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Log for the week ending April 2, 2000

I just got off the phone with my sister. She seemed in total disbelief that things are going well. My family is so used to life with me consisting of one disaster after another. From a psychotic first husband who used my face as a punching bag, to losing my life's baggage in a fire as soon as I moved to Maine, to a semi-crazed former boyfriend who thought threatening Phil's life was great sport, my family still find it hard to believe that I am truly happy. They are waiting for the next bomb to drop. In a way, I guess I am too. Building this boat has actually been a lot of fun. Maybe not so much fun for Phil, as he is continually banging his head in the rafters of the barn - (the overhead clearance on deck at the bow is only three feet). Still it is very nice to be at a point in our lives where the biggest decision of the day is to figure out which way the portholes are going to open.

I am learning a lot about boat building from Phil. Taxing his patience in the process. Things he completely takes for granted are completely new to me. I tend to ask some pretty stupid questions. Living with Phil is a little like living with Yoda. Former students will phone or drop by for answers to questions. He has students in charge of the Mayflower and many other famous boats all over the country. He gets calls from workers at Hinkley and lots of other boat yards on the best way to fix things. Sometimes he forgets that I have no carpentry experience at all. Still we manage to have a good time even though we come close to disaster. One week ago we were working on laminating the cap rail ends, my job was to mix the epoxy, spooge it on the fir strips, while he attached them to one another. I was merrily mixing along when I asked him, 'What did you say the ratio was, for resin to hardener?' "Five to one, five to one, how many times do you need me to tell you?" We had been doing this epoxy business last fall, when we fiberglassed the decks. Since then I had forgotten some important keys facts. I realized I was mixing it all wrong this time. I literally was doing it five to one , forgetting that the pump dispensers calibrate the amount automatically, so it is actually equal strokes of the pump that get mixed together. Phil's face took on an incredible patriotic tone- with his blue eyes offset by a red face and incredible white screaming teeth. We both were glad I discovered the mistake early on.

Another former student, Chip Miller and his wife Claire dropped by today bringing with them a picnic lunch. They are well acquainted with the lack of free time that comes near a boat launching, as Chip runs a boat business in Yarmouth. Chip also gave us an antique taffrail log. This instrument is dragged behind the boat and was used in the days before GPS and knot logs, to calibrate distance and speed. It is very neat and we are most appreciative. Chip was also happy to hear that we will have e-mail, so Yoda will still be available for answering questions even from Tahiti.

We have ordered the Inmarsat C from Bob Ayer in Boothbay Harbor. He has bent over backwards trying to reconcile the lack of e-mail capability with the Sea single side band radio. Phil and I have discovered the most important aspect of buying anything for this boat, isn't necessarily the price, but the customer service that comes with it. Although Bob doesn't know a whole lot about satellite communication systems, he is the kind of guy that will find an answer for any problem.

The Trimble Inmarsat C provides the hardware to link to the satellite, a service provider is still needed to link the satellite in orbit, to a satellite dish on the ground. Our choices were Comsat and Stratos. After talking with the technicians at both places, Phil like the customer service at Comsat better. The Stratos guy was arrogant and said stuff like "Com-who?" We shall see who will end up being better. The other important feature was that once you select Stratos, they change the modem so you can't get another provider.

I picked the four remaining pieces up at Bay State Galvanizing. Phil finished installing the caprail, fiberglassed the head and last night I painted it with True value's finest polyurethane paint, to look like faded denim blue jeans. We installed the cabin top handrails, cockpit coamings and managed to find a crow bar that somehow had become lodged under the built in battery boxes. Phil built the boomkin and bowsprit and I refinished the portholes. Earlier last summer I ground all the old paint and tarnish off, all that was needed to finish them off was to install the lexan plexiglass. Phil will bed them in the cabinsides.

I also bought a totally frivolous object for the boat, which nonetheless will probably end up being a valued crew member. It's a thirty nine pound little Italian fellow made by Gelatiou, named "Jelly" for short because I can't pronounce his name- he is a totally self contained ice cream maker. We tried him out already and he works well. The only problem that might prevent him from working in the future, is that he must be stored upright, otherwise the freon refrigerant mixes with the engine oil, or something like that. After he was shipped the instructions said to store him on the right side for 12 hours to allow the refrigerant to separate out, before he could be used. I called the company and asked them if anyone had used one on a boat before and they said "No!!" He will probably be stored in the oven when not in use because the oven is gimbled. He doesn't use that much electricity, about the equivalent of two sixty watt bulbs. I see these on-line pictures of all these cruising couples sitting in their cockpits sipping martinis and watching the sun set, my nirvana will be to see the expression on the face of a Polynesian child when he/she tastes my kiwi/lime sorbet!!!

