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.

Thursday, November 06, 2008




One of the first things my parents bought after getting married was a Pfaff 332 sewing machine in Birkerod Denmark. That was 1951, 57 years ago. It cost them 1200 DK Kroner, a right big sum. My mom gave it to me twenty or so years ago. I don't think she liked to sew being more of a knitter. If you needed a sweater, she'd whip one out in a week. Hat or gloves a couple of hours. Some of my friends benefited hugely from this and I still have my own stash going back to when I was about 12-13. One of those sweaters kept me alive while I thrashed about Alaska in my kayak in unseasonable cold and wet June weather

As sewing wasn't my mom's thing, she'd let me entertain myself with the sewing machine. A scrap of cloth and some colorful thread and I'd make 'railway tracks" all over it. When I got serious, I fixed my jeans and other stuff. Eventually I started to make clothes out of old tents, stuff sacks and backpacks and the likes. I made custom climbing gear in the 80's and early 90's - some of my stuff even went to Everest and K2. The machine being European never fit in well in North America - 220v having to fit into a 110v world. It worked with a big primitive transformer my dad made up. I think there was a voltage issue as over the years of sewing heavy duty projects it started to loose its power. The Tiki 26 projects spelled an end to the drive motor so it got put away. What to do I still had (and have) projects for Tsunamichaser to do. Every month or so, afterwards, I'd go to Sailrite's website and covet their walking foot machines but a thousand bucks is a thousand bucks and they are no cheaper on eBay or Craig'slist when you find one. I didn't place one in my shopping cart.

A month or so I pulled out old faithful to see if the motor had "healed" no such luck. Thinking I was stuck with having to buy a new machine - hey I've used this one for nearly 40 years - I sank into a deep moroseful state of sewingness. But the timing was right as the laundry/storage room was a mess and so I was cleaning up boxes and consolidating stuff. Low and behold I found a plastic floating winch handle from my keelboat days. I could see a solution here. The two; an old sewing machine and a marginally usefull winch handle could make a gorgeous pair. A couple of machine screws and nuts and some quick drilling and I'm sailing or sewing on a beam reach again with my head held high. I fixed it Cuban-style like my favorite black beans. Check back after I've stitched 40 to 50 feet of edging onto Ulua's new sail and see if I'm still as optimistic!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Beat Rettenmund said...

I have said this many times now, but usually not within your hearing range. Egos are famous for taking over any kind of talent and wreck mayhem with it, so I kept my mouth shut in respect. But this is way over the top! So here we go: You are a genius! Stupid me is still desperate because so far it hasn't managed to find a manual sewing machine at the plethora of nautical and astrological swap meets I visit!

4:09 PM  

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