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today."
phano
I came home tonight to the sobering news that our dog, Lady had passed away sometime while I was at work. She had been acting odd this morning, confused and disoriented, but she often had those funny days. I'm not sure how old she was, but she was up there. All she did this winter was sleep and moan when she had to get up.

She was a lemon and white beagle, and was actually the mother of another puppy of ours who met an unfortunate demise. The previous owners had her in a coop all the time with other dogs, so when we had her, there was no way we got her inside unless it was raining or dark. She was afraid of the dark. She failed a hunting course I guess, but she still liked to chase rabbits and howl when hot on their trail. But she let them go to chase another day. We moved around a lot, and not always to places that welcomed furred people, so we gave her to my grandma's where she stayed for the rest of her life. You couldn't give her bones or treats, she would just bury them, and if she couldn't go outside, she'd bury them in a couch or chair.

Now to worry about the cat, Tigger. (Tigz) We learned his liver is failing some months ago, but he's hanging in there. I thought I'd come home to hear of him instead, but he'll probably live for another hundred years just to mess with us. :P

?

Log in