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Alacrity 19 – The sail plan begins to take shape

imgp0246I finished whittling the mast and got a few coats of stain on it. You can see in the picture that I still have to trim about two feet off the top. I wish I could leave it there for leverage when raising the gaff but sadly, if I leave it there, the boat won’t fit under the bridges where I sail. So I’ll whack it off with a saw one of these days. In these pics you can see that I just hung eveything on there. It takes a few hours to tune one of these things when you start from scratch like I did.

Once I get it all strung up properly, I’ll take some better pics and post them, but this is okay for just seeing what it will look like. The main sail, boom and gaff are the same rig that I built for the Compac 16, but here you can see I mounted this mast on the original tabernacle, and I’m running a head sail. imgp0247The one that’s on it in the pic is the working jib from the Compac. The Genoa from the Compac fits nicer though so I’ll probably wind up using that combination most of the time. I can reef the main and put this sail on for high winds.

I went to the hardware store and had standing rigging made out of 3/16 galvanized cable. They did a very nice job putting inserts in the loops and didn’t leave any sharp pigtails out on the ends. There are four shrouds and one fore stay. I’m not going to install any back stays.

I am human and I am sad

litter0205_468x550I am sad because I am human. I am ashamed that I am human. I am angry at many, no….. most humans. I am riddled with guilt, humility and shame because I am human. It is sad to be part of such thoughtless arrogance and destruction. The same arrogance and destruction that humans have demonstrated since the beginning of the human race, but now it is my turn. It is my time.

I am not a cave man who wields rocks and clubs at my enemy clan members. I am not a viking or barbarian who raped and pillaged my way through life savagely taking what was once the property of others for my own. I am not a pilgrim or settler who came to conquer a new land and steal it from it’s peaceful occupants. I am not a powerful leader who orders the dropping of bombs and radio active fire among people who I have deemed to be my enemies and I am not a logger who annihilates thousands of acres of beautiful rain forest that took millions of years to create, but I am of the same skin, the same blood and the same genetic make up. I am human.

I first got involved with the internet in the early days when it was mostly text and simple graphics. Popular operating systems were windows 3.1 and OS2 v2. Mostly there were just educational websites, company websites and personal websites. Oh yeah, and there was porn. It was fun to surf the net back then. There were no worries. It was just good clean fun and if you wanted it, not so clean fun. Then came the human condition and someone had to start screwing it up. People thought it was cool to start hacking other peoples web sites. More people thought it would be cool to write viruses and infect other people’s computers and then even more people thought it would be cool to create web bots that roam the internet and spam discussion boards, blogs, guest books and websites with advertisements trojans and malware. Hence, the internet is now a mine field where it once was a beautiful meadow.

Humans did this because it is the human condition to parasite and destroy everything it comes across. To be human is to be a cancer and to suck the life out of anything and everything we leach on to. While some of us are aware of this, we still can not stop being human. I drive a car that is run by oil which we drill deep into the earth for, much like the mosquito sucks the blood from it’s host. I use that oil. I need and use products that are wrapped in plastic and styrofoam which ends up in landfills forever. I power my house with energy that is created by splitting atoms and burning coal, both of which create horrible effects to our planet. I am human. I am just another termite in the structure, another cancerous cell in the blood stream. Another drop of poison in the bottle.dolphin_7

As much as I try to be better than human the sad fact remains that I am a human born from a long line of humans and I am sad that I am part of it.

If a superior race of beings ever visit this earth I’m sure they would extinguish us just like humans extinguish what we consider pests, as well they should. I wonder if a rat is ashamed to be a rat, or if a carpenter bee is sorry that he helped destroy my siding.

I think if I had a wish for myself, I’d wish I were a dolphin in an ocean on a planet where there were no humans.

Summer Vacation

morning-riverI just got back from my last vacation of the summer. It was from August 28th until September 9th. I spent all of it except for a few days up at camp, boating and drinking heavily with a few friends that took their vacations at the same time.

The jury is still out on whether that was a good idea or not.

Don’t get me wrong. We all had a blast. For about six days straight we loaded up the coolers and headed out on the boats about noon. We’d drink beer, eat ring bologna and cheese, play fetch with my dog, tell our stories of years gone by and get a good jag on. Then about five in the afternoon we’d head back to camp and grill up some supper, which was accompanied by more beer, more banter and more revealing stories about our pasts.

After that, it was a tub of margaritas or two, more slurring about how great our lives were when we were young, and hearing the same stories that we told 8 hours earlier on the water, but of course by now the stories were better and funnier now that we were pie eyed.

It was great.

sky-boat1Sky the wonder dog was in heaven. Every day meant another day of swimming, begging for treats and chasing his water toys. It’s nice when there are only a handful of boats on the river. It’s even nicer when there’s only mine.

My liver needs a break. My stomach needs a break. I need a vacation from vacation. Believe it or not, I’m glad to be back to work.