Chine bLog began as an experiment of sorts, a way to teach myself more about blogs and blogging. I picked a topic I loved and set out onto the internet to see what I could do. My first post, a paean to the big kahuna in traditional boat media, WoodenBoat, went live just over ten years ago, on August 30, 2005.
So in ten years of writing, however erratic the editorial schedule sometimes was, there must have been some memorable experiences, right? You bet. Most centered on how far Chine bLog spread and what conversations periodically emerged. In no particular order:
- One of my early posts was on the Wayfarer Dinghy and how the plans were not available for home builders. That was January of 2006. As I write in September of 2015, that post and the couple others it spawned are still among the most popular ever. People still find it and, once in a while, chime in on this subject.
- That same post emerged, ultimately, from a story I had read years before about a guy sailing a Wayfarer up the coast of Labrador. One of the amazing stories from Chine bLog is that this guy found and commented on the post in 2007, a year and a half or so after I wrote it. This blew my mind and still does.
- I recall the first time I got a comment that seemed on target, but maybe not written by a native English writer. Lo and behold it was a fellow from Brazil. Talk about the power of the internet! I write my little posts here in the DC area in the U.S., and they reach Brazil and beyond.
- We have had the privilege to publish a number of people’s personal work beyond that of immediate friends and family (which is good too!). Some favorites include Ruth’s pictures of Malagasy boatbuilding (2007), Suzie’s pictures of the canoes of the Iraqi “Marsh Arabs” (2008), and, of course, the many sketches made by Klaus Schmitt (2010 and on, with more to come soon!).
- I have blogged the ups and downs of two major projects, the Peace Canoe PEACE OF THE PUZZLE (2007) and the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN (2010 on on), along with a number of smaller ones. People still take interest in that work and provided thoughts along the way. I am grateful to both.
- Late in 2013 I wrote a post about the Crotch Island Pinky, a boat a friend identified for me. Over the months since, quite the stream of conversation has occurred on this post. It is great to have connected enthusiasts of this great craft.
- One other point – the first years of Chine bLog coincided with the boom of blogging, and many others joined us in writing about traditional and wooden boats. We formed a loose knit community and I was thrilled to be part of it. Some others have continued on alongside us, others have fallen off, but in our own ways and own styles, we produced a bunch of nice content over time. I certainly feel you others have helped to make Chine bLog better. Thanks, in particular, to Gavin at intheboatshed.net, Bob at Indigneous Boats, Tom at 70.8%, and Gary at Outrigger Sailing Canoes.
I am sure I am leaving all kinds of cool things out.
I never imagined I’d keep Chine bLog going this long, but it has been a great outlet. Thank you all SO much for sharing it with me and contributing to it. I have no idea where it will go from here, but please keep sending ideas and content and I’ll do my best to get it up!