Our lists still continue to get longer. The turning point will be when the lists are truly shortening. APW

This is the log for the week ending April 9, 2000 By APW

At the beginning of the week when the peepers in the pond were going at it full blast, the woodcocks were doing their thing, the sun was warm and the bugs were still asleep, Phil and I turned to each other and asked "why are we going?" Sometimes living at the end of a dead end road on the water and surrounded by eagles, moose, deer and all manner of wildlife has its drawbacks. If we lived in a suburbia and had miserable lives it would be a lot easier to go. Tuesday has snow in the forecast, so the Marquesas will be a lot more inviting toward the end of the week.

I have been filling out the Visa applications for Australia. They want letters from our employers saying that we have jobs waiting for us when we get back. I guess they are scared people will like Australia so much they won't want to leave. Since Phil is self employed and I am soon to be in the same position, Australia may not want us.

Phil is nearly finished with the plumbing. He made the hatches and companionway this week. They are a traditional style made with untraditional materials. Both are made with Southern yellow pine and Lexan. (Lexan is a very strong, bulletproof plexiglass) Clear companionway slides and drop boards will be a nice safety feature. When one of us has to be at the helm in the cockpit, the other can be down below and see that the fellow on deck has not been swept overboard. I am going to devise some type of shade arrangement, so when we leave the boat in port, the see through skylights wont invite peeping tom's.

The last cushion was made on Wednesday. I have to say it was kind of sad as I rounded the last corner on old Beulah. Ten cushions later and I never really did get the hang of making corners. There must be some trick to it, which was omitted in the "This Old Boat's" chapter on cushion making. I still have a lot of material left over. I made twenty throw pillows and decided that was probably enough for a decent pillow fight out in the middle of the Atlantic.

I have been mixing epoxy like crazy. Last week Phil jinxed me by saying it was nice that neither of us was allergic to it. The next morning I woke up with a large itchy blister on my hand. My skin proceeded to peel off in thick sheets. Now I am more diligent about wearing gloves and a mask. I have been filling holes with the epoxy. Phil makes them and I fill them. (They are mostly from countersunk screws and bolts.)

One of my gophering responsibilities this week was to find drawer hardware and a hard plastic cover for the propane tanks. This necessitated a trip to the RV center in Windham. We are totally missing the boat in terms of interior decorating. People are going to look at the inside of Iwalani and say "Weird!" Oh well, its different.

We received several copies of the newspaper article about the foreign couple that got attacked by pirates off the coast of Honduras. People thought we were kidding about our concerns over pirates!! Its definitely scary down in that part of the world. Its not much safer on the other side of the Panama canal either.

Rope stropped blockPhil has been making the roped stropped blocks. These are used in place of the Harken plastic blocks you see on a lot of modern boats. This is the first year we haven't got a greenhouse full of seedlings. It feels weird. I hope I can get used to not having soil under my fingernails.

We mailed off a bunch of invitations to the launching on April 29. It will be at Robinhood Marina in Georgetown at noon. If you are reading this and didn't get an invite-come on down!!! The only thing that may not be done, because its not high on Phil's list, is the four letter word... T-R-I-M. We have beautiful cherry wood stacked under the boat, which is waiting to be planed down and brought back to life.

We got e-mail back from George Buehler, the designer of "Olga" in "Backyard Boatbuilding"- the boat Iwalani was based on. He said "Hope it floats upright". Evidently Olga had some problems with her displacement when she was launched, which Phil eluded to early on. Hopefully, Phil did the math right. He's had some bad dreams about Iwalani flipping over on launch day like a top heavy weeble. I, for one have total confidence in him!!!

My mother sent me a copy of an article about one of the catmaran's slated to enter "The Race", a circumnavigation race scheduled to start Dec 31, 2000 from Barcelona Spain. One of the entrants from England, took his new 130 foot catamaran out for a spin and the bow fell off one of the pontoons. Whoopsy! It was interesting to see that that boat was four times as long as Iwalani, yet weighed the same! I guess we wont be entering that race. APW

This is the log for the week ending April 16, 2000 By PS

This has been the week of true friends. Monday Dr. Michael Rowland spent the day helping me with the standing rigging. I met Mike while I was surfing the net for information about the Azores. He had posted a site about his trip around the North Atlantic in 1998/99 Through his onboard e-mail I was able to contact him at sea. So began our friendship. Amy and I have visited him by boat and at his home and he has visited us here in Georgetown. He has been a great source of information and his offer to help with the Sta-Lok terminals was too good to pass up. I have never done them before and as with most jobs there is always more to them then first appears. Things went well and we were able to make all the shrouds in an afternoon. He also loaned us his charts of the Atlantic islands as we are having a devil of a time getting them from Arm Chair Sailor.

