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02 March 2017

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trinlae

Before the earbud era, DC had more creative inhabitants. For example, my Italian immigrant grandfather, [who was a WW vet, grad of Georgetown School of Foreign Service (without having graduated high school), and census bureau cartographer,] once swam across the Potamac!

When he wasn't out of station mapping federal parklands, he was building himself a house in VA made of fieldstone!

He was from the opera era; maybe that kind of more emotive, narrative genre of music inspired more creative activity among DC nine to fivers.

Lars

Get that kit, put it together and come down and have the time of your life. I spent 18 years in that area in my youth and there are a lot of options to make that trek, all of it through wonderful areas. I like your idea of using all 8 days. Let the young uns haste.

The Twisted Genius

trinlae,

After 9/11 DIA brought in a lot of Reservists for extended active duty tours. We had a USNR Captain as an operating base commander. He was a laid back guy, but still salty. He lived in the BOQ on Bolling AFB. One day he rented a skiff at the outdoor center and took it across the Potomac River to Alexandria. His intent was to just have a few beers before motoring back to Bolling. He had a hell of a time finding a place to dock in Alexandria and couldn't believe how inhospitable all the "dock masters" were. He finally found a place at the Alexandria Seaport Foundation and hit a few bars before motoring back. I don't know of anybody else who did something like that. Like me, he never owned a smartphone.

turcopolier

TTG

I still have the author signed book on the building of whaleboats that I offered to you. pl

Brunswick

Col.,

Phil Bolger's Micro, was long dissed as a "sailboat", by people who had zero experience sailing it.

On paper, and in photo's, it looks like a horrid sailor, where on the water, it was sweet, weatherly, capable of much bigger waves and weather than one would belive, and of course, beautifully managed extended cruising accomodations for two, into a tiny 16 foot shell.

http://rosslillistonewoodenboat.blogspot.ca/2011/05/thinking-about-phil-bolgers-micro-part.html?m=1

The Twisted Genius

pl,

I gotta get up to your neighborhood before the weather turns hot and ugly.

The Twisted Genius

Brunswick,

I always admired that Micro. It's eminently practical and unpretentious.

JJackson

I think part of the problem with with the air bud generation is over protective parenting. My wife was never very keen on my telling our children any tails from my own childhood that involved some of the freedoms I had and when I did tell them later they complained that they were never permitted to do anything quite as risky. I have sailed a fair bit in everything from a GP14 to a 3 masted Barque. In the later I sailed from the UK back to the UK with a trip around South America via the Magellan straits and Panama canal long before GPS so I used a sextant everyday away from land and there was no radio contact if we got into trouble. One of the trips I was not allowed to recount to the kids was in a Lanaverre 590 (light weight 20ft fiberglass trailer-sailer with steel drop keel) this has almost zero draft and two man trapeze so planes easily. It had a big cockpit and small cabin. We lived in Douala Cameroon at the time and I was about 17 and my brother is 4 years younger. I had seen on a map a possible route through the mangrove swamps from the Wouri river to a smaller river the Sanaga and then up the Sanaga (which was not really navigable and ment a lot of getting out of hte boat and wading around the sand banks in search of a channel). This then allowed passage of a creek up to lake. Again all before satellite mapping which meant the map I had looked at had an enormous white area with 'uncharted' written on it south of the lake. On the far end of the lake was marked 'Pygmy village?' and this is what I wanted to get to. I calculated about 5 days for the trip and persuaded my father who eventually persuaded my step mother. My father could not get that much time off so my brother and I took the boat down the Wouri and up the Sanaga and picked up my father from a bridge Friday night. We never found any sign of the village and the maps marking of a route to the lake was a little optimistic. We had to take down the mast as the jungle canopy crossed the stream at many points, we had to get out of the boat and sea-saw over tree trunks that had blocked the channel and when we got to the lake the channel disappeared into a papyrus swamp which had to punt through.
There is a sequel to this anecdote. Some months later after I had returned to school in the UK my father was at a party where a research scientist recounted a tail of waking up one morning and seeing a yellow sailing dingy sailing across the lake, his colleagues were not in camp - they were radio tracking chimpanzees - and on their return refused to believe him as the boat had gone and having made the trip up that creek refused to believe it was possible for something that big to have got onto the lake. My father was able to explain that it had been real and not a hallucination as his friends had claimed.

