April, '99 News

Planning a wedding is no simple affair, even with others sharing the work and with a little book called "Planning the Perfect Wedding". Cousins Ed and Nancy have graciously volunteered their estate for the reception, I've got a band ($1,000), a caterer ($4,000) a honeymoon retreat ($250) and I've booked a honeymoon cruise ($9,000). Today I drive to verify route maps and to secure suitable flowers. But there are a gazillion other things that still need to be done and done in time, like wedding cake, rehearsal dinner planning, etc.

I have been writing sporadically, but mostly I have been getting the new house and shop tricked out to my satisfaction: a complex and time-consuming process. This last week my buddy Don and I dragged all of the furniture, the computer and all of my files out of the tiny bedroom that passes for my office, in order to remove the carpet and replace it with a wood floor. Don got all done in a day and I spent most of Sunday putting things back in the office, but I will need an extra pair of hands to set the big-ass desk to rights and the requisite muscle power won't be forthcoming until tomorrow evening. Until then drawers and filing cabinets litter the house and doggies are busy knocking over piles of paperwork until then. It is nice at long last to scoot back and forth in my rolley-chair, something that was impossible with the ubiquitous wall-to-wall carpet that permeates so many "modern" dwellings. It is definitely colder in the room without the carpet, but my allergies have been lessened and I rekon it a fair trade. Now I can roll from keyboard to scanner and back in a jiffy and my aching back is not so distracting.

I am currently suffering from a painful left arm and the symptoms are particularly noticeable when I sit at the computer. Something is definitely wrong in the configuration of my body with respect to the keyboard and the monitor but I can't pin it down. After just a few minutes I experience shooting pains in my arm and numbness in several fingers of my left hand and the only cure is to get up and walk around for an hour or more. I am currently using a different chair and I have added a below-the-desk tray for the keyboard, in an effort to reduce the overextension of my arms to reach the keys and this has helped somewhat, but my posture is still wrong and long stints at work are a real pain. I have envisioned a new kind of chair with arms that pivot at two points and swivel at a third, but I don't honestly think that I will ever get around to building a prototype. Must do some searching about to find a new office chair that will cure or at least alleviate my ills.

Folks have been nagging me to put out another edition of Steamboat Notes and I suppose I'll have to knuckle under and do it. When I get around to it the following will be my own contribution to the news.

Monday, April 05, 1999, 7:59 AM:

--Just finished doing the dishes while looking out the window at the now-destroyed mold for Pegasus. On Saturday we had a hellatious wind storm (weather man said later that wind speeds were around 55 mph and that a funnel cloud was seen over nearby Napa) with not gusty, but consistently high winds and one blast flipped the mold for Pegasus right up in the air, where it twisted about 270 degrees and came crashing to earth, shattering the port-side rail at the beamiest part of the hull. Foam and fiberglas were ripped open all the way to the keel. The back was not broken, but it is small consolation at this point. It would have taken 3 or 4 people to right the mold and there were none to hand. I figured, OK, I'll wait until there are enough folks around and we'll try to right it once more. Aside from the wind, the weather was not bad, but then later in the day, even though prevailing winds were tearing out of the West and heading due East, out of the Northeast came black clouds and cloudbursts! There wasn't enough to do serious damage to the mold though and I still had some hope.

I started to plan rescue and repair strategies, but my little grey cells didn't come up with much. I took wide-angle and close-up photos of the damage, even though I feared they would only be of use as memoirs of what might have been. Last night I again left the mold as it had fallen and, amidst cloudless skies I retired.

Early this morning it started to rain in earnest. It's been coming down steadily now since probably the wee hours of the morning when I was fast asleep. I got up when I heard the rain and put a tarp over the break in the hull, but this won't do anything to protect the soft foam underbelly of the mold, which is now exposed to the elements. I'm afraid by the time I could get enough people over here to raise the mold to its proper resting position it will be so saturated that its added weight of water will make it impossibly cumbersome and fragile.

I took some digital photos of the damage this morning and I'll post them, along with this text description, to my webpage forthwith. I haven't made a "dear diary" entry to the webpage for many months and it's past due to do so.

The long and the short of all this is that despite my efforts to promote cloning, Pegasus is destined to remain an only child. All that painstaking work that Tom Protheroe did back in '82, 17 years careful storage in that rat-infested shithole I used to call "home", a 400 mile trek behind my truck to its new home in Santa Rosa and months of trouble-free resting in my back yard have all come to naught: there will never be another like it.

The new barn arrives tomorrow, but it won't be up for another year and change so it will be a long time before I can even consider the logistics of boatbuilding. I could conceivably put up another Greenough-inspired structure to shelter the remains of the mold, but if any more winds like this last batch should be forthcoming I would be endangering my neighbors with the debris that would most likely fly about, so I believe that choice is a no-no.

I'm thinking the right and fitting thing to do would be to have some kind of wake to celebrate its passing: in June when the SRSMEEBBQ meets here again I will invite those who can to bring implements of destruction and we will carve the "damned" thing into chunks that will fit into the back of my truck so that I can take it to the dump.

I'm also thinking of keeping the bow and stern for reference purposes: they wouldn't take up nearly as much room and they would be invaluable study aids if (the big "IF") I ever get around to building Steamboat #3 using anything other than the stitch-and-glue method that I had planned.

So ends an era.

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