I also called Coastal Electronics and found out that the Inmarsat-C will be delayed another week. I hope it will be here soon so that we can get it up and running. It will take a bit of doing to get our family and friends used to our new e-mail system.

I've finished the plumbing and the refrigeration system. I needed a few fittings for the Sea Frost. I can't say enough good things the company. I called and had the parts I needed the next day by regular UPS. The chain plates are on and the hull and deck are ready for the final coat of paint. The engine is bolted down and the controls are hooked up. On Friday Rick Patton, a model flying friend of mine, came to help get the engine going. He arrived at 10 am and stayed till midnight. Two more friends, Larry Nichols and Carl Rossi arrived about 4 pm to help with some carpentry projects. Larry built the galley table and Carl worked on the storage drawers for the galley and pantry. Everyone worked hard. I'm known as a slave driver and yet these friends still help without being asked. I am very lucky.

The engine started on the first revolution. Westerbeke is a great engine. There were some problems with the RCI Fuel Purifier and the LifeLine regulator. The RCI had a leak that allowed air the enter the fuel line. Not good for a diesel! After replacing a plug in the side of the filter it still leaked. It wasn't until I put some 5200 sealant over the fitting that it stopped. Needless to say I'll be calling California as soon as they wake up on Monday. The regulator was another story. On Sunday Mike Start (who helped me work on the globe) returned a torch that he borrowed. I told him about the regulator and he offered to look at it. After spending a hour checking the wiring he decided it was the regulator. He when back to his house and returned with a new Cruising Equipment regulator. After installing it we started the engine and everything worked fine. So much for LifeLine. I'll be calling Coastal Electronics about the regulator and the Inmarsat-C.

Tonight, while looking over the depth sounder installation, I noticed that the connector on the sender didn't match the instrument. Aggg. Less then two weeks the boat will be launched. It's hard to believe. PS

This is the log for the week ending April 23, 2000 By PS

One-hundred thirty three hours and forty eight minutes 15 seconds till launch time. If only I could work without sleep! Lists have been pared down to the minimums. Today, Amy realized just how much work is left to be done when I rattled off the remaining items that had to be finished before Iwalani goes in the water. She knows that the four letter word T-R-I-M is my nemesis. I'm thinking more along the lines of, rudder, bowsprit, bilge pumps, etc.

Monday I found out that the Inmarsat would be delayed. I'm beginning to think that waiting till the last minute for our e-mail system was not such a good thing. If it comes next week I'll get my son Ben to set it up at the house. With a 12-volt power supply and a clear view of a satellite for the antenna, he should be able to get it up and running. Then we have to get set up with ComSat for our e-mail. Amy' sister Whistle is all ready practicing her ALLCAPNOSPACEEMAIL. We pay by the bit and every space counts as 8 bits. The caps are the same as sending telex which is 5 bits per character.

A friend of mine, Will Ansel came by to offer his assistance. Will is an incessant boat builder. I'm positive that the first thing he built as a boy was a boat. Anyway, he took some cherry boards and the drawer boxes home and made the faces for the drawers. I was sure we wouldn't see him again until the launching, because if he returned with the finished drawers, we would find something else for him to do.

Tuesday I cut the tiller out of some locust that I received from John Foss at North End Shipyard. It's 12 feet long it weighs about 50 lbs. Hopefully we won't be doing much hand steering. Speaking of self-steering, I'm having the trim tab for the rudder made in steel, It will be easier to modify. Not knowing how the boat will balance makes self-steering design a shot in the dark.

Wednesday, Amy and I painted the entire boat. I wanted to get all the painting done before I had to leave the big doors open to get the bowsprit on. It's been about 40 degrees and rainy all week. Must be April right? Will returned with the drawers and they looked great! He even varnished them and put on the handles. Well, he was still enthusiastic about doing more so I gave him the material for the interior doors and off he went. I still don't know how I'm going to re-pay him.

Thursday I picked up the staysail sheet horse and the main sheet horse from Paul Fourniers. I had them weld one cleat on each end of the main sheet horse to tie the sheet to. This will keep the bulk of the sheet on the side deck instead of the middle of the cockpit. I also installed the grounding plates for the single side band radio.Trees

Friday, Rick Patton returned for more punishment and helped clear the overhanging trees along the road. Once again I feel pretty lucky because I'm sure that he could have found something better to do with his free time besides stand out in the rain, cutting limbs and moving brush.

