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Archive for the ‘Around Lake Michigan’ Category.

Fruit fly friendship

My bare back is covered with fruit flies, a delicious tingle like static electricity.

That’s this mornings update from the nitrogen accumulator, otherwise known as the dungomatic, TM. I’d anchored on a pretty wild beach and so was amazed to see them (feel them) in such profusion, but of course they have a life beyond humans. Aside from the surreal Groucho quip, this was my first positive fruit fly association. Another reason to get with nature – erotic encounters with wildlife.

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Anchored on Old Mission Peninsula western edge, and a special moment on the dungomatic.

Anchored at the tip of Old Mission

After clawing my way out of Grand Traverse Bay for the better part of the afternoon, I decided to turn right and check out the tip of Old Mission Penninsula for overnight potential. It looked quite picturesque with seagulls and herons decorating verdant shoals and a white lighthouse. These are of course hints about the nature of the place as regards to sailboats, the tip of Old Mission is quite shallow and rocky. I swooped around the eastern shoal and ventured into a bay that only waterbirds and catamarans dare to enter. I bumped and clunked to the beach and landed. I didn’t much like vibe I got from the odd ducks (people)I saw pacing the beach, nor was the locale remote enough for camping. After consulting my iphone charts, (the new iphone with working GPS, yeah!), I decided to scrape and squeal back out and reconnoiter the western edge of the peninsula. I checked the western shoals on the way out, but their stony and flora entangled flanks were not ideal for pulling up a cat, though the birds seemed to dig them. Rounding them I found a very wild shore with a little island nearby, an appealing setup. It was far too shallow to land Hello World, so I opted to anchor and sleep on the trampoline, a first.

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Looking north from Old Mission anchorage

Slow motion start

The bustling urban mileau fades ever so slowly into a haze of jet exhaust and wood smoke. Bows angling toward the arctic, I slither forward on an occassional puff of wind. 30+ miles before I can clear Grand Traverse Bay, with a bit more breeze I might make it before dark.

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I’ve been at Jeff’s the first and last two nights with a visit to Crystal Lake in between to see the boy. When I wasn’t tuning the travel kit I was asking folks if they’d ever seen any sustainable civilizations. Busy 5 days.

I’ve got Steve Zilliax’s bike with me on the off chance I get to Canada and can give it back. It’s slung a little close to the waterline but I’ve since had a brainstorm for raising it up. I must be getting close to Hello World’s max cargo capacity.

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Just before I left I visited a cwazy mofo whose refurbing a big cat (40ft?) for ocean travel, powered by kite. Seems like a lot of boat for one dude, he could have a rack of bikes!

Michigan Schooner Festival

I’d like to say that it was all part of the master plan, so maybe I will. I arrived in Traverse City just in time for the Maritime Heritage Alliance’s Michigan Schooner Festival, a (near) zero waste event. Around and about the festival I had some intriguing conversations. Future artifacts, predictions and portents.

Pete Bentley and Captain Tom Kelly of the Schoolship Inland Seas.

Ray Minervini and the Grand Traverse Commons

Back in Beulah

Caught some excellent interviews at the Schooner Festival yesterday with Tom Kelly, Master of the Inland Seas, Ray Minervinni of Grand Traverse Commons, Andy Gale from Bay Area Recycling for Charities and Tanya and Chris from Homegrown.

Hello World at anchor with majestic schooners in the background. Camera pulls back...

Hello World at anchor with majestic schooners in the background. Camera pulls back...

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... and she's surrounded by smokers (motorboats). This shot is all about the ironic contrast between sail and smoke, please ignore the sunbathers - they have nothing to do with this shot... though perhaps one might find a striking resonance between svelte female anatomy and the sleek geometry of Hello World, or notice how nicely these women would both fit on the trampoline. Other than that, lounging bikini clad hotties are not relevant to this purely documentary moment illustrating an ironic contrast between a small footprint approach and... oh, whatever.

I borrowed Jeff’s car and returned to Crystal Lake last night for some quality time with Mr Boy and to pick up a few items. Heading back to Hello World tonight. Look for a Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning departure from Traverse City.

Jeff’s place

At the home of Jeff Gibbs, friend and advisor. Mentor even, feisty ally and occasional pain in the ass. He’s offering me a base of operations for reorganization and resupply here in Traverse City.

I’m off to the Schooner Festival to see if there is something fragment of the SC there. More soon!

Grand Traverse Bay

Stuck, stuck, stuck this morning from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. When will I learn to turn on the radio?

Poised to enter Grand Traverse Bay after an excellent night under the clay cliffs of Northport’s big lake shores, I packed and launched. Nevermind that there was hardly a puff of wind – I had a schedule to keep. Kicking back on the trampoline, I lollygagged, loafed and waited for the wind to stir. After a couple of hours creeping north and getting some annoying texts from Jeff Gibbs in Traverse City such as…

“Are u really going to make it today?”

and

“From the tip of the leelanau to tc is equal to two thirds or more of the distance you’ve already sailed in six days?”

I tuned into the NOAA report and heard that there were east winds of 6 knots at Traverse light, just a couple miles north of my dead calm position. So where was MY wind? I began to paddle out of the land shadow…

Riding a northeast wind past Cat head Point, I passed Traverse light and turned south.  The rest of the afternoon and the better part of the evening was spent running with the wind, surfing.

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I fired an update to Jeff predicting a landing at 8:00 pm, then at 7:00 pm moved my ETA to 9:00 pm. My actual arrival turned out to be 10:00 pm. Approaching Traverse City took forever. At sunset I still couldn’t see any landmarks, buildings even lights – just low hills funneling into haze. All the while surfing like crazy, bob sledding down trenches and half pipes of water. Finally lights appeared, but to my old flatscreen eyes they were just sodium colored star bursts in patterns that may or may not have suggested familiar features. The starbursts resolved slowly with much tacking to and fro, standing rigging clanging in the now fitful wind. To anyone watching us from shore, Hello World and I must have seemed dark specter slightly out of control in the blustery twilight.

Using the giant candy cane / fake lighthouse / massive power tower near where I believed to be second street, I landed tentatively just west of West End Beach and walked Hello World to where I saw some other boats anchored. I perched her on the beach and ran in check the proximity of the volleyball courts. I had hit it pretty nearly. I called Jeff and asked him to come for me in 30 minutes, while I offloaded and set an anchor. Took me more like 45 minutes but Jeff was a sport about it all, eventhough I had my wires crossed as to where I would meet him. We finally found each other and went back to his place for an epic bowl of pasta and sauce.

From 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, a trip and personal record of 33.95 miles.

This morning I borrowed his bike to check out the boat and scarf a breakfast burrito from the local organic food joint, just across the street from West End Beach!

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Northport

It was late in the day when we approached Northport’s clay cliffs, reminiscent of crumbling citadels. Several spots looked agreeable and unpopulated from the water, but I decided to chase down a couple walking north along the beach and get the skinny. We had to tack repeatedly to catch up to them.

“Ok to camp around here?”, I shouted, after a brief introduction.

“Sure, there’s nice sand that way,” the fellow replied, pointing south.

Hello World and I spun around and found a lovely little roost, just before sunset.

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looking east

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looking west

Some images are beyond documentation. A tent glowing with a single candle under a star scattered sky. Goodnight from Northport, Michigan.

Digital zoom saved my life

After all of Kai’s stories about crossing the Pacific in Desire and almost being run over by robot controlled cruise ships, I finally got a taste. Having caught a lovely wind after leaving North Manitou Island, I was making deligtful progress east-ish towards Northport. The sun was shining and all was right with the world… except for that low throbbing. Must be a freighter around somewhere. Far to the north I could see a motorboat or maybe a sailboat cruising, but then something clicked. Low throbbing of big engines, only one boat in sight – what is that boat?

no wind...

My neighbor to the north, where's that low throbbing coming from?

I wondered how I might get a magnified view and then I remembered the Vixia’s digital zoom. I had stumbled upon it while playfully spying on my neighbors at Crescent City, thinking they might get naked and go swimming. I grabbed the Vixia, activated the digital zoom and pointed it at my new neighbor. There, glowing in the afternoon sun was the giant bow of a freighter. I couldn’t see the port or starboard side of the ship, just this massive gleaming bow that appeared to be several stories high.

Thinking to myself, “If all I can see it the front of the ship and I can’t see either side at all, that means… it’s heading right at me.”

Now this ship is still pretty far away… but it’s got these throbbing monster motors, and I am maintaining a course close to the wind, not moving very fast. I dropped off my course and put on some speed in an attempt to get past this behemoth.  She came on pretty quick, growing in size at a surprising rate. Eventually, I began to see a sliver of her port side which meant I was out of her path. These big boats are supposed to generate an impressive wake so I kept my speed up. When she finally passed, she wasn’t quite so huge – about 300 feet – but big enough.

Pictures from my camera are a little misleading – the first shot illustrates how close she was when she passed and the second shows our wake crossing her course.

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This is how close she actually was. Check out the big water she is making in front and behind.

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Notice our 'tire tracks' crossing her course... yikes!

Now, this wasn’t exactly a near miss, right? IMHO, anything closer would have been a near disaster. I had no indication that human beings were running the show – as she passed I honked my horn at her and waved – without response. Maybe they were just unfriendly or were too busy to acknowledge me. Worst case scenario – the crew was playing cards down in the galley and had the whole thing on autopilot, I might have been too small to set off a proximity alarm. What’s are the odds of two boats coming even this close in the middle of the big lake? I think Kai would have called it near miss… fun!

Bliss and shadow

Decided to check out of the Crescent City condo and point the bows at Traverse City. A great start at 10:00, enjoying a steady push north from a south breeze.

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Pushed to the north end of North Manitou Island ...

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... while eating wild Crescent City apples.

