Dec 302011

Dear readers,

Well, I’m at Logan International in Boston, computing amidst the closed kiosks. The sun is rising pale pink from violet clouds. The baggage weight limit was NOT 70 lbs as the nice man on the phone told me two days ago. I guess $60 isn’t a bad deal if I can get to Tasmania with all of the thermal long underwear I desire.

I won’t be able to post for a few days, since I will be traveling for a grand total of 36 HOURS (don’t worry I have a double travel pillow). So I thought I’d leave you with my very first interview with a real live sailor. You know, people, normal people, talk about sailors and the lifestyles they lead…but who amongst you actually knows a real live sailor (okay, besides me)? Well now you have your chance. I met this one-eyed, red-haired potty-mouth aboard the Liberty Clipper of Boston in 2009. My life hasn’t been the same since.

How did you get your start sailing?
I started sailing because I started building boats, and it seemed like a natural progression, oddly enough. Actually, no, that’s not entirely true. My father volunteered us on SoundWaters in CT when I was 13 years old. We did a couple of trips and I wasn’t old enough to sail with them regularly, but I always enjoyed it. And then I started building boats because that’s what I wanted to do. In middle school I did a marine science program and I ended up building some small boats and it was complicated but really rewarding. Then I ended up going to boat-building school after high school.

What was your favorite destination?

Sailing? I don’t know. I think actually going up to Rockland, ME. I once sailed there from Massachusetts. Harold (of H.A. Burnham Boat Building and Design) and I used to take that trip. We’d stop at the Isles of Shoals, and other nice places. It was like a weekend vacation. Like going out to get coffee. Actually, my favorite destination was sailing a Friendship sloop 1/4 mile to a coffee shop in the middle of January.

What’s your best sailing story?
I don’t know…I have to think about these. My best sailing story. Hm. My best sailing story was when Harold and I transited the schooner Maine with myself, him and Jeff Lane from Robinhood Marina with five bilge pumps going all the time, 10 batteries going, the engine overheating the whole way, one rotten mast jury-rigged as a sloop rig and sailed the shit out of it all the way back. Nothing went right the entire trip. The chain-plates fell out of the side of the hull at one point while we were heeled over. We lost the dory. The engine quit on us halfway through, so we ended up having to sail it in the fog in Maine. We didn’t have a GPS. I think the compass was broken. No radar. It was a hell of a trip. We took on water the entire time. It was one of my favorite trips because it was nothing but laughing about how bad everything was.

What is your dream boat?

OH. OOooh. Oooh that’s a tough one. I’m gonna have to say….oh wow. An english style channel cutter. A bluff bow, that comes up straight out of the water. Most of the shape of the boat you don’t see until the midsection where it comes streaming out the water to the transom. Bloodhound is the name of the boat. The mast is placed far forward, giant main, huge bowsprit. Headsails as long as the day. Gaff sails, fisherman. Gorgeous boat. Underneath the water…the boat just keeps on becoming the keel. There’s no deadwood. The decks are flush but there’s so much room below that a tall guy like me can stand up. And you can have a deckhouse that’s 8 inches tall with beautiful glass butterfuly hatch. Big cockpit with a lot of seating, big side-decks, a little focsle hatch. Deck planking running with the sheer. Oh yeah. That’s what I want. And they’re built heavy. Double sawn frame. You can run over small craft with em and keep going.

Angus says:
I love misery. If I didn’t I’d be a pretty unhappy person.

Thanks Angus! And I will be back in touch when I’m in Australia! Love you ma!