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Friday June 3, 2005

    I didn't realize that I skipped the month of May in this journal.  There hasn't been that much construction.  The rail is attached.  It is made up of two layers of one by fours.  In Bubba's room his closet is framed out and most of the walls are up.  The first layer of the cabin roof is on and with that I could put up the trim around the inside.  I had to put on a coat of paint to discourage the carpenter bees!  I also put on the countertop which I must admit, turned out very well.  The pattern I used worked out very well and it fit with no trimming.  I was rather proud of that!  The fiddles and some of the trim have also been installed.
    I've been doing two other things amidst all this construction.  One, on days like today when the rain is coming down, is carving out the nameplate.  I finished the rough carving today and it turned out better than expected considering I did the whole thing with a quarter inch chisel and no experience.  The second was to begin construction of 'dory', our second dingy.  I got plans for a 16' dory that I reduced 90%.  It has a 5/8 ply bottom, 3/4" ply frames and it will have 1/4" sides.  The stingers are 1X1 pine.
    The most important thing that has happened in the last few weeks is the change of the launch date.  Three weeks ago Kelly came out while I was working and began a discussion, the gist of which was that she did not feel we were going to be ready to go by the end of July or August.  We hadn't had the time to practice, we hadn't organized things enough, we didn't have enough money.  Now, while I may have had answers to all such things and we had discussed them before it was clear that reason was not all that was involved here.  She was worried and fearful.  I think that as it really started to look like completion was in sight all her apprehension started bubbling over.  There was the added stress of our housing situation which we have since resolved with the owner.  So after much discussion and a little yelling we decided to wait until the spring.
    Needless to say, I was very upset.  For a year I had put everything I had into the project and for the last six months we had been saying we would be launching in the summer, a fact I thought we both agreed on.  I didn't talk much over that weekend.  I am usually not one given to great swings of emotion or mood but with the amount of work and sweat and emotion and effort I had invested toward this goal with a finish line in sight only to have it moved was too much.  Even I was surprised at how it affected me.  But I got over it and I agree that it is a good course of action even if I believe we could have gone this summer.  Kelly even went racing last night and she told me she was heeled over 40 degrees without having a breakdown!  So construction has slowed and I and spending more time on other things.  It has reminded me of the primary reason we are doing this.  The travel, the lifestyle, the cool boat, the getting out of the rat race and meeting new people and exploring other cultures are all important reasons but for us, it was religious.  It is the nomadic lifestyle and the reordering of time and priorities as well as the dependence of weather and nature that will draw us close to God.  Taking more time for that has been the greatest boon for me and perhaps the greatest preparation.

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

    Not a whole lot to report as far as construction goes.  At this point there is not a lot of money for it so I'm back to doing things that don't take much and are 'labor intensive'.  I finished the name plate for the stern, and I must say that it turned out really well.  The gold paint contrasted with the red mahogany is really nice.  That being done, I decided to try my hand as some more carving, something a bit more challenging.  I started work on the figurehead.  It is going to be a mermaid, it is a little over three feet tall and she will be arching our over the water under the bowsprit.  At this point she is roughed out and the area from her waist to her neck, including the arms is carved and ready for sanding.  It is turning out well and if it continues to go this well I may try to sculpt another and sell it on e-bay or somewhere.  I could use the cash.  The face, of course, is going to be the real challenge so we'll see how it goes.