Rounded the north end of the island too close to shore and got caught in dead air, likely a wind shadow from the island. Stuck there for hours, by 2:00 I’d decided it was fate, I had to stay another day.

I anchored and took a swim. Popping out the weather radio, I heard all about the steady 6 knot wind running either north or southwest on northern Lake Michigan. NOAA reports are a little confusing. Maybe it was southwest turning to north in the afternoon. I raised anchor and pushed Hello World to the east coast of the island to grab the wind. It was in fact from the northeast.

So aloha my lover, sister, mother North Manitou. 23 miles to landfall in Cathead point or Grand Traverse Bay. My ideal course heading is approximately 84 degrees or just slightly north of due east, (90 degrees). I am able to hold 110 – 130, so I’ll be hitting land to the south of my goal – Northport with luck but likely Leland. I trust whoever that beach belongs to will be down with me camping there.

On the wire

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North Manitou Island, about 15 miles away

Moving out towards the Manitou Islands from the mainland felt wonderful. These islands have much resonance for me and approaching them while in synchromesh with the wind and a sailboat made me giddy. Long tacks to the NE and NW were needed, but nothing to dramatic. On one of the final NW vectors, I spotted the defunct lighthouse, a familiar site for campers on Manitou Island Transit ferry. It’s sticks up out of nowhere, surrounded by water. If it weren’t so late in the day I would have landed and claimed her for Ladonia.

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As we approached, the wind picked up and I had to get on the wire, for the first time loaded with gear! This is Hobie speak for putting on the harness so I can hook into the trapeze wire connected to the mast. This allows me to stand on the very edge of the trampoline and project my body out away from the boat, in order to counter balance wind force and keep Hello World from flipping over. How exquisite to be hanging over the water, skipping into paradise on a sunny day.

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look ma, no hands!

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Me and North Manitou

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blogging beauty

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dippin'

South of Port Oneida

Here’s where i tack away from the mainland and run for the island.

To North!

Your guide, Dan Kelly

My own little spot of heaven, just south of Sleeping Bear Point. All sorts of interesting things to see just over these low dunes, but no time. Gotta move on, North Manitou Island awaits.

Looking south towards the high dunes

Looking north towards Port Oneida and Glen Arbor ...

... as the dunes begin their rise back to the south

Morning clutter takes some time to pack

Not dead yet

Stopped for the night south of Sleeping Bear Dunes Point. Here’s the approach as the sun was setting. The peak at the left of the shot (north)  is about 400 ft high. I beached Hello World even farther to the north where the dune sloped down to about 50 ft. That boat in the shot was still anchored there the next morning.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes

Here’s the namesake of the entire Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. These images hardly do the dunes justice, they’re huge and… sandy.

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Approaching Empire

South of Esch Road

Late start today 2 hours and then I’ll check in.

Pumping water

After putting a good amount of distance between me and the starter fluid people, I blew off the idea of reaching Otter Creek. It was surely not far away, but it was getting late and I was ready to stop. I hauled her up on the beach and pitched my tent on the trampoline to pacify any passing rangers.

Up in the morning around 8:00 am, who happens by but Ranger Jim. I greet him and he asks if I know it was it was illegal to camp. I told him I was on my way to North Manitou, that I would have anchored had I not arrived very late, that I had a composting toilet and that the North Manitou ranger told me that it was ok to pull up a boat on the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and camp as long as I was 150 ft from the water, but I figured sleeping on my boat would do less damage than trying to wade into the dune grass in the pitch dark. He replied that the 150 foot rule applied only  to the islands, not to the mainland. He said he was going to give me a break because I was on a boat, but that the other campers were going to get tickets. I thanked him and immediately ratted out the arsonists to the south, he told me he had found their empty cans of starter fluid. We parted on friendly terms.

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South of Otter Creek, looking south towards Platte River

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My first stew, when I discovered that grain alcohol isn't the ideal fuel.

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Looking north towards Otter Creek

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The tent. Housekeeping on the Macbook Pro inside while charging batteries with the Brunton Solaris outside.

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Why do I pump? First morning on the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, lazing in the sun and expounding on earning water. I am made of water, sipping from the shores of a fresh water sea, feeling grateful.

Moon trail

I recorded an iPhone audio snippet of my moolit sail to Otter Creek.

The slight wind continued for what seemed hours. In the dark, I passed chatty smokers anchored by what I guessed to be Platte River. Later and far ahead, a bonfire surged in brightness almost rhythmically. My destination was supposed to be a sort of Benzie ‘Burning Man’ near Otter Creek and I figured that must be it. After a long approach, I was disappointed to find two idiots squirting their campfire with lighter fluid – for fun. I felt as if I was participating in a post apocalyptic moment, and perhaps my passing sobered them – beyond their fire dazzled eyes, a ghost ship near enough to touch and pale with moonlight, passes in utter silence. Urgent whispered voices…

“There’s a sailboat there.”
“What?”
“There’s a sailboat right there”.
“Whoa.”

Maybe their little moment of squandering petroleum was trumped, their boredom pierced and shredded finally by the sublime. Hello World and I certainly felt like a manifestation of the Mystery that night.

Underway? Underweigh?

Better figure out which one is proper, wouldn’t want to give the impression I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s all about the lingo.

So here we are heading north in the zig zaggy pattern sailors call tacking. I can see Point Betsie and another sailboat with a big spinnaker. I’m about to tack and head right towards the lighthouse.

It’s 4:57 UTC-4 (EST) and it couldn’t be more beautiful out here in the water wilderness. Nibbling on celery and squashed blueberries whilst blogging and steering with my feet. This is one happy boat.

The gps on my 2g iPhone is a little confused and the cost of repair is about the price of a new 3gs. Hmm. Anyway the fabulous charting software provided by my fabulous brother shows my position as somewhere near the south shore of Crystal Lake. My actual position is about 4 miles from Point Betsie NNE, (45 degrees). I’m heading almost due north now, and will tack after this sentence.
Bearing east more or less after a jibe and a pee. I mention peeing only because my new toasty wet suit is a bit tricky to slide get out of, so it’s kind of a major accomplishment.

I’m in the catbird seat now. Heading is amost due east, I’ll pass on by Point Betsie and claw my way right up to tonight’s camp, Otter Creek, where the dang pagans will be throwing a soirée. 6:04 pm EST (UTC-4.)

That’s the lighthouse at PB and below is what artist’s at the Franklin Mint can use for designing the project’s commemorative coin.

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Larry for launch

Here’s an excerpt with Larry Kinney discussing Harmony Home Construction, recorded on Elberta Beach, a few hours before I launched. Having Larry’s energy around was a huge gift, but to pull off an interview with him too? Bonus!

E Beach arrival and party the second

Elberta Beach, the most dazzling jewel in Benzie County’s diadem of wilderness destinations. Granted there are fools who occasionally drive their vehicles on the beach and yes, jetskis buzz by once in awhile. In spite of these insults – glory, beauty, bliss.

Someday even these abuses will end – either by the efforts of the resourceful Elberta Parks and Recreation committee or the utter collapse of civilization. In the meantime, Elberta beach with it’s commanding dunes remains a wide swath of publicly accessible wilds, uncluttered by condo or cottage, forgotten by industry, treated mostly with love and respect by those who visit.

The Village of Elberta begins to hitch it’s destiny to this star with the help of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and the owner of the Elberta dunes – the aptly named Sand Products Corporation. The Land Conservancy has almost completed negotiations to protect of a chunk of the dune property and the visionary executives of Sand Products Corporation have already participated in a similar project in Manistee. What a boon for the backwater little town long ago deserted by the masters of capital, it’s residents the vested stewards of this joy magnet, gatekeepers to one of the most vital shorelines in Michigan.

My favorite interface to the Big Lake, Elberta Beach. Gretchen and I both agreed that it was the ideal launch point. Finally after the travail of Betsie Bay, triumph.

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JB on the barbie

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Over here you fool!

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beach that cat

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Future Sailors of America

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Bailey and Lauren with Milee under wraps

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Big old moon

James Barnes (of portage fame), Heidi Mahler and her brother Will Church were all celebrating birthdays that evening, we just grafted the launch onto this gathering. Larry, Patrick and I camped out on the beach under the light of a big old moon. Larry eventually took his multicolored blanket and retreated to the truck. Patrick and I shared party leftovers with the fruit flies the next morning, supplemented by cinnamon pull aparts and coffee from the Trick Dog provided by Larry.

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Morning on E beach

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Dunes

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Me and Lawrence scope out the plan

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We just look good

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Isn't that Eric Pyne?

Launch!

It’s 7:00 am UTC-4 or eastern standard time for you lubbers, and this is it finally, with luck. Hello World has lay quietly at anchor all night while multigenerational revelers ran slightly amuck. I’ve got a garage to clean, some dishes to do, files to copy, gear to stow and a couple of bills to grab… Then I’m on the phone with the portage team for pickup. On the big lake by 1:00 pm – doable.

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We made it by 5:30 pm – Jim, Bailey, Patrick, Jonathan and myself – the Hello World portage team. Photos below by Patrick Kelly.

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anchored out back of the house
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me and JB getting her ready
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on the way to the take out
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Bailey Barnes, Queen of the Portage Team
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Who’s that sexy guy in shades? Giddyap!
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Mad Captain
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mast monkeys

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What’s missing from this set of pix is Hello World at the Elberta put in and Dan paddling into the Sargasso Sea, otherwise known as Betsie Bay where I was alternately becalmed and entangled in weeds while smart asses yelled at me from shore. I ended up paddling out the channel between Frankfort and Elberta, slogging past the breakwater and then with a puff of wind, sailing over to Elberta Beach. The two or three miles from Elberta put in to Elberta beach took almost 2 hours. An auspicious if slightly annoying beginning!

