Of dreams and dragons
I had an account on an online dream journal once, but like to keep my websites down to a minimum because the internet tends to get overwhelming and nobody read it anyway.

But anyway, I had an interesting dream last night. It had multiple layers, like the movie Inception, only the deepest layer was sort of lucid, I think the term is. I remember walking in a thickish wood, perhaps on the hill by the stream I used to live by that also haunts my dreams. It was here that I had realized I was dreaming, but unaware it was a dream within a dream. I was fighting waking up, because I wanted to see what was deeper in the woods. As I journeyed deeper, the woods became darker, but there was still plenty of sunlight. The trees however, were old and dry here, with light grey bark and lichen, and had twisting, gnarled branches and the ground was very mossy. After a few paces into the darkness, I was blinded by a brilliant white light, that overwhelmed my senses for a moment, and shrunk into a small orb. At this point I "woke up" into the shallower level, where I was in bed, and had a few more dreams after that. The only thing I remember then is one of them had the pokemon dragonair in it.

I was never a huge fan of the Pokemon games, taking animals from the wild and making them fight isn't really my speed, and I've collected less than a half dozen cards of some of my favorites. (One was given away free when I saw one of the movies.) But I admit I have developed a sort of crush on the weather changing sea serpent this week. With the realization, or rather acceptance of it today, she has sort of reminded myself of my own sea dragon-ness. I don't normally like talking about my spirituality, because it sounds crazy, but I came to work today feeling very refreshed and energetic, with a boost of self confidence. Alas, the high had waned by now, but I was expecting it. I don't think I'm too fit for life on land and this job especially, but hopefully this summer, my sails may be glimpsed from a few beaches within my reach. :3

(no subject)
I had received the West Marine annual catalog a few weeks ago, and I've been pouring through it and making a wish list for my dear old boat. In the thick catalog there are a handful of articles called the West Advisor to give Corinthians like me or mariners who would otherwise be in the know advice on choosing the right equipment for everyone's unique boating styles and preferences. One was about low copper bottom paint.

Why does the bottom need painting you ask? The anti fouling bottom paint inhibits the growth of algae, barnacles and other aquatic creatures from growing on the side of the boat and propeller if there be one. If a boat sailed the same lake and never visited another body of water, the only problem these would create is perhaps reduced efficiency and flow of water over the sides. However, most vessels go from port to port, spreading invasive species such as the zebra muscles (if you live Stateside you may have heard of it) like a maritime STD. Traditionally, ships used to have copper plated hulls, to combat the barnacles, but somewhere along the line it evolved into copper based paint. Some traditionalists still use the dark green copper bronze paint on their wooden boats. It looks nice, and it helps prevent infestation of invasive species, but I thought, what would it do to other fish? I had already bought a quart of anti fouling paint (Interlux micron extra. Blue.) And I made a mental note to look it up which, due to the supernatural laziness I've been known to exhibit in winter, it was lost in my inter departmental mail.

That is until now. The general gist of the West Advisor article dealt with the very same concern, and went on to say some individuals conducted tests and didn't like how high the levels of copper and some other metals were in marinas and other waters. So West Marine recommended paints of very low, or no copper, with varying degrees of effectiveness in certain waters, and was looking into alternative means of keeping the slime off our boats. I was glad to know the paint I had perchased was low in copper, and lasted a very long time, without having to reapply more gallons every year. (and also good for boats like mine which go in many different waters each season.)

On a sort of related note I set a goal for myself. Since last summer was such a disappointment, I'm only going to work on one project this year. I want to sail alone in Cape May, NJ by the end of the summer. I may not have the money after getting the boat ready to take the celestial navigation and ocean passage making classes in the fall, but in a way, Dawn Puffin is a sailing lesson herself.

And then you start thinking in statuses
The internet has become such a stressful place lately, seems nobody has much to look forward too. Well, dear internet sojourners, a friend of mine referred me to a couple of adorable blogs that cheer her up on the even the worst days. They post nothing but cute kitties and otters everyday, respectively.


