Now that John and Bonnie have revealed that the vintage ice racer named for a water nymph, Galatea, crashed, I’ll postpone the gear post.  And right here at the top, refer you to bowsprite’s just-released video of the last 56 seconds of Galatea here.  I just caught of glimpse of myself pushing them off at 3 seconds in.  Remember to enlarge a foto, just double click on it.

The instant Galatea rolled  onto its side on the ice, a crowd hurried in that direction.  My first fear was that the starboard runner had broken through the ice; seeing John and his passenger (bowsprite) get up and walk around the wreckage was reassuring.

Looking at the wreckage from behind, notice the stern runner and tiller and the port side of the cockpit  folded over about 135 degrees;  below it, the starboard side of the cockpit is snapped off.  See the two c-clamps.  Also, midships, the port side of the runner plank has been pulled over to starboard about 135 degrees, the boom sandwiched between the runner plank and the mast.

The beauty of wood is  . . . you can just scarf in repairs;  it’s organic, so forgiveness and healing come with the material, just as with our bones.

But let’s turn the clock back to a few minutes BEFORE the wreck, to when we first met John as he completed a solo run.  Notice the c-clamps and brace about where his right elbow meets the cockpit.  Also, the see the jump skeg, explained in yesterday’s post.

He offered us a ride;  bowsprite climbed aboard and away

the wind took them, tacking toward the north end of the bay, all captured in bowsprite’s

video, linked above.

Before the final tack, Galatea gets some adjustments, tweakings.

Fortunately, John had the most important piece of gear ever:   unflappable grace.  Wood heals, be happy, and here’s a toast to Galatea’s next run, soon.  Prior to January 2010, Galatea had not sailed since 1914!!!!  96 years  of hibernation!

Here’s a quote from John’s website:  “On January 31 [2010], Galatea took its first sail since 1914 on light southwesterly winds. The boat is nicely balanced and a very comfortable ride with its large ten foot cockpit. The wind did not last long, though, and by mid-afternoon there was more pushing than sailing. I still remember the day in 1982 when John Somma pulled into my driveway and said “Get in — we’re going for a ride. I think I found Galatea’s cockpit.” So off we went to Mrs. Gray’s Hudson River estate, and there in the rafters of the carriage barn, it was — probably exactly where Robert Livingston Clarkson stored it many years ago. Arrangements were quickly made for it’s acquisition and Reid Bielenberg and I had one more original piece of the boat. We did a lot of work fixing the backbone that first year, but then other projects took center stage and it languished in the barn for almost another 30 years.”

And before the sun set any lower in the sky, Jeff and Dock sailed off in Floater (nearer) paralleling Vixen.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, on more reflection, I realize the good ambiguity in “”wood heals.”  Yes, it does.

Unrelated:  Check out soundbounder’s series on oystering in Long Island Sound;  third in the series is here.

Also unrelated:  check out this article on the Ethiopian Olympic ski team.

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