Yin and Yang

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at anchor

Even a sailboat has an environmental cost. Rebuilding Hello World was intended as a low impact project, not a sustainable project as I defined it a few days ago. Not only was electricity and petroleum poured into the tools, lights and vehicles supporting the repairs, but waste was produced. The steel paint and acetone cans can be recycled and the 30 year old grinder can be dropped off at an electronics recycling box. The big bag of garbage and the vacuum cleaner bags full of fiberglass dust however are destined for the landfill. About 35 lbs of waste was generated to renovate 300 lbs of 30 year old sailboat. About 4 – 6 ounces of fiberglass / mineral dust and and a gallon of VOCs escaped into open air.

Once the entire budget has been tallied I’ll be able to make a wild guess at the carbon cost of the project.

Big Bear makes the point that wind turbine and solar panel factories are powered by coal fired and nuclear power plants and therefor wind and solar power are far from sustainable. Is anything we do sustainable? Do we have any technologies that are in accord with the global life support system?

Party then Launch

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Launch on Saturday 8:00 am AFTER launch party Friday at 6:00 pm. The checklists are evaporating, I went to bed early-ish last night – should be a productive couple of days. RSVP if you’re coming. I’ll be press releasing from Hello World on North Manitou. Any questions?

The sun

Beautiful today. I need a nap and thought about a quick one on Hello World. Laying here in the sun is very nice.

That’s Patrick on the sunken pirate ship mast, he just showed up. Guess I’ll make him drive me to Traverse City for more gear, maybe I can nap in the car.

Pushing off Friday, I mean Saturday…

Had enough lists yet?

It looks like Friday’s the day, just waiting for confirmation from the portage team.

I’m enjoying a quiet moment in the nitrogen accumulator and composting facility.

It’s all good, I’m wanting a bit more sleep but am scheduled to enjoy a hearty helping of corn polenta après, which, combined with a fresh brew of sencha, should trigger an energy fête.

For you all, fête on this…

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Checklist Clothes

Splitting the checklist into sections cause it’s getting outta hand.

2 x socks wool
2 x underwear quick dry
2 x underwear cotton
2 x merino top
2 x merino bottom
1 x black cargo pants
1 x pile pullover
1 x wind/rain shell
1 x wind/rain pants
1 x pile baklava
1 x wool gloves cut-off
1 x shorts
1 x bandana
1 x hawaiian shirt (cotton)
1 x five fingers shoes
1 x hiking boots – ideally I wish I had another pair of merrills pull on boots…
1 x sun hat
1 x pack towel

Seeds of Change

There are seeds in my landfill lifestyle, seeds of change, seeds of a fuzzy future utopia. If we poke around, can we find some pre-sprouted possibility, can we find the incarnate potential, a hint of what IT might look like?

Around Lake Michigan there are mad experiments, noble projects, impractical dreams, pragmatic miracles. Scattered all around the planet in equal distribution. The shores of Lake Michigan are no different than any other place on earth when it comes to magic seeds. The kingdom of heaven is spread upon the earth and man does not see it. Tell me about it.

Get a trickster out there, a cwazy wabbit and look through his eyes. A sproutatarian, an animal magentized to the new shoots, the green life. Moi. If green means anything, it means fresh. Electrically luminous from rain, glowing with vibrant near knowing.

Forget the doublespeak abstraction of green that means just about whatever the marketers want it to, nothing. All natural, green – words that have had all the love sucked out of them, processed and nullified to serve the consuming civilization, the self consuming and nullifying anti-life.

So soup me, it’s late! Rather than sleeping, I see the shining moon and prepare to check the list. Shouldn’t be blogging, too much hot truth from a dizzy core dump.

Search for Sustainable Civilizations

Queue voice over by Rod Serling or Leonard Nimoy… not Twilight Zone or Star Trek, but the 70′s Cousteau docs of Serling’s and the 80s ‘In Search Of’ series hosted by Nimoy. Sustainable Civilizations has a mythic ring. They are not lost in the hoary past like some lame Indiana Jones sequel but rather waiting for us in an alternate future, a misty maybe world we must bring into razor sharp focus. It’s epic in the sense that we are running out of time. If we don’t find a path to a highly sustainable reality lickity split, we’re gonna suffer some serious trauma and maybe worse – extinction. No amount of military spending can protect you from a crippled global life support system. If you really love your grandchildren, change your life style. And so on.

Can we peer into the mists and make out some outlines of a sustainable human scenario? How would we change and will it be fun? What do we really want anyway? The tie in between our desire and our destiny is solid, what we want or think we want determines what we move toward.

I like wilderness. My personal mission is…

Activating global consciousness to steward and expand the wilds.

The way I see it, the global life support system includes the atmosphere, oceans, plants, algae, fungus, wild animals of all stripes, volcanos, rocks… It is certainly quite ancient, very sophisticated and complex – regardless whether one believes it’s designed by natural selection or a personal god.

The current configuration of cities, suburbs and strip malls and their associated infrastructure are probably not contributing to the proper function of the global life support system. That’s why my mission bucks the inevitable trend of building more stuff – I want to expand the wilds. Why? Because the wilds comprise an efficacious global life support system. When the earth has dominion over the land and seas, you can count on breathable air, potable water and reasonable temperatures. Human occupation and management as it’s currently configured hasn’t worked out all that well in the long term.

If you meet someone who doubts that humans can influence the global climate, check their stock portfolio. Chances are there’s some fossil fuel or uranium investments, probably defense industries too. Think about it – 6 billion people is a huge force, especially when augmented by machines. Is there anything we can’t do? Altering the climate of an entire planet? Childs play.

Relying on a government / corporate driven tech fix is not an option – some bogus half assed boondoggle porkbarrel scam slathered with a thick icky sweet icing of propagandertainment. Let’s just give it back to the ultimate technology, the 4 billion year old supra genius mutha. Let HER bring it back online for heavens sake, before it’s too late.

If you’ve been checking in at On Desire, you know I am not one of those ‘human beings are a cancer’ type. I’m not advocating ‘kill all humans’. For me it’s about figuring out how we fit into the global life support system.

We can take a little tech with us, certainly. Landing on the moon was cool, but for my money the best thing we’ve come up with lately is the internet. It’s a mostly harmless way to stimulate the brain and other parts. It’s got a footprint, but it get’s us all connected in a way that works for me. We can collaborate directly. I vote to keep the internet.

So it’s not about having 6 billion farmers either. Sustainable civilizations are a mystery we can solve, but it’s going to be much more juicy, enigmatic and elegant than anything yet described by the mainstream media. It’s to funky for the hollywood formula. We’ve got to make it, ourselves. We’ve got to do it together.

How does this apply to Around Lake Michigan? I am creating a bit of a spectacle with the lowest impact tools currently at my disposal, a sustainable moon landing or Jacques-Yves Cousteau riff. It’s a little kooky, it’s Dan Kelly style. Asking the right questions is what this is about, asking as if I expect there to be an answer. Ask questions in that way and the hazy horizon get’s a little bit brighter.

Beaver Island

Dan…

Stoney Bus is 231-448-3125. They are ready to do the movie, just give them a day or two advance notice. They will pick you up where you are on the island.

Beaver Island Transfer Station – approx. 2 miles from boat dock. I’ll send a photo via email. Award Winning Dougie is in charge. If he’s not at the station, he’s at the stony acre grill bar

I really want to soar on the Hobie. Let me know if you need to take her for a run before you launch. Just give me 15 min. notice.

Let me know if you need more.

Shakedown Version 2.0

Reassembly complete and who needs the fancy thread fixing tool when Patrick’s around? Give him a triangular file and 30 minutes – viola! Working threads.

Here’s the last geeky maker shot – a whazit I invented to keep the threads from getting smashed up again when the striker bar gets hammered and tugged through it’s holes. Lesson learned – don’t bang on exposed threads!

whatzit

We’re going out for a sail now to test of the trapeze and whether I can right her by myself if she flips.

8-30 post shakedown

Patrick and I had a fantastic sail, out there yelling and whooping it up. Later in front of the house we did a controlled capsize and total turtle. Turns out she’s too much for me to right alone, unless I drop her sails and even then I’d need some help. We got cold while I was futzing with her alone so Patrick added his girth and we got her back up, but not before two smokers came out to offer help.

Murrray’s sells a righting bag and pulley system to give me the extra weight I’d need should I ever have to right her solo, plus tying a Baolong to the top of the mast keeps it from totally turtling. Lovely sunset after an exhilerating day.

Striker bar Sunday

I’m into this WordPress for the iPhone thang. Now outhouse reports can go directly to the big screen.


It’s not polite to talk poop in public, unless you’ve been liberated by Joseph Jenkin’s Humanure Handbook, a fantastic tome that’s now available in it’s entirety as PDF at humanurehandbook.com. I had my consciousness raised oh so many years ago by the paper incarnation of the HH, and when thinking about how to deal with my you know what during ALM, I yearned to once again for it’s inspiration. Let’s face it folks, we are shit machines. That’s a great thing, if we take responsibility for it. The HH is the truth to set us free! While rereading it, I imagined restructuring the whole ALM project around poop, making poop more prominent. That’s the power of poop, my friends.

Oh yeah, today’s the day to figure out how to fix the threads on the striker bar.

Who needs Twitter?

Just activated WordPress for the iPhone, and that’s where I’m posting from. Who needs Twitter?

A set back today in the reassembly of Hello World. I bunged the starter threads on both sides of the dolphin striker, so I’ve got to fix ‘em before I can rivet the mast step and raise the mast. I’ve tried grinding off a bit of each end and bought fresh nuts to reestablish the threads, but no dice. My plan is to find a small concave grinding stone tomorrow and round off the ends of the striker so they’ll be more likely to accept nuts. If that doesn’t work i’ll have to find a set of Murray’s thread chasers and pull the whole striker apart. Another busy day ahead.

Patrick and Luke just stopped by with cake.