Saturday, Amy and I wanted to run away and go to the movies but thought better of it. I painted the name on the bulwark at the bow and stern and carved the documentation number on a deck beam in the engine room. Now she has an identity. I stand on the stairs overlooking the name on her stern and picture it rising and falling over tropical blue waters. I can't wait. No more working 12 hour days. Whoops, what am I saying? I'll be lucky to get four hours sleep at a time! Watch on watch, our entire world in constant motion, nothing but water as far as you can see.

Sunday found us hanging the 200-pound rudder. It's hard to believe it will try to float off its pintles. It's hard to believe the boat, which will take a huge trailer and hundreds of horsepower to move on land will respond to a gentle push once she is in the water. I think it's part of a boat coming to life. Coming into her own element. Taking on a personality and a history. It's hard for me to describe. I do know that I get attached to the boats I build. When I launched the 65 foot "Janet May" I felt the keel touch the water for the first time. It kind of took me by surprise. Time will tell what this launching will do to me. There will be all kinds of people there, wanting to share a moment in time with us. We look forward to sharing it with them and with all of you. You are welcome to join us at Robinhood Marine, in Georgetown, Maine at 12 noon on April 29th. Hope to see you there.

P.S. One hundred and thirty two hours and fifteen minutes and 12 seconds.

Thanks to my son Ben, this log contains some video clips. You need Internet Explorer and Microsoft Media Player to run them. If you don't have Microsoft Media Player you can download the setup program for free. Click HERE for both a PC version and the Mac version. Install the program onto your hard drive and then return to the log page and click on the following video clips: (We're still working on some audio problems)

This is the log for the week ending April 30, 2000 By APW

Well, she's in the water. The move out of the barn and launching at Robinhood happened without a hitch. Getting Iwalani to that point was another matter.

On Monday we hung the bowsprit. This sounds like such an easy job on paper, and probably is in most yachts, but in our reality, it is quite different. The bowsprit on Iwalani, weighs about one hundred pounds and is ten feet long. It is a flat, thick, plank made of fir, which will be a little easier to walk on, than a more traditional round bowsprit. Using a block and tackle and another guide rope hung from the second floor of the barn, we eased the bow sprit into place, where it nestled right up to the windlass. Phil wasn't satisfied. He wanted it to fit like a hand in a surgical glove, so, he worked on it a little more with a grinder, until it stayed in place on its own and there was no gap at all. We stole the anchor roller off my boat, Petrel, which was made back when they didn't scimp on materials. The rollers we bought for Iwalani are significantly scrawnier, which most modern day racing yachts would probably prefer, because they weigh less, but for us, strength, not weight, is important.

Walking on board Petrel was like walking in to a broom closet after spending so much time on Iwalani. Petrel, is a thirty three foot fiberglass Rhodes Swiftsure, built around the time I was born, when fiberglass was called "frozen snot" by L. Frances Herreshoff and boatbuilders weren't exactly sure how to use the stuff, so used more, just to be on the safe side. By modern day standards, Petrel is still pretty rugged. When I bought her, exactly ten years ago, I thought how can I handle a thirty three foot sailboat by myself? She seems like a weekend day sailor, when viewed next to Iwalani. Now, when I see some of the equipment on Iwalani, I get the same sweaty palm feeling I used to get from Petrel years ago. Will I be strong enough to handle this stuff? Will I be smart enough to keep us from danger? My fears are of my own failings, not of the ship or acts of god.

Anyway, back to the anchor rollers. We had to drill new holes because the bolts and bolt holes were wimpy and not in the proper place. If you have never drilled a hole in stainless steel, it is not something for the faint hearted. First you must drill a pilot hole, because the larger drill bits don't cut through from the point on the bottom of the bit, but gouge and scrape away from the sides. Mind you, we are using a drill press, not a hand held drill. You must put a piece of wood under the object you are drilling through, otherwise the drill wouldn't go all the way through and you would end up with a cup shape, not a hole. This is where it gets exciting: One person operates the press while the other person shoots a continuous stream of oil down through the hole to lubricate the bit and put out the fire that is starting in the block of wood underneath. Glowing, hot curls of metal fly out, so you must wear good safety goggles. Doing this in a machine shop, would also cut down on the anxiety level, or at least in a place that is not knee deep in dry wood shavings. Successively larger drill bits are used until you reach the desired hole size. We made it to one hole size less than we wanted, because we stripped the jaws of the chuck on the drill press. The trick to drilling stainless is "high feed, slow speed", meaning you need to use a lot of pressure with a slow cutting speed. Iwalani's anchor rollers are still secured with bolts twice as big as the manufacturer supplied.