Have any more cheerful corners of the internet? I want to make a list.

You can dance if you want to
I know I said I don't like to go online on weekends, and I'm regretting it already, but I finished the drawing and can't sleep, so I decided to make a quick post before I make myself a cup of camomile and mint tea.

Some weeks ago a teacher at work had put a record player in the recycle bin. So of course I had to drag it home! (Here we have a traveling antique show, and a lot of the time people take stuff out of the trash to find it's worth small fortunes.) It worked just fine, so I gave it to my sister. My grandma found some of my mom's old 45 records and I brought them over today when I had to take my mom grocery shopping due to a hospitalized vehicle of hers. There were over a dozen singles, most by people I've never heard of, nor probably would I if I grew up in the 80s. I'd buy records like Galaxie Cygus-B. Anyway, we completely geeked out all the same. We were unrealistically excited to listen to the Safety Dance and the "previously unreleased" Living in China single, which have been stuck in my head. all. day. What is so fun and interesting about old things like record players and the atari 2600, when we can get the digital equivalents sent to our pockets in the amount of time it takes to adjust the speed control knobs just right or clean corroded pin connectors? Perhaps I just answered my own question.

So the moral of the story? My sister will be very popular at parties.

But wait! What about the drawing, say you? Stay tuned Phano fan(s), I documented a few steps and will post an in-ish depth article soon!

Sometimes a dragon's ego needs stroking
I have decided to try and make something of LJ once again. I like my originally intended use, where I write about mostly boat related projects I'm working on, with the occasional, obligatory rant, under that fabulous lock function. But since my dear boat is layed up under an icy tarp, I'll talk about my artwork. I was posting progressive pics of this drawing on fb, in the vain hope of getting encouragement, but since I hate fb, I'll post them here! (My inspiration and confidence glands have been failing latley and I don't like posting WIPs on fa because I'm weird.) Photobucket This is tthe (99%) finished line work of a drawing I've been working quite hard on. I was going to put some undersea goodies in that middle celestial streak, but I felt it took away from the overall lonely feel I had in mind. If I had to do it over, I wouldn't make the background so large, and just focus mostly on the characters. I started latying a few colors down, but haven't done much with it in a few days. It's at tthe ugly stage, where I have doubts if it will come tether or be as glorious as I hope. I'll edit witt a WIP latter if I have service. :3

Banshees in the Darkness
So there I was, watching the skies and gazing upon the sparkling stars after work. As my boyfriend and I discussed the science behind light refraction and the difference between true and magnetic north, I looked up and was excited to see, a small falling star streak over head towards Orion. I was always the sort to make a wish and was thinking about wishing to hear an owl. I like hearing owls, and was thinking about drawing one at work. A few moments went by, and out of the woods, ahead of me and to my left came an eerie screech or howl, followed by three or four very soft oo's or hoots. My first impression was of some kind of monkey of all things, but as the sound, maybe a second or less in duration, continued it sounded like a woman yelling or crying out. I thought it didn't really sound like a coyote, but I'm not ruling it out as a possibility. The peacock who lives next door ("next door" in the sticks is a 5 minute walk.) doesn't come up this far, and it didn't sound anything like him, even if he did call out in the cold or at night. It gave me chills to think it was a screech owl. It would not be the first time I have gotten my wish. Once or twice over the summer there were coincidences dealing with falling stars that made me think that they were more than just coincidences.

Unfortunately my toes were getting frost nipped, and I had to come inside. But I looked up screech owls, and found a few sound clips. Alas, the eastern screech owl sounded nothing like this. I still have hope, however, as there are many different species with more piercing calls. It may not be an owl at all, but I like to often think there is more to the world than we even know where to begin to understand. I'm not saying a burning piece of space debris, most likely junk from human's quest to taste the stars has the power to conjure the creatures of night, but I do like to think there is something else, or as Marvai my boyfriend said "more going on around me that I can't see." Something possessed that creature to call out in the night, and whatever it was and for whatever its reason, I am always thrilled to experience things such as that.

