March 2005

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Great fun last Saturday night. It was Anne-Marie’s 25th birthday, so a bunch of us West Endians surprised her with a shindig at the JR. The real fun came later on in the evening, after the party trays had been demolished, and a few rums in the system.
The network UPN has been filming a pilot for a TV show over the last week, much of it in and around West End. That evening, they had a huge motorbarge in the harbour with all these wild lights, cranes, and cameras. i was all for guzzling tequila and swimming naked through the scene, but that sort of action requires a true mob mentality, and there was only Peter, Anne-Marie, and myself up for it. Three does not a mob make. Just as well, for even the “guzzling tequila” part would have been ill-advised.
Still, there was much great fun. Peter and i had a great percussion session, playing side-by-side behind the bar on the JR’s triple steel bar sinks, with our hands, ice picks, bottles, whatever. Peter sang a little too, scatting and babbling in his thick accent. Peter, by the way, is one of my favourite characters around West End. He’s a real force of nature; 6’6″, 60 yrs old, bald, with a scant tonsure and a massive grey beard that covers his chest. He’e Swedish, and with his cunning sense of oddball humour and only 80% command of the english language, can be a real laugh. Too boot, he’s a marvelous musician.
It was a really great jam, and we plan to do it again sometime. Maybe on something less damaging; my hands were bleeding and bruised afterwards! Scott took a few pictures, which i hope to have posted soon.

Had been feeling a little down. i think it’s because things aren’t progressing very quickly, buying-boat-and-sailing-off-wise. Patience, patience… The locals refer to Centaurea as already being mine, as in, “heard anything about your boat?” or, “When are you gonna be able to start work on that boat of yours?”
The savings are trickling in, and whenever Sverre decides to get in touch, i’ll be ready. But, in the meantime, i’m just… waiting. So, i had to get up and going.
Thus, the “new boat”, my second dinghy project (detailed here). Considerably more detailed and complex a project than the Dink, the new boat is really filling up my slack hours, both mentally and physically. With that, this project is also making me more aware of the joy of today. i mean, sure, i really want that big boat, with the big voyages and big adventures it’ll entail, and yes, i’ll keep working towards it, but right now is pretty good too.
i’ve spent $160 on this little project, but by the looks of things, all told, it’ll end up costing $750 or so (with sails and hardware). That’s a big chunk of my “big boat” savings! Still, what’s gonna be better for me in long run? Fretting over the future, or busying myself with now?
No matter how big and bold my future is, no matter how cool the places i go, or people i meet, it’s great to be here. Now. Working on the “little boat”.

Even after i edit out all my keyboarding errors, communication is fogged. When it’s difficult to make a point to myself, how hard does it become to express the message outwardly?
Imagine you don’t understand english. look at these two words, and just roll the sound of them around your tongue, ignoring, for now, their meanings.
“Jester” and “Gesture”.
In the end, context is usually what makes our language (english) work. Still, when my “little voice” is dictating the inner dialogue, it speaks in english… when the message of “thought” is delivered through the medium of “thought”, how many ways can i misunderstand myself? How many ways can i be misunderstood?


Mirabella III and V in harbour today. James and i gave in to our curiosity and took Scott’s dinghy out for a look at the world’s largest. Well, yup, it’s big. Looks smaller than Athena (a much grander and prettier craft, IMO), even up close. i had been feeling sure that it would come off looking like an ocean liner at close range, but the proportions are still pretty spot-on; from 100 feet away, your eyes might decieve you and make you think you’re looking at a smaller boat only 25 feet away… until you see someone on deck for scale. Yikes!
The shrouds are solid stainless rod as big around as my thigh. The boom is easily as long, wide, and deep as the hulls of most every other boat i’ve ever sailed on. Silliness compounded by silliness.
In other news, the “new boat” is coming along nicely. The centerboard is done; lead cast in place, ‘glassed over, and painted. The decking is cut out and ready to go on. i’ve been putting off dealing with the rudder (technicaly correct, but estheticaly lacking) and instead throwing myself into all the niggly bits of mast hardware. Well, ta-da! i’m (mostly) done with the mast; i’ve gotten the many metal bits sorted, and the mast is on the spar jacks out back with the first coat of paint on the dry.
The spars are getting painted “Bristol Beige”, a common traditional off-white colour which i’d better describe as “milk with a little coffee added”. The hull of the boat will get sanded off before being repainted dark green. The bottom paint and bootstripe will be black, the interior Bristol Beige. The mainsail and stays’l, as befitting a traditional boat of such colours, will be traditional Tanbark, a deep russet red colour. The jib will likely look best white, as will the tops’l.
Still, paint and sails are just fantasies at this point. That darned rudder still needs to be completed, along with a proper tiller. The rigging must be done (although that part is more fun than work), and all the deck hardware needs to be completed. Still loads to do!

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