A Dream

As a member of the board of Wood Islands and Area Development Corporation I have listened as the board wrestled with issues relating to the closing of the liquor store (it now appears it will continue as an ‘agency store’ run by the corporation, but that is another story). What has come into my imagination is the idea of making…creating…made up of whole cloth…a shipbuilding village of the 1860s. Wood Islands has a marvelous resource in the lighthouse and park with a great view of the strait, the harbor, the ferries, and the fishing shacks.The dream is to save old buildings and move them to the area to create a village and represent the shipbuilding industry as it might have been at that time. 

I hope to produce a book outlining the dream and, just today had the idea of having shipbuilding take place on the park site in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the confederation in 2014. The project would aim to eventually become another King’s Landing, Sturbridge Village, or Upper Canada Village…a living history recreation.

But the reason I am posting under sailing is that I am hoping to draw on the expertise of some group like the Lunenburg Shipbuilding Alliance to create something that could represent real shipbuilding at that time. Authenticity to the period of course rules out epoxy and fiberglass! I am hoping to find some people who could create a shipbuilding process that wold not have to be hurried, as long as there could be some sort of activity for visitors to see every day. Whether a vessel of traditional plank and timber construction could find a market is a big question, but I suppose a first vessel could remain at the harbour for tours…perhaps we could fill up a harbour with vessels! Or another idea is to have life-sized, pre-cut pieces that could be assembled and then disassembled and re-used…sort of like big building blocks. Then the process could be illustrated over and over without producing a finished vessel that had to be fitted and used.

At this point the goal I have is to see if some living-museum activity could be funded for 2014 just sitting in the empty park.

Where has the time gone?

I was dismayed to realize I haven’t posted here for almost 3 weeks. It isn’t that nothing is happening…actually I have been finishing up two books…Leslie’s and a revision of Tom Rath’s first Donkey book (he wanted a second printing and wanted the pictures to be enlarged to bleed off the edges). He is nearly done with the second donkey book, having persuaded Greg’s brother Ian to do the illustrations–what a talented family!

Still, that doesn’t account for it. I have been teaching photography and photo-manipulation for Seniors College as well as a very basic computer introduction for the 50+ club in Montague.

Also, I need to get the wood gathered and stacked so Randall Larson can come and split it for me…a great bargain he has been providing for many years. I stack only the wood big enough to need splitting and he comes and does up a whole year’s worth in about 3 hours…his splitter and his labor…a great bargain especially for one like myself who finds that much work a bit much.

Oh, I am trying to finish the summer guest quarters over the garage since cousins (and families) may be coming next Summer and it gets too cold to have the plaster set or the paint to dry if I wait too long into the Fall.

And, of course I am chipping away at the Revisiting Scripture book.

Now I can begin to see why I haven’t done so much posting recently!

Now in the yard!

The boat hauling went well…but of course SOMETHING had to go wrong! The trailer went down to the wharf with no trouble but, when it came back out of the water one of the tires was flat. A quick trip to Loren Panting of Panting’s garage and it was fixed with a tube…the rims are rusty enough to make a seal a problem.

The weather was awesome…dead calm, sunny, and cool enough to avoid sweating. The trip home was done at 20-30 km/h to keep the mast from bouncing up and down…jerking from potholes broke it’s support and then, dropping, the mast itself once about 5 years ago. The boat now sits safely behind the house for the Winter.

The book I am developing is to be named, “Never the same mistake twice” and I am already planning improvements for the trailer. In its present form the keel sits flat horizontal on the main trailer beam once it is out of the water, but sits on the front edge on the 10:1 sloped ramp as it floats into position. The result is that when the trailer is pulled out of the water there is a significant change in bow position as the boat shifts back.To fix that I plan to add a wedge-shaped timber under the keel so the boat will maintain the 10:1 angle relative to the trailer as it comes out of the water…it would be oriented slightly tipped forward if it were not for the fact that the very low trailer connects to a considerably higher hitch ball on the truck. So the net result should be a boat travelling almost horizontal relative to the ground with the bow attachment remaining just where it was when the boat floated onto the trailer.

Are these modifications important? not really…it is working OK, but every year a little bit more is improved. Hence the name of the book.


Time to pull the boat

The water and air are getting cool/cold enough to take the joy out of sailing and, even with no hurricanes, it is time to bring it home. The challenge is to pick the right day. With the moon phase, the high tides are coming early next week and it requires a high high tide to float the boat onto the trailer without having to back it off the bottom end of the ramp…the planks run out and there is about a 2′ drop off. So tide is one thing…and, by the way Monday through Thursday have good tides at mid-day so there is plenty of time to bring the trailer down in daylight and get the tongue extension bolted on and get the mast lowered before the tide is high.

Next is the question of weather…it appears that there is a small chance of rain every day, but no particularly high winds. So the time is here to bring it out.

I want to try out some trailer modifications which cushion the bow and give a roller to allow the bow to be pulled into place by the person on the boat. Coupled with a redesign of the side supports so the sides do not crush the amas, things should be good. Boat moving is always accompanied by high stress times…what might happen even if nothing actually goes wrong! Wish me well.

Leslie Stewart’s new book


Leslie’s newest book

Leslie continues to write poems and interesting short accounts about life on Prince Edward Island. His latest , he claims, empties the barrel, but in the next breath he begins an account of a new poem he wrote based on his childhood, and how the inspiration refused to take him in the direction he intended. Having been short-listed for the Island book award in poetry, this newest collection should take him to the top.

Among the classic pieces is one where folks at a Halloween party decide to recruit the Wood Islands Ferry to serve as a bridge to bypass a long delayed highway department bridge repair…Ferry Bridge. Another prose piece recounts the hilarious efforts to get a piano out of the basement and deliver it to a friend’s house…Piano Movers.

Then there’s a poem about using a bundle of insulation as a sled because it is padded and slippery…Insulated Sleigh. His newest book is longer than usual…200 pages…and a bargain at $17. If he doesn’t corner you first, give Leslie a call about getting a copy in a couple of weeks.