I had originally written a much longer entry, but it was too long for anyone to really pay much attention too, and then my phone started going screwy and totally disenchanted me of this whole deal. Ah well, the internet has a knack of killing whatever magical night I may have had. :D

Who am I and what do I want?
It has been brought to my attention that despite all the things I say I want to do, I don't actually do anything. Part of it may be from lack of understanding. I know I'm not the most social creature on the water, but there really is nothing to do here. But otherwise he might be right. I do tend to have that do it tomorrow attitude. And right now I'm not really sure what I want to do.

My transmission is terminally ill in my car. Been sort of putting that off, but I can't find a used one so I'm going to have to shell out for a new or rebuilt one. But then I may not have enough for the sail charter this winter unless I do it later. But then it would be hard to pay for the celestial navigation class in the fall. >.< I don't want to sound like I take so many vacations. My family says I do, but since I'm not going to college I have to do something. And I badly need the experience if I want to make something of it someday.

And then there is my boat which, I may actually have gotten on the water if I was willing to gamble and make my bank account go to dangerous levels like it did when I bought her. But we have an idea for the trailer, we just need to get the transmission fixed so I can tow it. And after that I won't have any money for a crane to take the boat off to paint them both (since the boat can't go in the water yet without paint) so you I'll probably just block it up like when I fixed the skids and do them both in sections.

I thought I was happy. I was enjoying the weather and the season, and everything here and now. But now my thoughts are oriented to the unknown future and I don't like what I see.

So what do you think?

progress and hinderance
So I patched the crack in my boat's hull. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. It turns out that only the gelcoat was cracked. That is a protective layer placed over the fiberglass. Sometimes it gets damaged by running into things like docks or picking up a swinging anchor or "fifteen pound lobster" according to the West Marine website. I went to a local fish and boat supply store. They didn't really have much in the way of anything especially sail boat parts. But I ran into a schoolmate who works there and he recommended a syringe of epoxy resin with a hardener. The way it is designed when you press the plunger, equal amounts of resin and hardener is squeezed out of their individual tubes. It's then mixed to make a sticky paste which is then used to glue something or fill in a scratch or ding. Obviously, a crack is not a scratch, so I took a wood carving tool and gouged out the gelcoat around the crack to make it wider to fill it in with epoxy resin. I then proceeded to sand in and around the freshly made miniature canyon. It looked pretty scary. If I wasn't confident I knew what I was doing it would have been uber stressful. Photobucket The bluish green fiber of the presumed fiberglass could clearly be seen. I didn't actually find any sand paper so, once again, I called upon the usefulness of my wood carving set and used a selection of small files. They worked very well, especially on the small walls of the gouge. If I had any acetone I would have applied some to clean out the little gelcoat grits. I didn't but I did the best I could. I then toured the boat to see if anything else needed attention while I had my tools handy. I discovered that the centerboard was in need of a lot of it. It can be raised up and lowered using lines in the boat for stability when sailing. Unfortunately, the previous owner must not have known enough to lift it all the way into it's sheath when trailering because there was some wear on the end of it where it rested on a beam on the trailer. I sanded it a little. Photobucket I wanted to inspect the control lines too, but more on that later. I ate lunch and came back to mix the epoxy resin. I started out with a little and it almost seemed to shrink as it mixed. I filled in the gouge with a stick from the yard and globbed some on the centerboard, but it was difficult to work with and very sticky. By this time I found an old sheet of sand paper and sanded the flaking paint on the transom, or rear of the boat. I used a folded piece of cardboard to squeegee some epoxy over it. the end result looks pretty lubberly, but I wanted to see if it would work. It doesn't. :P I went inside to wash my hands, but remembered this stuff cures when underwater so a lot of scrubbing ensued. I found some gloves and spread the epoxy on the centerboard blade and tried to smooth out my other messes. The end result is not the prettiest, but it's finished. Now I just need to find the right anti fouling paint and borrow somebody's disk sander. Back to the centerboard. On my boat, there are two lines to control it. One brings it up into the boat when pulled, the other brings it down into the water when pulled. I looked up how to inspect the assembly because the handbook for the boat was very vague on this. I learned that there are metal plates on the bottom of the boat at the head of the centerboard where the lines attach. These are removed by screws and whacked heads are resulted if care has not been taken to secure the lines. These plates are what hold the centerboard in the boat and if the lines aren't cleated, it will fall out. I looked under the boat and sure enough, there were two metal plates slightly forward and right next to each other, at the end of the long hole in which the center board hides. I took my screwdriver to the screws but they wouldn't budge. It seems like they were painted over by the old bottom paint. I'm hoping this can be fixed when I remove the old paint. The lines look rather old, and the centerboard is a very important part of the boat. This is where pictures would be great, but I must have deleted this one on accident. In less optimistic news, Town Council has not replied to my letter for my event. It's really frustrating. I may just have to wait until next year. I have also been feeling very drained and exhausted. Both from work and life and weather. I used to like summer but this is quite possibly one of the worst. Not just because it's unreasonably hot for this latitude, but I have accomplished not one thing I set out to accomplish yet. Work has sucked up all my energy.