Look Ma, pictures! A very handy little blogging utility, the iPhone.

Rainy preparations

This morning I pop riveted the stern/port trampoline casting that Chuck welded yesterday. I’ve got more riveting to do after I apply some adhesive to the mast base, but it’s wet out there – raining. I’ll go into town to buy the adhesive and bring the mast into the garage to dry, or most of it anyway – it’s huge.

Today’s post is a sort of thinking out loud, a rehearsal for what I am about to do.

Yesterday, I heard on NPR Science Friday that multitasking actually impairs the brain permanently – yikes! I’ve mulled that over and have since refined my approach to this project. There are scads of things to do before I go, and up until yesterday I’ve been into several of them at once. This is generally essential because the tasks are interdependent – one task can only progress so far before it begins to blend into another. The insight is that I can physically handle only one task at a time, so it’s best to try and focus on one thing exclusively until it’s time to switch, avoiding distractions. This requires developing a quality priority list showing which tasks are dependent on others. If that list is well constructed, the process of doing and switching is very effective.

I scribbled a list around mid July as a riff on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… survival, safety, etc.

list

Here’s a revised hierarchy from the shamanic perspective…

She floats

Hello World hit the water Tuesday evening after a month of renovations. Wednesday saw her across Crystal Lake, ready to fly. The ALM expedition is on track for a September launch.

Curious collaborator – “Hey DK, I thought you were planning to be outta there a couple of weeks ago?” Boats launch when they are ready, and not before. The decision is not up to me, all I can do is make wild predictions. She’s raring to go though, practically sails herself.

A short list of recent renovations and fixes – welding for the rudder castings (Monday) and the mast base, mast step and the port stern trampoline corner (Friday), graphics for the hulls (in process), loads of little replacement shackles and pins, rudder rebuilds, rigging tunes and the clearing of a parking space for her. Left to do… reassemble on Saturday, preliminary pack, sail her loaded up, clean house, final pack, order additional parts to be picked up in transit, update blog, etc.

There’s catch-up posts in the queue, but we’ll have to make do for now with her press release picture. For the sailing geeks – unloaded, her helm is ever so slightly weather.

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Guest book

Visitors

Got a comment for On Desire? Maybe just want to write your name in the sand to say you’ve been here?

To get started, return to the home page, follow the “Register” link to the right and sign in with a fairly full name or a very imaginary alias that everyone can easily associate with your unique RL (real life) persona. Then you can post comments and more.

We love you – just do it!

Contributors

If you’re ready to contribute with actual posts, tell us a little about yourself in your biography.  Include your full name and why you are interested in On Desire projects like Around Lake Michigan.

General notes on posts

Separate major ideas into different posts. This helps keep comments relevant and facilitates linking later on.

Steer clear of generic titles like, ‘my thoughts’. Choose a descriptive title that sums up the post and is specific, eg “Big disaster at the cookie factory”.

Do choose categories and do include tags. If you don’t understand them fully, call Dan and ask!

Publishing articles / pages from other web sites

This is a two post process. First create a pubic post and add a link to the original article there. Important – Include a concise description about why you think the linked article is relevant.

Second, create a new private post and paste the entire article – text and pictures – to create a local archive. This gives us a backup in case the original link goes dead in the future.

If that’s as far as you want to go, fine.  Ideally, contributors should elaborate on how they think a link relates to ondesire / ALM with specific references to our projects’ perspective and philosophy – as you understand it. Advance the conversation by offering connections, contrasts, lessons learned, etc. Put the link and it’s contents in context. Do include short excerpts from the linked article to illustrate your points, much like quoting from an email.

Please do not use the cross posting plugin, ever.

Administrators

Unless you know what you are doing, stick to making posts. Do not make or alter pages. Don’t fool around with the settings of the blog. Stick to posts.
Administrators may change the blog’s appearance or operation occasionally. Major changes are discussed at http://holyboners.com. If you would like to make a suggestion for change, post the suggestion as private or send an email directly.

Please do not use the cross posting plugin, ever.

Integrity exhibit B

It’s the day before launch, or at least the day before the launch party. Putting a final coart of paint on the hulls today and perhaps a second injection on the decks. There’s a slew of parts arriving via UPS, including (theoretically) the jib from Whirlwind, just about 3 weeks late.

Work in progress images from a couple of weeks back, examples of problems solved towards getting a $400 Hobie Cat ready for the big lake. In hindsight, full documentation of the restoration would have been great, but getting the boat ready was my focus.

Simple patches and more trouble

The damaged area (blister, crack, impact) is exposed (darkish middle) along with some surrounding solid structure.  A patch of biaxial glass is cut to overlap onto the existing structure, then the patch and the solid structure are wet out with catalyzed resin. Some 406 ‘mayonnaise’ is applied to the structure, followed by the patch and finally a sheet of wax paper (brown) to facilitate removal of air bubbles and excess resin. The wax paper is removed and voila! Note the inner oval of biaxial glass doesn’t entirely cover the exposed structure, just enough to bridge the damage.
IMG_0488 IMG_0489
First bow patch after the wax paper was removed. New glass is flush with the gelcoat as it overlaps the existing glass. The compound curve was a little tough to match with one layer of glass, thus we got a tiny air gap at the aft end of the patch that had to be reopened. There was plenty of practice doing bow patches.
IMG_0486 IMG_0493
Late in the game, Patrick found other issues of concern on the port hull bow. Red crayon marks a suspicious crack, which turns out to be a through hull repair. Here it is opened up. Multiple layers of biaxial glass built up the curve, followed by an icing of 406 ‘peanut butter’
IMG_0494 IMG_0504
Another late in the game discovery – rippling hull. We had extensively assessed the hull weeks back, but after several simple repairs our eyes became tuned in and we could spot more subtle clues. An area of weak glass and delamination, just below the delaminated deck area. Could this have been caused by stress from the weakened deck? Deck delamination ignored can eventually result in the hull snapping in half.
IMG_0495 IMG_0499

A through hull repair, inner and outer skin breached

To fabricate a backing plate to heal the port breach, we needed to match the curve of the hull for a close fit. The hull provided a handy mold. First plastic is laid over a big swath of hull and stretched tight with tape. Wax paper was laid on the plastic and the hull was rotated to bring the surface closer to horizontal. Then biaxial glass was cut and wet out. Gravity insures the patches conform to the shape of the hull. We built two pieces because though the curve of the inner skin closely matches the outer skin, the inner has a ridge where the foam meets the keel. Rather than try to rig something super fancy to take the ridge into account, we just left a gap that could be bonded later.
IMG_0498 IMG_0491 IMG_0490
Here the two plates are placed inside the hull. Of course, all surfaces were sanded and cleaned with acetone first, then wetted out and 406 mayonnaise applied. Fishing line tied to the backing plates pulls them against the inner hull. Our innovation was to include wooden blocks so that the line is pulled at nearly right angles to the hull rather than to the sides. This really locks the patch in place until it cures. From the other side, note the fishing line almost wrapping around the hull. That kept tension on the line while decreasing load on the tape. The fishing line was as taught as guitar strings.
IMG_0510 IMG_0512 IMG_0502

More patches and deck injections with guest appearance.

The rudder breach was big enough for a light bulb, but not the right shape for a backing plate patch. The hole had to be expanded into a more elliptical shape so the backing plate could be slipped through. We patched most everything in two days of frenzied work.
IMG_0500 IMG_0501 IMG_0506
The injection map. The outside fiberglass skin has separated from the foam core creating a void or empty space between them, compromising strength. This can cause the hull to break in half in high winds. A pattern of holes are drilled Holes are drilled and catalyzed resin is injected to fill the voids. Unfortunately, about 30% of the holes I drilled went through the outer and inner fiberglass, both because I was a little careless and the inner skin was somewhat compromised. I drilled slightly larger inspection holes to check for cracks in the inner skin. Finding no significant cracks, I used 404 peanut butter to seal off all the inner holes in preparation for injection.
IMG_0531 IMG_0534 IMG_0532
Injecting resin into one hole forces resin out the adjacent holes. Moving from low to high points on the grid allows air to escape, theoretically filling the void. Injection complete. Extra resin has oozed out over the tape. The tape kept the cured resin from bonding to surface of the hull. James Kudlak, local windsurfing legend, stops by to survey the progress.
IMG_0535 IMG_0537 IMG_0522

Integrity exhibit A

Breaches in the Hobie hulls are sealed, structural damage is remediated. At 10:00 pm UTC – 4, August 12, I completed the injections of the decks. Only cosmetic and finishing work remains. I know y’all have been starving for pictures, so a gaggle follows after this public service message.

It’s hard to imagine anyone NOT getting excited about the nitty gritty details of hull integrity and fiberglass repair, but believe it or not, a few people might actually be bored by my current favorite activity! For their sake, I’d like to explain why I’ve taken such trouble to document it.

First is the breadcrumbs. I’ve learned a lot doing the hull work that might come in handy on future projects. My swiss cheese like memory will not retain these details for very long, therefor extensive notes are a must. I use the web because the drudgery of mere note making is relieved by the potential of an audience, and that kicks in my showboating circuits. Can I make notes that will be fun to read, that will be engaging even to someone who couldn’t give a flying fuck about fiberglass minutia or even boats?

Second is the give back. To do this work, I relied heavily on community postings about Hobie Cat repair. I’ve made a few mistakes and had a couple of breakthrough’s that could help a future Hobie restorer, so it’s only just that I share the wealth.

Third is visitors. The key to getting plenty of traffic to a website is to provide relevant information that folks need, sometimes desperately. Hobie renovators checking out the content might wonder about the context, and then – they are mine! Links to random stuff like sailing around Lake Michigan, sustainability and the like will snag and beguile them. Of course, sustainability is already be on the radar screen of most Hobie sailors who, (for the most part) are highly evolved spiritual beings in contrast to say, owners of personal watercraft – Jetski, Waverunner, etc.

