We did some reorganizing of content this weekend, in particular, expanding and clarifying the categories of our posts. The goal is to make our content more accessible to you and help you understand what we have. Take a look and let us know if you have any comments.
We got a good scare yesterday here in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA. A front was coming through and we were expecting our usual summer thunderstorms. Instead, we now have firsthand knowledge of what a microburst is (sudden series of very strong gusts downward from a storm and then, at ground level, outward). The local high school clocked a 70+ MPH gust. Trees and limbs are down everywhere and there is a great deal of damage. Here are some photos from immediately around our house.
Thankfully our family and house are fine.
The scare extended to the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe project, which readers will know to be going on outside, on the west side of the house. Of course the burst came from… the west. My wife called me at the office and said “I have to break it to you – your boat is all over the yard.” Ooooppphhhh. I walked home, imagining what I would find and ponder strategies to salvage various cases. What I found was this:
“Oh,” I thought, “that doesn’t look too bad.” And it wasn’t. In fact, I have yet to see ANY signs of damage to the skin-on-frame boat (I have found an inconsequential nick on the ama). That this is so is truly amazing. The big, heavy Peace Canoe, PEACE OF THE PUZZLE, was right up against the fence on saw horses, upside down, bow to the back of the yard. I found it upright, 10 feet further into the yard, bow to the front. As best I can figure, I went end-over-end through the air (it only has minor damage). Patting myself on the back for its construction! In doing so, it missed the skin-on-frame boat, which was right next to it, and which somehow ended up farther towards the fence. They somehow crossed paths and didn’t hit, nor did the light skin-on-frame frame go flying into the house and shatter, as my wife led me to think (the tarp on it may have secured it just enough). Bullet = dodged.
Thank goodness I have made as much progress as I have on the boat. I fear of the ribs had still been clamped to the outwales or if the stems weren’t fully attached to the longitudinals I might have had a mess. Instead, my boat has weathered her first storm and done so proudly. I think this success comes down to the skin-on-frame medium itself. Heck, I am a novice with it, and I have constructed a partial frame that has the flexibility to withstand being tossed around who knows how much. That “give” in the structure is an amazing innovation from centuries ago. I am excited to be carrying it on in this age where we try to build things rigid enough to beat down the sea as opposed flexing with it. Now I am REALLY eager to get this boat out in a swell and see how it works in its true element.
We have just finished, after much delay, the import of all the comments from the old version of Chine bLog into the new one. A lot of busy work, but we think it is well worth it. Our readers have contributed some great insight over the years and added greatly to what we are doing. Thank you so much for stopping by, reading Chine bLog, and, as you have been moved, leaving your own thoughts and opinions. Here’s to fair winds and following seas to all in 2010!
After several months of experiment during which no amount of any identifiable currency came aboard, we are scuttling the ads on Chine bLog. We always hated the way they looked but figured that if a few bucks came our way it might be worthwhile. Well, that’s why we didn’t quit our day jobs first…
If you like Chine bLog and feel like supporting us, please make a donation to Autism Speaks or your local maritime museum in our name and we’ll call it done.
Every so often I get to post off topic stuff; that why I have a “Random Stuff” category. Here is a little video that, if you haven’t seen it, is must see. It has nothing to do with boats (unless you note the not-too subtle message that kayaking in South African waterholes might be a bad career move) and everything to do with nature in its raw, unadulterated glory. Enjoy!
And then one day you sit down at your computer and realize that you haven’t blogged in a month. Tough spell at work and on the home front; to my loyal readers, thanks for staying with me. Getting back with the program here…
My in-laws are on Long Island (New York) and we went there for Christmas this year. As we always do, we headed down to Jones Beach, which is a treat in the off-season (and a mass of humanity during the warmer months). There was a brisk Northwest wind and high, thin clouds, all making for a lovely day at the beach (the way I like it, anyway). Among the cool aspects of Jones is its sand – it has a lot of garnet, I believe, which settles into wind-blown formations that are really stunning. Enjoy!