On winter and climbing out of the hole. February 14, 2017


Here’s the shop safely tucked in after a big February storm.

This is the time of year when I always seem to struggle to overcome a lack of momentum. It feels like winter is a hole I stumble into each year. Not enough gets done, or the wrong stuff gets done, or I can’t seem to tell the difference. Often the days just don’t feel productive. It’s not that I’m inactive, it’s just that most days I end up doing something besides the job I got out of bed to tackle.

Continue reading On winter and climbing out of the hole. February 14, 2017

June 21, 2015. The first day of Summer

Catspaw Dingy

It’s a rainy day and I’m breaking my rule and working in the shop and at my desk. “If you work Sunday’s then Mondays just another damn day”. That’s the rule, but, Saturday was beautiful, cool and sunny so I spent the day working in the garden and bike riding. When you work for yourself you have the option of sometimes flipping the days around to fit the weather.

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May 8, 2015 – First class of 2015

Building Pygmy Kayak’s Pinguino design in my shop
Building Pygmy Kayak’s Pinguino design in my shop

Spring is here, the days are sunny with temperatures in the in the 70’s, flowers are starting to bloom and the summer teaching season has begun.

I’m starting the 2015 season with a class in my shop, a collaboration with Pygmy Kayaks building two of their Pinguino 145 designs.  It’s a full week but we are making great progress and having fun as we bring these boats to life.  I can already tell both boats will be used often once they hit the water.

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April 4, 2015

shop spring 2015
shop projects

Spring is a bit slow coming in this year, but the longer days do make it easier to spend more time working in the shop and they offer some daylight time outside at the end of the day.  Sunshine, it’s good stuff this time of year.  Yesterday it was in the 50’s but today we’re back to cold, wind and morning rain. Come to think of it, this is spring.

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November 6, 2014

I enjoyed a few days hiking in the Whites in early October.
I enjoyed a few days hiking in the Whites in early October.

This time of year I feel like I’m pulled in a dozen different directions each day. I pick the task that most needs to be attended to and have at it.  I know, it’s like that for everyone and I’d like to think most of us enjoy the work we turn our hands to. I do, but sometimes, well there’s a lot that needs doing.

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September 30, 2014

The last of summer

Sunday’s paddle, the tail end of summer.
Sunday’s paddle, the tail end of summer.

A few nights ago, when such a deep and early darkness seemed to have fallen outside, I felt with some certainty that we’re in for a short fall and a long and cold winter.  If so, I look forward to warm fires, moonlight on snow and bracing days.  My premonition it turns out was slightly ahead of the season. Last Sunday it was in the 80’s with just the first hint of red in the maples along the river. A magnificent day to paddle on the Salmon, a brackish river not far from home.

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August 31, 2014

Summer Light

summer light 2014

This seems to have been the summer of light – moonlight, starlight, golden evening light, and the pale warming light of dawn. I’ve basked in the steady light of midday as well as the defused light that sometimes shines through gray storms.  I’ve admired the light shinning through thick green forests and reflecting off of quite waters.   From shore, and less wisely, from the thwart of a boat, I’ve seen storm light dancing on tossed seas. I’ve marveled at the quality of light laying across summer fields or slipping at dawn through open bedroom windows. I’ve seen light reflecting off Osprey in flight, mountain ridges, rockbound coasts, and the faces of friends. I’ve seen light shinning from the faces of friends. I’ve seen light shining through the dust in the air of half a dozen different shops and the mist on as many island mornings. I’ve felt the warmth of light on my bare feet and the warmth of light held in stone, both appreciated in the cool of the evening or at the dawn of the day.  This summer the earth and the heavens seem to be infused with the gift of light.

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July 22, 2014

July's full moon at WoodenBoat
July’s full moon at WoodenBoat
The 2014 Boat Builders
The 2014 Boat Builders

The classes I have taught so far this summer have all been extraordinary for me and I believe for my students.  I’ve just finished the Chewonki project and the kids, accompanied by their trip leaders, are out on an extended kayaking trip in their new Willow kayaks.   I had a blast working with the group and plan on meeting them out on the water towards the end of this week for a few days of paddling.

Continue reading July 22, 2014