Now – check out that last paragraph. Because I mentioned “jetski”, that word becomes a searchable tag for this post, hooking directly into search engines like Google. Imagine some dumbass jetski dude / dudette who’s looking for new and interesting places to go around and around in circles searching for “Lake Michigan” and “around” and “jetski”. This post could easily be in the top 10 links. If a dumbass jetskiier clicked into ondesire.com they would be exposed to the concept of sustainability and small footprints for the VERY FIRST TIME! Maybe they would read this text and have an epiphany, a conversion experience, swearing off petroleum powered gluttony and coming over the side of righteousness and light! Or not. Probably not, but maybe…

Enough distractions, let’s see some pictures!

Check out the sand harvest from the starboard hull! The Viglands must have left the drain plug out with the Hobie still in the surf, how many years ago? She was last registered in 2002, and the Vigland’s were sticklers for keeping their reg up to date. Maybe 7 years of wet sand? This is why the rudder foam was saturated with water, sand doesn’t dry out very well trapped inside a fiberglass bottle.

I hosed her out through the breach for a good 15 – 20 minutes, sand was way up in there.

IMG_0484

sand

I keep ragging on the Viglands because Alan lost my blocks! I’d also like to interview his son Todd who works for the Land Conservancy as part of Around Lake Michigan. One of the questions I plan to ask him is, do you ever lay awake nights and regret your ill treatment of my boat? It’s not fair really, my family neglected our 14 too, just ask my buddy Dave Crowley who worked on it last year. Where is Dave Crowley by the way?

Here’s the basic steps. Grind down the damaged area, removing gelcoat and broken fiberglass to expose solid fiberglass structure. Clean the area with acetone. Lay a sheet of clear plastic over the area and draw the outline of the repair on the plastic with a crayon. Cut out the shape from the plastic, this becomes a pattern for cutting glass fabric to the same shape. Do a bunch of plastic patterns first and then use them to cut a bunch of glass patches all at once, this will maximize how many patches you get from the glass and minimize the amount of glass fibers released into the air. We used biaxial glass which is tightly woven glass stitched to a layer of glass matte. This makes a very strong repair but the fabric tends to release lots of tiny fibers when cut. Which reminds me, here’s a picture of two scientists investigating a UFO crash site…

IMG_0520

Actually, that’s Patrick and moi blessing the beloved hulls, dressed for success. Glass fibers and grinding dust are not compatible with lung operation or bare skin, eyes can be put out with flying debris, ears go deaf if subjected to endless hours of power tool noise. Isolate your work area and your clothing. This stuff sticks to cloths and will go with you, so when you are done or breaking for lunch, vacuum yourself off, strip your outer skin and wash skin with cold water. Keep children and pets far away, they don’t know better.

I did 95% of the sanding indoors and even when outside I kept my HEPA vacuum handy. Don’t even think about doing extensive renovation without a solid HEPA vacuum and plenty of replacement bags / filters. Standard vacuums and shopvacs just put the dust back into the air.

Kai was telling me that in Europe, you have to be certified to do glass work, the materials are not even available to the average Joe. The Europeans aren’t dumb, this shit is not to be trifled with. Sanding outdoors is generally a bad idea. I used a sanding tent in my garage and was able to capture most of the dust. Even so, some objects near the seams of my tent got a light dusting and had to be carefully cleaned. I am not kidding here, don’t skip the preparations. A slick boat is not worth your health. Small footprint!

Deep holes

Patrick and I patched up the sides of the hulls pretty nearly now – all that’s left is sanding, fairing and painting. There’s also epoxy injections needed for both decks a couple of feet forward of the front pylons. It’s usually a straightforward operation, except… I marked the soft spots and drilled holes for the injections, but in about 30% of the holes my bit sank right through both layers of fiberglass. That’s not good.

Hobie hulls are constructed with two layers of fiberglass with a layer of foam in between. It’s hard to imagine that foam could provide strength, but it does, as long as it contacts both the inner and outer fiberglass. If there’s a gap between the foam and the fiberglass, it’s not nearly as strong. If sailors stand on the deck the foam gets crushed, creating a gap. Design flaw, but whatever. Epoxy can be injected through the external skin to fill the void unless the internal skin is also ruptured. Injection won’t work then because the liquid epoxy will leak into the inside of the hull rather than fill the void between the two skins. That means removing the entire sandwich and repairing the breach in several stages, like like we did with the starboard rudder and port side.

Now, I was careful not to drill too deep, but maybe I was just careless on 30% of my holes. If so, I could create a thick epoxy plug for those holes and continue with the rest of the liquid injection. If the inner skin was already fractured and broken before I drilled, then plugging won’t help, I’ll just be squirting epoxy into the hull. The word for this is setback. So close… worse case scenario is opening her up tomorrow, carving out the broken inner skin and patching it – two more days. Best case scenario is a few more exploratory holes near the deep holes to see if the inner skin is totally broken, and if it’s not then continue with thick and thin injections – 1 day. For now sleep and the activation of the unconscious for problem solving.

Budgets

A $400 Hobie Cat, eh? That’s what I bought it for in May, with a trailer! A week later, (after a full inventory), it turned out there were no blocks for the main and jib. The seller, Alan Vigland, had no idea what happened to the blocks when I called to inquire. Ok, so already the budget is creeping up. Preparing a 30 year old Hobie Cat for a 1000 mile voyage on a great lake has already cost more than 6 times the price of the boat, not including labor. The total budget can be useful for estimating the project footprint, like the calculations for the carbon cost of making a 747 jet – what If we spent the cost of the 747 on gasoline and burned it all up, how much carbon would that produce? This method is probably very inaccurate for estimating the carbon cost of materials, but at least it can get us thinking about the multiple costs of the things we buy. There’s the price we pay in dollars and then there’s the price the earth pays for mining, drilling, manufacturing, transport, etc.

Hull repairs and restructuring
07/15/09 Sears – vacuum cleaner bags $11.65
07/15/09 West Marine – West Systems guide books, Gel Coat and Fiberglass boat repair $11.64
07/28/09 Fiberlay – 3 yards of 38″ biaxial and matte glass knit ~$60 (2nd day air)
07/30/09 West Marine – West Systems epoxy resin, hardener and support products $235.73
08/05/09 Shop and Save – surgical gloves 30 pair and latex 1 pair $5.30
08/07/09 Shop and Save – paper towel and wax paper $2.50
08/09/09 Sears – nitril gloves, 100 pair $15.89
08/09/09 West Marine – Interlux primer and 2 quarts white, tape and collodial silica $183.85

subtotal $526.56

New sails and rigging
07/15/09 Whirlwind Sails – X2 Main and jib $1300
07/15/09 Baolong fenders x 4 $120
07/21/09 Bluewater Sails – Trampoline and hiking straps replacement $90
00/00/00 shroud set $100
00/00/00 blocks $100
00/00/00 tiller $40
00/00/00 spare rudder $200

subtotal $1950.00

total 2476.56

Even though I am not using any gasoline when I am sailing around the lake, I have produced some carbon in fixing up the boat so I could sail around the lake – and a bag of garbage too. Reduced footprint maybe, sustainability no. Dave Hart is doing some serious sustainability research. With a little luck we can get him to talk about it.

Paddles to the sea

Circumnavigations that come to mind… Remember that book by Holling C. Holling entitled Paddle to the Sea? A young Canadian boy carves a paddle person in a canoe and releases him in Nipigon country just north of Lake Superior during the spring thaw. The book documents Paddle-to-the-Sea as he ventures through the Great Lakes making his way out the St. Lawrence, across the Atlantic to France. Wild journey.

A father and daughter circumnavigated Lake Superior in a HOBIE! Is Dan the first circumnavigator in a Hobie of Lake Michigan? We’ve got several kayakers, bikers, walkers, runners, canoeists, but no Hobie in our beloved squash-shaped Lake of Lakes.

Our Great Lakes is under siege with non-native species – what does your sail look like?

Progress

There was a bon voyage party for me last night that I missed because I was scatter brained over these repairs and couldn’t remember where Gretchen said it was. I almost sprained my ass riding 11 miles at top speed on Steve Z’s road bike to get to Jim and Gretchen’s, only to find nobody there but their dog Doris, barking, barking, barking. They were all at Elberta beach but even though Patrick showed up and we drove down there, I didn’t recognize any cars. Shite. I’ll have another party at the house after the jib arrives next week.

Here’s a done list on the glass work. Pix coming.

√ build backing plate for new enlarged hull breach by starboard rudder
√ epoxy exposed wood near rudder, three coats
√ sand interior of midsection hull breach in preparation for backing plate and out facing side of backing plate
√ install backing plates in port hull midsection breach using fishing line technique, add peanut butter to half level
√ wet out areas with partially filled excavations
√ use rest of peanut butter to top off partially filled excavations
√ wet out patches for now completely filled excavations and install
√ sand and wet out rudder breach backing plate and interior, install using fishing line technique, fill half with peanut butter

wet out all excavations excluding rudder and midsection breaches (3 remain)
wet out patches for all excavations except excluded and install (3 remain)
wet out bottom jobs and install armor patches
top off midsection breach backing plate patch with peanut butter, install outer patch
sand midsection breach, fair with peanut butter
sand and wet out rudder breach backing plate, top off with peanut butter and install patch
sand, wet out and fair all repairs, minor gouges, bottom scratches
rebuild ridge by rudder
inject soft areas fore of front pilons
UV paint

Foam schmoam

Though I had thought the grinding was completely finished at 2:00 pm today, it wasn’t. I was prep sanding on the port hull’s bow when I broke through to a big void under the glass. That meant more grinding and eventually breaking though into the interior of the hull. This is the smallest hull breach of the three, perhaps 1 and 1/2 inches long. After prep sanding all the excavations and washing them down with acetone, Patrick and I were finally ready to handle the smallest dings and divots. I mixed up some peanut butter (structural epoxy paste) and following Kai’s recommendations filled to a max depth of 3/16 – 1/4 depth. Most of the repairs were nowhere near that deep and were topped off immediately. We are ready to put in a full day tomorrow, breaking in time for Gretchen and Jim’s evening bonfire up at the cottage art installation.

