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I could have called this “unusual sail.”

That’s me in the two-person sailing Folbot back in 2002.  I had bought it back around 1998 from an ad I saw in a publication called Messing Around in Boats.  The gentleman who sold it said it had been in his barn for at least 30 years.  When I peeled off a layer of pigeon shit, the skin came off with it and exposed a wooden frame that broke down into pieces four-foot or shorter.  The hull, mast, leeboards, sail, rudder all could fit into a seabag, and I fancied myself, a show-off,  hiking up to a roadless mountain lake, assembling my vessel, and sailing  . . . in the clouds.

When I couldn’t sew a new skin or find someone who could do it–two different canvas shops took on the job and then backed out–I decided to skin it with leftover shrink-wrap boat covers,

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reinforce the bow with duct tape, and go paddling.

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It worked!  Here’s a blurry shot showing the insides . . . shrink-wrap and plastic strapping.

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As time passed, I decided the Folbot could at least as be sculptural until such time that I find a canvas skin maker.

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So this is the top of big room in my Queens cliff dwelling, where I should maybe keep some shrink-wrap and a heat gun handy to skin my boat in case the water level here rises.

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And since I’ve invited you into my home, how about more of the tour.  Yes, that’s the stern of the Folbot in the center top of the photo and a spare one-seater kayak, which I cut-bent-glued-stitched at Mystic Seaport, to the left. [They appear not to offer the kayak building classes now.]   Only problem with the stitched kayak . . . the only egress/ingress is out the window, down 12′ onto a flat roof, and then down another 15′ onto the sidewalk.

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In a pinch, you could make a kayak using a tarp, willow or similar shoots, and wire.  And in the long ago and far away department, here I was back in January 2005 sewing that kayak you see hanging to the left above . . .  10 hours of just sewing once the skin was on, per these plans.

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Bending ribs right out of the steam box and

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knotting together the bow pieces happened

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prior to the actual two-needle sewing.

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These last two pics are not mine but come from a Folbot publication from the 1960s.  The photo below shows what a later-model sailing Folbot–just out of the duffel bag– looked like.

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Here’s what the publication says it looks like sailing.

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For now, mine remains sculpture.

This post marking a personal milestone passed already five years ago.  Today’s post marks the fact that now I’m officially old enough to opt for the thin slice of retirement money or a senior price ticket on New Jersey Transit.

The photo below shows one of my high points of my past year.  I’m the more enclosed guy with the black cap.   And you might wonder where this is?

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Here are two clues that’ll help you situate that high point, the aluminum portion and the

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steel.

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And here I’m standing on the edge of a trough.

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Many thanks to Chris Ware for the top photo and to Brian DeForest for the one directly above.

I am deeply grateful for a chance at another year of living  . .  . exuberantly.    Here was seven years ago.

I have always loved maps, as far back as elementary school.  The internet and satellites have changed maps;  sometimes I still prefer old-fashioned paper ones.  This post shows five “grabs” from on-line maps.  What they have in common is that in each an inch is equivalent to about two miles and that all show places in the Americas.  This is my last regular post for about two weeks because it is time to hit the airport, then the road.  This road will take me through three of the five grabs here.  I’ll identify the places along the way.

1.

At this link there are 24 quotes about maps . ..  like this one by Abulrazak Gurnah: “I speak to maps. And sometimes they something back to me. This is not as strange as it sounds, nor is it an unheard of thing. Before maps, the world was limitless. It was maps that gave it shape and made it seem like territory, like something that could be possessed, not just laid waste and plundered. Maps made places on the edges of the imagination seem graspable and placable.”

2.

Herman Melville said that true places are not found on maps.  Here’s an interesting article that quotes him and talk about a place (not in the Americas)  I’ll likely never visit, never have to navigate myself around with or without a map or chart.

3.

On travel . . . aka gallivanting, Robert Louis Stevenson said, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

4.

I airbrushed some names out of this map grab . . . lest you figure the location out too easily.   And if you don’t figure it out, no matter . . .   see this LandSat fotos or play with google for a while if you think these satellite images are beautiful, as I do.  I didn’t change any of the colors, but some satellites use filters to capture invisible but significant detail.

5.

But as much as I enjoy looking at maps and charts, there is a time to get out, feel the wind on your face, and let yourself be surprised.  Doubleclick this one;  these two watchstanders on MSC Federica last weekend seem the ultimate gallivanters.  They could even be time travelers.

I’ll try to write from the road, something I last did just a month ago here.  Any guesses about the geography captured by those fotos?

Related:  Here and here are some airplane seat art sites.   Here are more examples of “land art” visible from google earth.

. . . astrotisements for everything imaginable.

It’s bowsprite’s drawing on the pin I’ll wear today.  Send me an email and I’l tell you how you too can get one of these pins.  Or send her an note . . . to the post she put up today.  The original event/foto happened here in September 2008, but it took bowsprite to transform that contest into some universal depicted on a pin.

It’s love . . .  can be  warm and abstract as it is to a six-year-old;  sometimes

filled with drama, pursuit-and-retreat-and-repeat….

It can be very high drama, perilous paroxysm, much more than hissy-fits.

It can just be bump-n-grind physical, rubber and steel til our eyes go askew as we

go through the process of trying on all shapes vaguely recognizable as hearts.  But it’s all

amor valentinus.  Here are my V Day posts from 2009 and 2007.

For me, the more dispassionate, the better . . .  but I’ll tell everyone (and everything) I really love that I love them.  Wanna try the same?

Three years ago it was my father;  now it was my mother:  she passed on last week at age 83, and I will miss her.  This foto was taken two days ago at Pultneyville, looking north toward Kingston, where her parents are buried.

Near these waters was her home–and mine–for 55 years.  And they shaped us.

Ma, you will be missed, and you’d tell us to push on.

All fotos taken this week by Will Van Dorp.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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