The Porkchop Express

TTG

Have you built a CLC boat kit? If so, would you recommend them? I think I looked them up last year based on your post and have been looking to build a dory. Quality boats?

The Twisted Genius

JJackson,

Marvelous story. Thanks for sharing it. Although modern GPS navigation devices are a boon to safety, I think the old ways of navigation are more satisfying to the soul. The idea of setting course on a best guess or just wanting to see where this goes appeals to me.

The Twisted Genius

Porkchop,

I've never build a CLC boat. I did build a skin on frame kayak with scrounged scrapes of wood and canvas using plans from a Popular Mechanics magazine. I've run my hands over a few CLC boats. They are nice. I've never heard or read of a complaint about the CLC kits. The one thing I would recommend is to practice using epoxy and fiberglass before using it on boat kit. Nothing will chap your ass more than to do a botched fiberglassing job after weeks/months of painstaking boat assembly.

JJackson

My father currently has a 60ft aluminum cutter with GPS, auto pilot etc. but I don't trust any of it. While it is useful, as long as it works, I can not fix any of it if it breaks so we still carry a sextant, lead line, Walker log etc. just in case. He is 85 now and can not sail it unless I take him out so the boat sit unused in Cartagena (Spain) unused most of the time which is a terrible shame as it was designed and equipped for a round the world voyage.

The Porkchop Express

Thanks for the advice. Never put a boat together and was looking for a new project. Appreciated !

The Twisted Genius

You're welcome. CLC has an active builders forum and there are plenty of people who have documented their builds on blogs. Spend more time than you think is necessary studying that stuff before starting the build. Good luck.

LeaNder

Great story, JJ. Fascinating.

The Twisted Genius

All,

The start of the EC 2017 has a 24 hour weather hold due to a small craft advisory issued by the National Weather Service. This is a prudent measure taken due to the problems that occurred during the crossing of Tampa Bay last year. There were several calls for rescue and the Coast Guard called off the race. This year, the Chief decided to reduce the possibility of a repeat performance. The waves and winds of Tampa Bay seem to be a major hurdle for the tribers every year.

lindaj

What a relief this was from the Russia Russia Russia stuff.

turcopolier

lindaj

We welcome material like this but this is essentially a serious military/political blog. pl

Lars

The seas should be OK, but they are having some serious winds to deal with. It is blowing hard in Florida this morning too. It seems a few have made some very good progress.

The Twisted Genius

They're off! The "fleet" officially took off from check point 1 at Cape Haze Marina. The weather and seas seemed toi be idyllic at 7:00 AM this morning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1bNB_CdU0s

The Twisted Genius

lindaj,

I'm glad you enjoy this diversion. I enjoy presenting them. I am also grateful that Colonel Lang allows me to share these diversions with all of you. But, as Colonel Lang says, this is essentially a serious military/political blog dealing with serious and momentous subjects. I'm also grateful for that.

trinlae

Thanks for sharing the fantastic pics and details.

There are still guys teaching hand made shipbuilding around Baltimore..(.Frederick Douglass's old shipping haunts)...my young nephew (great grandson of potomac swimmer) just 18 years old did one-its old school apprenticeship style...not too many so called smart phones involved!

I shared your pics & links!

trinlae

Maybe he was f/t before NR lol!

Retired Annapolis perhaps?

dilbert dogbert

Let me count the water craft:
Seven Kayaks
Three Standup Paddle Boards
Two Rowboats
Three Sailboats
One Boston Whaler
Been messing with boats since 1967.
My dream adventure is to drive the Whaler from The Salish Sea to Alaska on the Inside Passage.

Lars

From the reports from participants, they have been fighting high winds and low water, which is common with strong east winds. Some of them may have high headwinds tomorrow, as the winds change to SE. It could also get quite choppy past Marco Island. I hope they all will be safe. This seems to turn out to be quite the challenge.

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