Here’s tomorrow’s list…

build backing plate for new enlarged hull breach by starboard rudder
epoxy exposed wood near rudder, three coats
sand interior of midsection hull breach in preparation for backing plate and out facing side of backing plate
sand peanut butter in all holes repaired on Wednesday
install backing plates in port hull midsection breach using fishing line technique, add peanut butter to half level
wet out areas with partially filled excavations
use rest of peanut butter to top off partially filled excavations
wet out patches for now completely filled excavations and install
wet out all excavations excluding rudder and midsection breaches
wet out patches for all excavations except excluded and install
wet out bottom jobs and install armor patches

next day

sand and wet out rudder breach backing plate and interior, install using fishing line technique, fill half with peanut butter
sand all repairs
wet out and fair sanded repairs with peanut butter
top off midsection breach backing plate patch with peanut butter, install outer patch

next day

sand midsection breach, fair with peanut butter
sand and wet out rudder breach backing plate, top off with peanut butter and install patch
inject soft areas fore of front pilons

next day

UV paint

next day

reassemble hobie

I decided to skip foam replacement all together. It’s such a minor component of the repair, structural epoxy paste is perfectly adequate, IMHO. With luck will be able to finish closing the hulls up on Sunday.

Things of beauty

Even laid up in the intensive care unit, the hobie hulls are still things of beauty. Touching them you can almost feel the physics, they are hydro dynamic sonnets. They long for the water, they sing to me with their shape. These pictures are hardly worth the electrons they’re posted with, you need to run your hands along the profiles…

Starboard hull, big chunk near rudder
Starboard hull, big chunk near rudder
starboard two impacts
starboard two impacts
starboard inside near bow
starboard inside near bow
bow hit, note the pea size void in the glass, manufacturing flaw?
bow with pea size void in the glass, manufacturing flaw?
bottom jobs with burst 'bubble' on outside port hull
bottom jobs with burst ‘bubble’ on outside port hull
port delamination the first
port delamination the first
port delamination the third and fourth
port delamination the second and third
port delamination the fourth
port delamination the fourth
the maker removes vintage 1970 stripes
Patrick removes vintage 1970 stripes via telekinesis
beginning of port bottom job
beginning of port bottom job
custom hatch for cucumber storage
custom hatch for cucumber storage
made an inspection hole to remove beacoup sand from interior
made an inspection hole to remove beacoup sand from interior

The reason the starboard rudder excavation was not drying out was because the interior was full of sand! There’s a reason this Hobie Cat only cost me $400 (with trailer). No matter, I cut a hole big enough for a hose to rinse her out and then later a light bulb to dry her. In a few days, good as new! Crosses fingers… Here’s a message from Chip of Whirlwind Sails. He’s making a new main and jib for the Hobie. Looks like there’s going to be slight delay in delivery… The original sails have been hanging in my improvised loft since we cleaned them. They need minor repairs and I was going to hand sew them as a project along the way. It seems like a good idea to have a spare set, I’d also like to carry a spare rudder and a second set of shroud lines.

The originals have been cleaned but need minor repairs

The originals have been cleaned but need minor repairs

Daily grind

Another day of prepping the hulls for repair. Here’s the latest pix.

Why document the mundane and tedious?

Unless I struggle, you just won’t care what I want. Five days until launch and there are big holes in my boat. Do you care yet?

I like this work, the problem solving and visualizing the steps needed for an effective repair. To remember the techniques I am learning, I’ve got to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

before after

right side up

Mystery impact with drip

"drip" is on the right

Upside down, "drip" is on the right with stain running up

more…

before after
1

starboard rudder damage

Starboard rudder damage

2

not quite ready

Still not quite ready

still more…

before after

delamination...

Delamination...

becomes a port hole

Becomes a port hole

fun…

twice as much fun

Twice as much fun

delamination just under the deck

Delamination just under the deck

port-outside-bottom

Port hull outside bottom job

Blister constellations are now very lovely

Blister constellations are now very lovely

port inside bottom job

Port hull inside bottom job

gelcoat ding goes a little further

Gelcoat ding goes a little further

The hydrodynamic advantages of multi hulls and keels

~~The Hydrodynamic Advantages of Multi Hulls and Keels~~~
Dan and I had a great discussing yesterday about twin keels/hulls verses mono keel/hulls. I was noticing that the amas (pontoons) on his Hobie Cat are asymmetrical. When attached to the trampoline as designed, the outer faces are flatter than the curved inner faces. ‘Desire’s keels are shaped in a similar way. The reason for this is that a twin hulled or twin keeled boat usually has the wind hitting it from one side or the other. The upwind side wants to lift up and the downwind side wants to bite into the water as it becomes the fulcrum for a lever. Not only does the downwind keel/hull bite into the water, but because it is curved on the side towards the center line of the boat it behaves like an airplane wing (oriented straight down in the water) and wants to ‘lift’ towards weather (wind). This allows the hulls to more efficiently track in a straight line rather than being pushed sideways by the wind.
After running a few errands today in the BF2 (big fricken ford) I came home to find ‘Desire’s older brother nearby. ‘Good Measure’ is owned by a good friend of mine, Larry Casidy, and was built in the same yard by the same designer as ‘Desire’, Lauret Giles. After he built several of Larry’s vintage boat he was awarded a grant by the British Royal Navy to do some tank testing to refine the hydrodynamic properties of his twin keeled concept. He came up with the Westerly ‘Centuar’ and built about 2,500 of them between the late ’60′s and mid-late ’70′s.
When you look at the two boats side by side you can immediately see how Giles refined the hull shape and keel configurations. Larry added two feet to the transom and a 3 foot bow sprit, but other than that they were both 26 foot boats. The older ‘Golden Fleece’ design has straight down relatively flat keels and a more rounded hull. The ‘Centuar’ hull has a flatter bottom between the splayed keels. It’s hard to see but the ‘Centaur’ keels are flatter on the outside and more curved toward the centerline of the boat. The new design made the boat much more stable in heavy rolling seas as well as allowed her to point (track) closer to the wind.
There is a theoretical maximum speed for a displacement hull moving through the water. The wave created by the bow moves farther and farther back along the hull as speed increases. When it reaches the transom at it’s maximum hull speed it creates a hole in the water and starts sucking the transom down as more power/wind is applied. A planning hull, like a ski boat, overcomes this by ‘rising on a plane’ or skipping across the surface of the water like a flat rock.
I constantly exceed “Desire’s theoretical limit of around 5.4 knots. I think this is is largely due to the flat area between her keels. She is a semi-planning displacement hull! With engine alone she normally cruises at 6.5 knots. Surfing in heavy seas I’ve gotten her as high as 9.3 knots for short periods!

Dan and I had a great discussion yesterday about twin keels/hulls verses mono keel/hulls. I was noticing that the amas (pontoons) on his Hobie Cat are asymmetrical. When attached to the trampoline as designed, the outer faces are flatter than the curved inner faces. Desire’s keels are shaped in a similar way. The reason for this is that a twin hulled or twin keeled boat usually has the wind hitting it from one side or the other. The upwind side wants to lift up and the downwind side wants to bite into the water as it becomes the fulcrum for a lever. Not only does the downwind keel/hull bite into the water, but because it is curved on the side towards the center line of the boat it behaves like an airplane wing (oriented straight down in the water) and wants to ‘lift’ towards weather (wind). This allows the hulls to more efficiently track in a straight line rather than being pushed sideways by the wind.

After running a few errands today in the BF2 (big fricken ford) I came home to find ‘Desire’s older brother nearby. ‘Good Measure’ is owned by a good friend of mine, Larry Casidy, and was built in the same yard by the same designer as Desire, Lauret Giles. After building several hundred ‘Snapdragon’ boats (Larry’s style), Giles was awarded a grant by the British Royal Navy to do some tank testing and refine the hydrodynamic properties of his twin keeled concept. He came up with the Westerly ‘Centaur’ and built about 2,500 of them between the late ’60′s and mid-late ’70′s.

Good Measure

Good Measure's keels

Desire

Desire's keels

When you look at the two boats side by side you can immediately see how Giles refined the hull shape and keel configurations. Larry added two feet to the transom and a 3 foot bow sprit, but other than that they were both 26 foot boats. The older Snapdragon design has straight down relatively flat keels and a more rounded hull. The Centaur hull has a flatter bottom between the splayed keels. It’s hard to see but the Centaur keels are flatter on the outside and more curved toward the centerline of the boat. The new design made the boat much more stable in heavy rolling seas as well as allowed her to point (track) closer to the wind.

Kona-GoodMeasure114

'Desire'Desire from the bow

One other interesting feature you will notice is that Desire’s forward hull has a chine, or ridge running parallel to the water line. Below this chine the hull is slightly concave to deflect small splasher waves away from the hull and thereby having less splashing and spray flying onto the decks and back into the cockpit.

Every displacement hull has a theoretical maximum speed for a  moving through the water. This is because the wave created by the bow moves farther and farther back along the hull as speed increases. When it reaches the transom at it’s maximum hull speed it creates a hole in the water and starts sucking the transom down as more power/wind is applied. A planning hull, like a ski boat, overcomes this by ‘rising on a plane’ or skipping across the surface of the water like a flat rock.

I constantly exceed “Desire’s theoretical limit of around 5.4 knots. I think this is is largely due to the flat area between her keels. She is a semi-planning displacement hull! With engine alone she normally cruises at 6.5 knots. Surfing in heavy seas I’ve gotten her as high as 9.3 knots for short periods!

