Archive for February, 2020

Death Of A Columnist

Those that know me, realize that I love newspapers.  While it is possible to get information from TV news or internet, I prefer the old fashioned newspaper.  I cannot think of a better way to have breakfast than eating it while pouring through the paper.  I particularly love well written columns.

It is therefore very upsetting to hear of the death of Christie Blatchford,  easily my favorite writer.  I may not read every paper cover to cover but I never skipped one of her articles.  When she wrote it was if she was sitting across from you telling you what she had seen or thought of an event.  Whether it was a trial or the war, she had an opinion.

I first started reading her when she worked for the Globe and Mail.  My paper of choice for years.  When she jumped to the National Post 10 years ago I switched my allegiance.

I will miss her.

A Crowsnest

The term of Crowsnest goes back 600 years in sailing ships.  When the advancement of ships allowed for an extension above the main mast, the builders had to build a top at the base of the top mast so the sailors could work on the top sail without falling over.
So they build little cages and in the early ships this was a rattan cage which sailors called crows nests because that is what they looked like.

By the late 1400s this top working area had become fairly standard and much more sturdy.

I am making the model of The Mathew for Meagan and Jorg.  I had previously made this model for Ryan and Corey years ago but as I enjoyed it am doing a repeat.

Even with advancing age, my skills get better and I pride myself in the little details.  Over the last few days I have assembled the Crowsnest for the Mathew.  I think I did a wonderful job.

When I came up to help Pat in preparation of our dinner tonight I showed it to her with pride.  I suspect it was like Shakespeare when he finished a good sonnet wanting to share it with his wife.

I do realize that I could easily make this piece if I bought a 3D printer in far less time and I suspect that is what future model builders will do… but I am proud of this.  Made of boxwood of course.

A Rainy Evening

Tuesday night and Paradise is not looking at it’s best.  Cold and rainy.   Took Reese for a short wet walk.   It is February, but there are reasons why we love this place.

Yesterday was brilliant sunshine.  Granted 0 C  but crystal clear.  Stepped out in the front yard in the morning and the Comox Glacier was perfect to the west in the rising sun.

I joined our hiking group for an easy hike up from Nymph falls.  You cannot imagine how beautiful the scenes are in the forest with the sunshine.  As we climbed a bit higher we came across snow on the trail but never an issue.  I am sorry that the pictures I attach only give a glimpse of the beauty.

However, it was a 12 km hike and I am feeling it today in my legs… but worth it.



Parts for The Mathew

I am at the stage where I am making the small rigging components for The Mathew.  The picture on the left is of some of the heart deadeyes I have been making.

Now deadeyes are used to hold the standing rigging of a ship.  The shrouds that hold the masts vertical.  They are not pulleys they are intended to hold tight.  Think of them as the stainless steel turnbuckles that you would see on a modern sailboat supporting the mast.

The shape of the deadeyes had evolved over the centuries.  Those shown for the Mathew are typical of the fifteenth century with the distinctive heart shape.  Over the next 200 years the deadeyes became the round shape (see pic 2) that you are more familiar with.  Much easier to produce, and easier for me to make them.  The heart shaped deadeyes took me about 6 hours.  They are made of boxwood and I will dye them the brown colour of the round ones I made a few years ago.

Still sometimes I wonder.  I could buy ready made deadeyes cut by laser like in the third picture.  But what would be the point.  I mean if I go this way why not just order a completed model from Vietnam.