07 February 2009

Winter playground

We seem to go from ice to snow to more snow to ice, repeat until spring, down here in Homer.  Right now we're in the most beautiful snow-zone, but a few weeks ago the ice was pretty serious.  Ben's driveway was out-of-hand, leading me to parking at the bottom and carefully walking up for nearly a week.  Just so you don't think I'm too much of a wimp, I took some pictures on a beautiful walk/slide down the driveway.


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Here's looking down, and then looking back up.  A solid sheet of ice.  It's still there, but it's now covered in nearly a foot of snow allowing for a bit more traction on the way up and, more importantly, on the way down.

I hosted a pizza par-tay the other night, complete with Indian pizza and trivial pursuit.  I discovered that I have gotten no better with 'Arts & Entertainment' trivia over the years.



This is the Indian pizza I made - a 'naan' crust, spinach-spiced sauce, mushrooms, cauliflower, green onion, tomatoes, cilantro.  No cheese, but it was incredible.  Yeah!

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It was great to see people, especially since it was blizzarding outside pretty fierce.  The next morning we had heaps and heaps - and I loved it!!!

Last weekend I went adventuring with Josiah (and Kaya) on Saturday and skiing at the wee-lil' rope-tow on Sunday with Julie and Tim (followed by the Superbowl at Blaine & Katie's, complete with a keg of beer brewed and kegged by Blaine himself).


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A very-nice-man stopped on his snowmachine while we were snowshoeing back up from Beaver Flats to tell us that he had an active coyote trap-line along there.  His words exactly were, "I've never caught a dog yet, and I wouldn't want yours to be the first one."  Great.  I had entirely forgotten to put the leash in my pack, and so Kaya got to practice a solid hour of heeling.

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Here's Tim and Julie, showing off hot tele moves on the "slopes".  The ski hill was nice, but it really was a terrible tease for skiing...soon soon I'm going to have to get out!

And then she had a kayak...

Well, that might be jumping the gun just a smidge - I indeed have a completed and waterproofed kayak (well, the waterproofing has not yet been tested).  I still need to put in deck lines before she's really ready to be tested, and given my panic-y feelings about drilling into my completed and coated frame/skin - that part may take a little bit.

But to hold you over until I have the maiden-launch, here is a little taste of what happened in between the start of skinning and the completion:

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The decks needed two rounds of stitching.  The top photo shows the first stitch, drawing the two sides together.  Once that was done (and let me tell you, it took a long long painful time.  A co-worker of mine is a sailor, and suggested using a spray bottle to wet the nylon and make it stretch more in order to sew it tight.  Brilliance.  Nylon apparently stretches around 22% when wet - my life took a turn for the better from that moment on)


After the decks were all sewn up, I had to cut into the cockpit area and sew in the coaming.  It was slightly terrifying, but I heated up the sauder gun, took a deep breath (away from the burning-nylon fumes) and started cutting....

I pushed nails up through the skin and out the holes in the coaming to hold it in place when I was getting ready to sew it.  When it was all set, I took the nails out one-by-one and followed them around with thread.  It was a testament to how tough this ballistic nylon is - it was difficult to pierce it with these nails.


Ben and Steve (Collins) both inquired as to whether this spike-system was employed to keep seals from boarding the decks.  They were both disappointed when I said it was temporary...

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Here it is - inside and out.

The next, and final, step was to coat it with the 2-part polyurethane that I ordered with the skin from Corey at the Skin Boat School in Anacortes, WA.  This process was pretty fun and went quickly.  I did the hull first, doing three coats in sequence, wet-on-wet.  The next day I came out to do the deck and was turned around by the gross amount of sawdust in the air that was being produced by Ben and Jeff's boatbuilding adventure.  I was assured that the following day would be much clear-er in the shop, so I came back then.  It's safe to say that there are many little particles of waste from their boats embedded in the coating of my boat - it'll just make it stronger, right?


I was going to dye the skin, but thought about it too late and didn't want to wait for an ordered dye to come in the mail.  You need a pretty strong acid dye (more umpfh than RIT that you can get in town), and I was ready to go.  So my boat is clear-ish, all of the woodwork showing through in the light.  When the polyurethane dried it came out quite a bit more opaque, but you still get the idea.


Some final shots from the shop:

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