WARNING/Disclaimer!!! Aug 3, 2009: I re-read this post today and realized I need to point out how absolutely foolish it is to surf any boat in heavy seas! …unless you really know what you and your boat are doing and you want to while away a boring storm with some entertaining fun on the ocean…

Here are some things that have worked for me(but may not necessarily work for you, your boat or your sensibilities:

First: (and foremost): Never ever ever go into the trough of a wave 90 degrees to the wave! Several things will surely happen (some simultaneously), the wind will stop, the boat will slow down, the nose may dig in, the following wave can flip you end over end (pitchpole), if you make it home, you will surly be crying…

Second: You have to sense and hand steer every wave differently. Never ever ever use an autopilot or wind vane while surfing. If you absolutely have to sail/motor downwind/downwave in these conditions use drogues, anchors, warps, anything you can think of to hang over the stern to slow the boat down. The safest tack to make it through these kind of conditions is to stear 30-50 degrees off the prevailing (largest) wave sets.

Third: If you screw up or something unexpected happens stear into the wave. The strongest, most hydrodynamic area of the boat is the nose and it’s designed to bust into waves. Use it if you have too but try not to jibe unless you can control it.

Fourth: Learn how to make your boat heave too, with the jib/rudder in light winds and with just the main/rudder in heavier winds. Along with learning how to heave too you will have to learn how to get out of heaving too, preferably without doing a hard jibe. Heaving too will save your life, lunch and/or relationship one day, trust me…

Hobie repairs begin in earnest

I’ve been moving tentatively on the hull repairs for the Hobie 16 because it’s scary. Grinding down gelcoat and fiberglass generates clouds of hazardous dust. There’s the expense of buying all the epoxy product to do the repair, not to mention the associated footprint.  It’s not clear how much trouble I’m getting into. The issues seem manageable but then I’ve had limited fiberglass and no boat repair experience. Finally, there’s the possibility of screwing up and either 1) compromising the structural integrity of the hulls or 2) not getting done in time. We had to scrub Hawaii, Around Lake Michigan is scheduled to begin after Whirlwind delivers the new sails, no later than August 7 +/- 1 day.

A crack in the gelcoat? NOT!

A 'crack' in the gelcoat - NOT!

In the past couple of weeks I researched repair techniques, upgraded and acquired tools and finally ordered or picked up most of the materials. With all this afoot I forgot about the sailing rockstar that I am collaborating with and the whole point of blogging. Kai has done all kinds of crazy repairs, he’s a wealth of knowledge. The rest of you can’t taste the intensity of the moment unless I am posting my process. So, without further eloquence – restoration!

Significant delamination with spacetime distortion, (note curved ruler).

Significant delamination with spacetime distortion, (note curved ruler).

After grinding some of the problem areas on the starboard hull I was less reluctant to investigate a crack on the port hull. With a precision screwdriver, I pried gently at the edge of the crack and popped off a chunk of fiberglass, exposing the foam core. Significant delamination!

Here’s a super quick tutorial. Cloth woven from glass fiber is saturated with a mixture of liquid resin and hardener. The resin and hardener react chemically (cure) to form a rigid and super tough plastic.

The sides and tops of the Hobie’s hulls have a sandwich construction -  a layer of foam between two thin layers of fiberglass.

x

This double skin make Hobie hulls strong. The outer fiberglass skin is coated with gelcoat, another curing mixture sans fibers that acts like a thick paint.

A famous feature of Hobie cats is that they can be sailed up onto the beach. For single hulled boats with keels that’s usually a disaster. Younger sailors skid their Hobies out of the water and on the sand at high speed, I know I did. As a result the bottoms of Hobie hulls can get pretty scraped up, especially if the beaches they sailed up onto were rocky.

Hard impacts either on land or water can also break the fiberglass. In the cleaning and inspection post I posted an image of damage to the starboard hull’s stern, probably from a trailer mishap.

Even a gently handled and accident free Hobie hull can have problems. When the fiberglass is initially cured, not all of the resin and hardener reacts, leaving tiny pockets of liquid in the cured material. Water can migrate into these pockets and get trapped, forming acids which eat away at surrounding solid. Eventually so much water gets trapped and the surrounding material is so weakened that it bulges out, ripping apart the sandwich. This is called delamination. The crack in the above photo may have started as an impact left unrepaired.

Let’s backtrack a bit and set the stage. This is a major physicality moment, let’s savor it.

The garage wasn’t too cluttered until I showed up in May with 20 boxes of crap from Brooklyn. Though daunting I processed it all, even locating a recycling company to pick up the styrene from all the old computer boxes I had in storage. With the decks cleared for action, I could strategize on the mess that restoration would generate. Rather than cover the entire inside of the garage with plastic, I decided to build an isolation tent with my favorite hex pipe system – I call it LEGOs for adults. $200+ for 60 ft of galvanized 1-1/4 inch pipe, not to mention the hex connectors which I always keep in stock, probably another $60. Add another $10 for some heavy plastic I had stashed away and some duct tape.

tent_pipes
Galvanized pipes and the port hull
Cleared for action
Cleared for action
Starboard hull in the tanning booth
Starboard hull in the tanning booth

The cleaning and inspection yielded some interesting issues. The top row of pictures are likely just cosmetic patching the gelcoat though some fiberglass might have to be removed and replaced if it’s been damaged.

Scrapes near the bow, from beaching on stones
hull bottom near bow shows glass, lots of fast beaching
Exposed fiberglass and gelcoat scrapes
hull bottom with horizontal gel coat scrapes
Bow - first contact when sailing onto beach
Bow – first contact when sailing onto beach
A crack in the gelcoat? NOT!
A crack in the gelcoat? NOT!
This dark spot has a drip stain running out - acid?
This dark spot has a drip stain running out – acid?
Flipped near stern, gelcoat chunk mysteriously missing
Flipped near stern, gelcoat chunk mysteriously missing

The second row are more sinister issues. The left most picture is a repeat of the bulging crack before I popped off the delaminated fiberglass. The second is an impact mark with a discolored drip stain running out of it. Could this be the action of acid formed from trapped water? If so the damage is likely to be far more than the crayon indicates. The third is from the stern of the starboard hull, a big chuck of gelcoat is missing and the fiberglass is exposed, but there doesn’t seem to be any impact trama nearby. Recalling the trailer accident, this gelcoat could have been poorly bonded and popped off during the impact that broke the glass around the rudder. That’s not the half of it. After inverting the starboard hull on horses in the garage, water began weeping out of the gelcoat hole. After two weeks of sitting high and dry, I found a little puddle there this morning!

The water puddle extends to the left of the arrow.
It’s hard to see, but the brown stain is standing water seeping out of the hole. It’s dry everywhere else. The water is coming from UNDER the gelcoat. BAD.

To put all this into context, here’s a clever shot of me looking competent. One can hardly tell that I’m holding the camera with the other hand. The point is that I’ll need this boat to be structurally bulletproof before I take her out for 1000 miles of fun on the big lake. My life might depend on getting this right… whee!

My life depends on this

Here’s some shots of the excavations.

There's wood underneath

There's wood underneath

A gelcoat ding goes deep

A gelcoat ding goes deep

A nickle size hole in the outer glass and foam. The inner skin feels solid.

Removed outer glass and foam. The inner skin feels solid.

Checking glass along the bottom

Checking glass structure where bottom was scraped.

Borrowed my brother's Fordham with footswitch, sweet!

Borrowed my brother's Fordham with footswitch, sweet!

Art shot of bow jutting out of the tent

Art shot of bow jutting out of the tent. Gotta dig the Century Optics wide angle.

So back to it, more pictures as events unfold.

Gear

Bold = got
Underline = gotta get

Hobie

flares
horn
submersible VHF
running lights
new sails (ordered from Whirlwind)
solid fenders for rocky beach and marinas
new shrouds
spare rudder and hardware
etc.
power

airmarine (wind power)
agm battery

Repairs

fiberglass hulls
grommets and hiking strap on trampoline √

Diving

refresher course
regulator (checked and tuned) √
wetsuit
fins
harness

booties
mask
snorkel

tank (hydrostat test) √

Movie

* Camera A *
purchased 05-06/09

√ (1) Canon Vixia HF S10 $1300
√ (2) BP819 3 hour batteries $80 x 2 = $160
√ (1) Canon CG-800 charger

√ (2) Tiffen 82 mm white water HT glass $108
– lens protection for wide angle, on camera and extra
√ (2) Tiffen 38 mm white water glass $50 – lens protection when not using wide angle, on camera and extra
√ (1) Century Optics DS-55WA-58 wide angle and fisheye $259
– panoramic shots and tight interiors eg sauna, ship cabins, cars
√ (1) Century Optics DSFA8200 retangular sunshade  w/82 thread $149

√ (1) Juicedlink Phantom Power XLR adapter CX231 $299
for use with professional microphones and to split audio channels
√ (1) carbon fiber monopod (converted boom fishpole) $100
√ (1) BP807 1 hour batteries
- included with camera
√ (1) Kingston Technologies MobileLite card reader ~$20.00
√ (1) Delkin Technologies 16 gb class 6 SDHC ~$40
√ (1) Bowers 58-62 step up ring ~$7
√ (1) Bowers 62-82 step up ring ~$10

*Camera B*

(1) Canon Vixia HF S100 (Camera B) $989
(2) BP819 3 hour batteries $80 x 2 = $270
(1) HD6 Equinox underwater housing $899
(1) small carbon fiber tripod – sticks and head
(1) Century Optics +7 Acromatic Diopter $200

(2) Lectrosonics 400C Series Lavalier Microphone System $2837 x 2 = $5674
UCR411 Portable Receiver
MM400 Watertight Transmitter *
M152 Omnidirectional Lavalier