Here be Vikings.
I had a dream last night that I was on a viking ship. I can't remember much of it, but I remember it was fun, which is rare for my dreams. We were looking for a sea dragon, but not to hunt it or capture it. We just wanted to meet one. Parts of it were like a movie but some were not. At one point I guess we were handed out awards for being good vikings I suppose. It was a frigid day. We were all wearing some kind of hooded furs, but the wind blew right threw us. I can't remember actually feeling cold, but I remember clutching my fur close as the mist clung to the individual hairs. For my award the viking captain (?) Who reminded me of Gobber from How to Train Your Dragon (it may have actually been him) handed me some kind of silver whistle. I shielded it from the spray in my furry cloak. It was round and fit into the palm of my hand. It was carved with intricate designs and was very pretty. Someone else got another kind of small instrument. There was some kind of confusion next. Maybe we heard some kind of siren's song or something but it just turned out to be someone's cell phone. :P it doesn't make any sense, but I though it was funny at the time. I'm unsure what happened next. I think we were on to the dragon and sent a crew out in a smaller boat but it capsized. The crew came back ecstatic and confirmed it was a sea serpent and we sailed off feeling accomplished. We may not have seen the dragon, but we knew it was there and that was more than we could have wished for.

In the waking world, I was going to go downtown and look for boat stuff. I was outside for 10 minutes taking off clevis pins to compare sizes but came back inside and lost all ambition. It was unreasonably hot here this weekend. I love being outside, so you know when I want to stay inside it's extraordinarily uncomfortable. It was 116 F on our porch today which is absurd for this latitude. It was like this last week too, but it got cold during the week. All spring and the summer so far it has been hot and cold with no in between. Maybe not as cold as we were in the north seas looking for that dragon, but it does feel good after this. It almost felt like autumn. So I invited myself in someone's pool today. :3

unimportant update.
I went to register the boat today. I called them a few months before, and I was told to bring the boat there to confirm hull numbers. Ok, so as you know I got a hitch put on my jeep and tried to get the trailer road worthy. I only had one problem with the straps coming loose, but it was easily tightened. Turns out I didn't even need it there. That's fine, I needed the practice. After a few minutes in line and a barrage of paper work the boat is legally mine. The trailer is a different story. The person I bought it from had no paper work for it. So I can't register it. Not sure what I'll do about that. I can legally sail the boat but I can't drive it to the lake or even to a place to get repaired as there is still a crack in the hull. Might have to buy a new trailer which I'd probably have to do anyway because the rest of it's in the same condition as the skids were if you followed that particular job. But then I'd have to put the boat in the water to get her off the old trailer and on to the new one. :P

I spent the rest of the day painting. I haven't painted in a while so it was nice. Back to work tomorrow though. :(


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