If you are a dreamer, a doer, a horizon viewer - come in! come in! Announce yourself and let it be known.
The seed of adventure has been sown.

The goal is to take this boat on a trip that no other Wharram boat has taken.
From Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories up the MacKenzie River to the Beafort Sea
and westward to the Bering Sea and south to the inside passage on the Alaska and British Columbia coast.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I spent the day on Tsunamichaser, it was a cold rainy day. It has been raining itself true here in the Pacific Northwest though the temperature seems a little milder than usual - snow levels seem a little high. After not having been over to check on her I ventured forth in a pitched rain battle. Everything is waterlogged and there are plenty of mudsides where the ground has been left compromised. I found the deck boxes flooded to different levels. They seem to take water on at different rates. Nothing a bit of bailing couldn't set right though. I never figured I'd get them totally waterproof so I didn't try to make then dry at all. I'll be thinking about this some more as it would be good if they were atleast weather proof. The good news on the dryness factor is that the cabins hadn't taken on a drop of water. No rain getting in, no condensation and no mold or mildew. While I was mopping up the boxes, I fired up the outboard - it started on the third pull - to let the battery charge. I'm liking the Nissan 6 hp more and more. Thanks for convincing me to buy one Scott.

I need to make a damage report. This is of great interest to me because it seems we sailors/boatbuilders are perpetually trying to make the rot-proof, maintenance-free boat. I say go with the flow and face the reality that nothing is mainenance free. To date I now have three issues I'll need to deal with come spring. 1. Separation of epoxy-glued white oak joints - thes exist at the mast head and base and the motor mount. Failure has occurred in the mast step horn, the motor mount looks ok and I won't know about the mast head until I take the mast down. 2. Hinge failure at the seat box lids. The epoxy bond between the seatbox lid plywood and plastic hinge has failed. 3. Chafe at rope to wood/glass joints. Rope make a good saw and will work its way through what ever it rubs against. Either that or the rope rubs through and the whole thing floats away.

I've got some work to do in the spring and as things improve a few additional bits to make but right now I'm bidding my time looking forward to clearer days when I might set out on the next adventure without fear of hypothermia!

Stepping off after bailing out the seat boxes and having run the motor.

A dismal day of cold intense rain - time for a mug of coffee and a bowl of clam chowder.

The glue joint that holds the seat box covers on has failed.

Signs of wear and tear - dock line chaffing the aft beam end.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Not much of my time has been spent boat-wise over the past while. I have been away from Tsunamichaser for most of the month. This feels wierd after a year of in-depth living the build. I spent the last few days in an interesting little community on the Pacific coast called Bay Center. It is an oysterman's town and the local high spots are the mounds of white shells that pepper the landscape. I went to vist artist friends who have their studio there. Partly to hang out and partly to work on packing up and transporting paintings to Seattle. This was an willy endevor as we did this in the midst of hurricane winds first accompanied by a snowstorm and then monsoon rainfall. When we left, winds were a steady 40 to 50 mph with gusts of 80 plus. We left in a lull in the storm which was good as the next day the wind was gusting to one twenty. The studio is an old church built of mainly hand hewn timber and boards. On Sunday morning as the winds howled, the numerous chandeliers that have been added over the years swayed and jingled in a most frightening way. We strengthened our resolve with strong spirits later followed by oyster stew.

Of boat building interest was a lengthy conversation with one of the locals who oysters but who also builds the scows that the locals use to collect their bounty. These are similar to Wharram cats- built of plywood and fiberglass though the similarity ends there. They are truly scows - 30 plus foot long boxes built of construction grade fir plywood encapsulated in fiberglass - the polyester kind. Framing is local softwood framing lumber. Amazingly they get thirty or so years out of these craft. Fishermen have plenty of worries (often lessened by strongly altered coffee drinks) but one of them is not "does it look pretty alongside the dock?" We builders of Wharram's double canoes can learn something from these seafolk, much more so than we can from the shiny stern tied too crowd on the Med.

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