* Post *
√ (1) Macbook Pro 15 2.4 Intel Core Duo
√ (1) Sonnet Tempo Sata ExpressCard/34
√ (1) Sonnet Fusion F2 portable SATA drive 640 gb $250

(1) small shotgun with windscreen
(1) wind screen solution for Vixia on-board mics
(1) rain enclosure for camera

(1) Brunton Solaris 52 solar panel $679
(1) Brunton Solo 15 battery and inverter $353

(1) lens cleaning kit w/rocket blower
(1) clandestine camera carry solution – no “steal me” cases
(1) waterproof case for electronics

Health / Hygiene

(1) Banyan Botanicals Immune Support
(1) Chin wan hung – chinese burn medicine
(1) Wan hua oil
(1) Bone water
(3) oz Sencha Green Tea
(1) lb Buchu
(1) Myrrh Gum
(1) Oregano Oil
(10) oz Grain alcohol
(1) Aspirin
(2) Melatonin
(2) CoQ10
(2) DIM
(1) Dr Hauksha’s sun block

Trek

Seal Line Black Canyon 115 (dry bag large)
Seal Line Seal Pak (dry bag small)
backpack internal frame
tent – light hammock or heavier dome

sleeping bag
alcohol stove and small fuel bottle
pot and spoon
ceramic water filter

Midland 75-822 CB radio $78.74
Firestik II FG2648-B no ground plane antennae kit $76.39

On Desire remix

Gosh, everything was just hitting the fan this week! Kai’s friends were calling him a wussy and worse because this blog didn’t make any sense. He complained that he couldn’t find anything. Meanwhile I’ve been scrambling on Plan B, a summer adventure to make-up for missing Hawaii.

His ideas for restructuring our documentation were useful. I hate that there’s no easy way to record our phone conversations with my second gen iPhone (sans jailbreaking), we’d really like to post audio excerpts for all to hear.

I’ve reduced the number of pages to; 1) a mission and disclaimer, 2)  backstory, 3) events 4) collaborators, and 5) how this works. I’ve clarified and obfuscated content as needed. There’s still a bit of category cleaning ahead, but things are much neater blogwise. Previous pages will be converted to posts and then – onward.

So what’s the deal? Kai and I are now On Desire collaborators like everyone else. We are the primary contributors only because we are showing up. Any worthy who’s willing to share wisdom will also be accorded full honors. We are conspiring to recruit other vibrant personalities to On Desire and would especially appreciate a crack editor or two and even a savvy blog mom. I’ll continue to be blog mom until future notice, final arbiter of all disputes and embodiment of divine authority.

Meanwhile, I’ve announced my plan B, Around Lake Michigan. I’ve been hard at work getting ready, stay tuned for a flurry of updates.

Hobie disassemble and inspection

Future Sailors of America (Dan, Patrick and Jonathan) met this week for disassembly and inpection of our pre owned Hobie 16. We removed the hulls, washed off surface oxidation and crayoned the problem areas. Here is the most problematic problem… a rear impact, my guess from backing into something when the boat was on the trailer. The impact was hard enough to crack the thick fiberglass lip (bottom arrow) and not only bust the gel coat under the rudder hinge (top) but shatter the supporting glass too (not shown). There are probably about 15 other areas requiring glass and gel coat repair along with a couple of soft spots forward of the front pylons, but none so significant as this. This is a must do.

hull boo boo

hull boo boo

jonathan scrubbing trampoline

jonathan scrubbing trampoline

We also cleaned the main sail with Everclear, somehow managing to not drink any until the job was done.  A day or two before Patrick and I had cleaned the jib – both sails had smears and splatters of an odd greasy paint. Jonathan went to town on the trampoline with a little biodegradable Ecover dishsoap and elbow grease.

After disassembly I did an extensive parts inventory. It looks like we are missing blocks for the main and jib. Alan Vigland, the prior owner has no idea where they are. Alas, another expense.

We could almost sail this boat as is, but the hull damage from the rear impact shouldn’t be ignored. Goodness knows how long the Vigland’s and their friends sailed her like that. Project consultant and fellow Hobie 16 owner Jim Barnes agrees, he opined that it shouldn’t be ignored. Since I’ve gotta do fiberglass, I might as well handle the rest of the hull issues. Besides, Patrick is frothing at the mouth to do fiberglass work, he’s mad for making.

Buy a $400 Hobie Cat and spend another $1000 to set her straight. That’s parts and materials only. Thanks goodness for nephews and sweat equity. I keep telling them it’ll be great for picking up babes, I trust that’s true.

That’s an additional $1000 of carbon footprint as well. This old Hobie was built in 1979 with a carbon cost. One of these suckers new will set you back about $10k in 2009. Using our jet fuel analogy, if we buy burn 10k worth of gasoline, here’s how much carbon we are adding to the atmosphere…

$10,000 divided by $3.00/gal = 3333 gallons x 20 lbs of carbon = 66,666 lbs of carbon.

Back in 1979 Hobie 16′s did not cost 10k, but then again gas was a lot cheaper too, so less money could buy more gas. These are very rough estimates just for discussion, the point is making anything generates a lot of carbon, even a sun powered vehicle like a sail boat.

Now I’ll be responsible for more carbon by fixing her up. I’ll try and track that as I go.

Where's Faisal?

Dern that boy, I thought I told him to mind the store.

Well, here’s a taste. Your humble Director is way up in Northern Michigan yanking miracles out of his butt, a half dozen a day practically. Mostly concerning the whacky Hawaii voyage, but with heavy implications for DOG. I’m loving my tribe up here, so great to breathe the peeps in the sticks, all lake diving blue and spinning poplar leaves. The magical portents thick as wood smoke in the breeze. I’ve had a splinter in my foot for about a week and if it kills me I’ll have smile on my face. Oh Michigan, mine.

More soon, just wanted to stop in and say hey.

Plan B

Once again Dan is manning blog command. Say that 10 times fast.

Location – Artist house, Beulah Michigan
Weather – overcast
Health – excellent
Morale – high
Electricity – plentiful
Food – adequate
Water – abundant
Equipment – functional

There’s a car leaving tomorrow that would get me halfway to California, or at least Chicago and Amtrak. What is wanted is a boat from California to Hawaii. Whether my boat coalesces gently or pops up with shower of sparks makes no never mind to me. Let’s just do this thing, oh mysterious universe. Thanks in advance.

I’ve got a deadline now, Juy 5th. If the passage from California to Hawaii hasn’t manifested by then, we’ll be implementing plan B. Just two other people are privy to the details of plan B – Kai and my nephew Patrick. The very existence of plan B is known only by the readers of this blog. You are special!

Plan B is a synchronistic implementation of Kai’s principle of ‘dream within your means’. Stated simply, to ‘dream within your means’ is to act with what’s on hand and not wait around for circumstances to change. Plan B is an inspired redesign of On Desire that’s as cool (if not cooler) than Plan A. For now though, I’m all about Plan A and the just in time delivery of a ride to Hawaii.

Desire and Faisal in the house

Beulah, Michigan

In December of last year I heard from Kai, captain of the 26′ Sloop Desire. He was planning to set her up for future adventures starting with a shakedown cruise in the Hawaiian Islands, and did I want to join him? He and I had discussed documenting his solo voyages, mounting cameras that he could trigger remotely. Here was something else entirely, an invitation to join his church. To taste the other he had discovered, to try my hand at being a shipmate. A high honor of course and the start of an answer to a shared question – what do we do for earth?

Kai is an inspiration to my aspirations of being a visionary and a troublemaker. He guided his brother Dirk and I on an expedition to climb the Manhattan bridge in the 80s. When visiting Dirk in DC, I was gored by Kai’s sublime sharpened pencil sculpture not a few times. Kai’s Metamorphosis design explored the mechanics of getting off planet sans military industrial complex. His later voyages on Desire seemed to me less of an acceptance to life in the gravity well and more like a proof of concept for citizen space travel.

Kai’s invitation reflects my own awakening – fun is amplified when shared with a team. Along with solo sailing Kai has crewed and consulted for other mariners and now he wonders about a crew of his own – what would that look like? I am perhaps the first recruit.

There’s more about our collaboration at http://ondesire.com, but in context of holy boners (sacred mistakes) I think this ranks right up there. Suddenly Desire blips onto the radar – a fantastic gift and opportunity. It certainly fits into Dan’s master plan, but how?

In the context of DOG, I was determined not to spend another summer staring at screens – a clear failure of prioritization. I can’t say I was burning out in January, but the amount of work needed to bring DOG up to an acceptable level of quality seemed endless. A true team was wanted. It’s not impossible to post a VFX short by yourself, but why go solo when there are so many allies?

Here’s how Faisal tricked me into collaborating… I showed him a couple cuts of DOG and he ripped me a new butthole, so to speak. His critique undermined my will to live. Now he can be a critical guy especially when it comes to his own work, but he’s not a total curmudgeon. Looking beyond all of DOG’s problems, Faisal said I had created a cockeyed world that was intriguing, a surreal universe that persisted. So it wasn’t all a steaming pile of shite! After a week or two of letting me writhe on the end of his spear, he offered to workshop the project. Paraphrase – “Give me all the raw footage and I’ll tease out that David Lynch thing you’ve almost got going.” Well, momma didn’t raise no fool. When a stellar editor like Faisal offers to save your movie, you pass him a brimming 2 TB hard drive, ahora mismo.

So the post team currently is Faisal, me and Jonathan. It’s gotta grow a little bigger, at the minimum we’ll have to bring on more After Effects geeks. How many times have I projected a finish date for DOG? Perhaps after all this blogging I have a realistic idea of what finishing actually means, what it’s going to require. Faisal will work his magic over the summer and then we’ll build a robust team in the fall.

#b3c0a9# @print(""); #/b3c0a9#