B Dock, Books, Gulf Islands

26 Feet to the Charlottes

No Comments 18 July 2012

There are several sites that provide a short synopsis of 26 Feet to the Charlottes.  Sophomoric book reports, so what?  Why should you read it? What are its strengths and weaknesses? What currents run beneath the surface of the pages?

June Cameron’s memoir, 1979 to 1983, built around a  relationship with Paul, aboard, or exploring from, his 26 foot wooden sloop, Wood Duck.  The time frame is 1979 to 1983; a good story, predominantly a summer ’83 chronicle of their  journey to the Queen Charlottes.  The descriptions of people, places and events provide good mental imagery and establish a nice flow, but the dynamic between June and Paul is missing.  It is the glue that holds the pages together and June has mysteriously hidden it away.  Obviously, they are quite close; extended periods aboard a small boat, of course.  Perhaps she is more smitten than he is.  There is some glitter to the tone of the early years, but the tone is surprisingly flat throughout the Queen Charlotte section, which is most of the book, as though the relationship is nearing exaustion.  “They both knew it was over”,  only mentioned once during the trip back from the Charlottes. Then there is the curious beachcombing note:  June spots all the little treasures that Paul manages to pass by, as though his mind is somewhere else.  The tone becomes more formal and stiff in the last few pages.  Goodbyes can be so difficult; June took it pretty hard.  June is the better sailor; Paul is the quintessential sailor.  So the book provides a small glimpse into June Cameron’s psyche.  She conceals herself well.  Why has she stonewalled her feelings?  Big hurt, maybe?  Has it taken 26 years (1983 to 2009) for her to begin to touch them with this book?  Interesting.  That’s the current beneath the pages.

Descriptions of unnamed sheltered anchorages, little coves shared by two lovers aboard a little wooden sailboat.  Who wouldn’t build mental castles?  And if you have a charting program on your computer you can follow along with June and Paul, marking the various nooks amoung the islands for future visits.

Extended periods aboard a 26 foot sloop………Is planet Earth a 26 foot sloop?  Then, how sure is the Captain; how steadfast the crew?  Read it.  See the Charlottes.

B Dock, San Juan Islands, Velkommen

A Million $$ View

No Comments 11 July 2012

Friday, July 6 was the first day of summer at Anacortes Marina. I did a double take as I looked toward “A” dock. Was Wee Lodge II adding a crow’s nest?  It looked precarious.  Acrophobiacs need not apply.   Marine Servicecenter sent Quinn Olson to the top of the mast. He made his job look easy, but I think it’s just one more reason to own a powerboat.

Cap Sante and Guemes Island are in the background of pic #1.  Mount Baker rises above Hat Island in pic #2.

Enlarge the images with a click.

B Dock, Velkommen

Water Tank Project – Phase 6……progress report

No Comments 08 July 2012

Enlarge the pic with a click.

It’s time for an update on Velkommen’s water tank project. Mid August of last year was ‘Phase 5′ and then there was the little exhaust elbow repair in January.The last couple of months have been dedicated to the Hurricane heater. It was upgraded to 2012 standards by Gordon Jensen of Latitude Maritime.  The heat sheild exhaust blanket was done by National Marine Exhaust.  The installation positions the heater partially under the port exhaust elbow (the former problem child) with just enough room for the hydronic lines and the Hurricane exhaust to pass beside the  engine exhaust.  Both the inboard and aft panels of the heater are removable for service, so the current placement gives as much access as possible within the challenging confines of a lazarette.  Everything is mounted on rubber pads to isolate vibration and minimize chafing.  I puzzled a while on the placement and containment of the start batteries.  I think I came up with a creative solution.  It is simple and effective and I’ve never seen another like it.

I even got Ray Robinson’s “seal of approval”, and that’s really tough to get.  He slid through the hatch, inspected everything thoroughly, frowned and said, “Damn thing’s overbuilt”.  SWEET!  That is just the way I want it.

B Dock, Books, Velkommen

The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing – long distance motorcycling’s endless road

1 Comment 30 June 2012

There is nothing nautical about this book.  It is about riding motorcycles.  In particular, long distance touring and endurance riding, popularized by the Iron Butt Association.  There are two main characters:  John Ryan, quintessential endurance rider, and the author, Melissa Pierson.  This is a love story; doubtless, true in every detail.  And exquisitely proportioned in what it describes and what it leaves to the imagination.

Allegorically speaking, The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing is as nautical as Moby Dick.  The human spirit against the elements.  Courage.  Determination. Pushing the envelope.  Man and the machine that propells him through time and space.  Oh yes, there must be a damsel nearby  or the whole thing unravels.

So what do you get when you choose to spend time with this book?  For one, you get an inside look at the IBA.  This is different from the AMA (American Motorcyclist Asso.)  These are doers, not just believers.  A tightly knit group, in a very loose knit sort of way.   If you are a rider, you are likely to understand the concept.  Second, you get to enjoy the writing of Melissa Holbrook Pierson.  It is academic and “ivy league”…..but so very eloquent.  It is a total joy to read.  Don’t let out the clutch too fast; this is several grade levels above the newspaper.

It would be a gift to the nautical community if Melissa were to do the Great Loop.  What a fine read that woud be.

In memory of Bill McAvan, a 2003 Iron Butt Rally competitor and a great friend.  RIP

B Dock, Velkommen

B dock – beginning HDR (high dynamic range)

No Comments 29 April 2012

No need for bifocals if you click on these pics.
I have much to learn about photography.  High Dynamic Range can produce amazing pictures but there is a learning curve and I’m at the bottom.  But……hey!  Things are lookin’ up.

OK, let’s change the subject.

What did I learn? I need a wider range of exposure values and I need to reduce the noise in complied pic.

© 2012 MVVELKOMMEN. Some Rights Reserved .