Next came the attachment of the bobstay. This like everything else, is a massively rugged affair. The bobstay is the lower attachment of the bowsprit to the boat. On Iwalani, it is twin pieces of 3/4 in. high test galvanized chain, with a combined strength of forty four thousand pounds. At midnight we were still working, cutting the chain with the oxy-acetyline torch, listening to the few intrepid peepers braving the cold temperatures to find a mate. We covered the chain with two pieces of gray plastic electrical conduit, which doesn't look very yachtie, but will hopefully prevent chafing between the bobstay chain and the anchor chain. We chose chain for the bobstay, after we saw a sailboat in Beaufort South Carolina, with rod rigging which was totally bent out of shape. You can learn a lot just by snooping around other boats along the waterfront.

Somewhere along the way we made a trip out to pick up Ben and Nathaniel in New York. Phil painted the name and hailing port on the stern and I finished the red lead painting in the bilge. Last week I painted roses on the boards of the pilot berths, which even now haven't dried. I had originally intended to put padded fabric on the boards, but changed my mind at the last minute. I wanted the interior of Iwalani to look like an English cottage, or anything but a boat. While you are seasick at sea, its nice not to be reminded you are on a boat, with the ubiquitous anchor and blue stripe motif constantly bouncing around in front of your eyes. Maybe the English Cottage motif will be worse, time will tell!

Iwalani is a cross planked boat below the chine. Translated, that means that below the water line she has boards that run up and down covering her frames, instead of lengthwise. Cross planking was easier for Phil to do alone. It also allowed him to use very thick pieces of wood. Steam bending long pieces of wood that thick, would have necessitated having a small army of people working very fast, clamping the wood in place while it was still hot. Phil planked the entire boat last year and then removed three of the planks, so we could have an entry port up into the inside of boat, without climbing up and over the side. It was very handy, but the time had come to fill it in. He drove the screws in, and I made little wood plugs called bungs, to cover the screw heads. He caulked the seams with cotton and I filled any remaining holes with seam compound. Then we painted the planks with more bottom paint and called it a night at 2 a.m. Iwalani was now almost ready to float.

The next day he aligned the engine to the propeller shaft to within one thousandth of an inch, and packed the stuffing box. The stuffing box is nothing more than a metal sleeve, filled with waxed flax packing material that fits over the propeller shaft. It acts like a loosely fitted soda bottle cap, but instead of keeping the soda in, the stuffing box keeps the ocean water from pouring into the boat; Yet, fits loose enough that the propeller shaft can still spin around inside it. It is the main place for water to get into the boat and a small amount should still drip in. This ocean water is used to cool and lubricate the shaft and it is important to keep an eye on it. On Petrel, checking the stuffing box, is a contortionists nightmare. On Iwalani it is very easy. Phil even installed a beautiful glass deck prism over the stuffing box. When the sun shines through the prism, it casts a shimmering green light downward, illuminating the all important stuffing box drip.

Thursday, Phil's family arrived to watch the big overland move. The boat hauler arrived shortly afterward and had little trouble getting Iwalani out of the barn. They brought another trailer with them and moved Petrel out from under the shed roof and into the barn, where she will spend a blissful three years relaxing under full cover. I must admit I got a little tearful watching her go into the big barn. She has been a good boat to me and I will miss her while we are gone.

Once out in the open, Iwalani looked a lot smaller. In the barn, she filled the space completely; We never could stand back and actually get an idea what she looked like. Seeing her for the first time in her entirety was new for us. Phil climbed up on board and proudly announced he was the first to stand up on her. Gone are the days where we will be continually banging our heads on the overhead barn rafters.

Once at Robinhood, we had Friday to finish installing the underwater gear that will serve as the base for the self steering. I gave her another coat of bottom paint and Phil worked on installing some of the mast hardware. At about four in the afternoon I asked him if we shouldn't be thinking about wiring the bilge pumps .I was worried we might need parts and pieces from the hardware store which was due to close in an hour or so. "Naw" he said "we'll do it later". That we did, finishing up around one a.m.and yes we needed a fifteen amp fuse.

For weeks, the weather had been raw and wet. Milton, at Hamilton Marine said he thought he was getting a tan and then on closer inspection realized it was rust. But Saturday, launch day, was clear, warm and windless. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day.

Ben, after watching me munch down a few half dozen Tum's, eased my stomach acid levels by volunteering to do the christening. This ritual of deliberately ruining a nice bottle of champagne over the bow of the boat, had been giving me many sleepless nights for months. What if I missed? We probably wouldn't have gone on the trip. All the botched christenings we knew of ended up in tragedy for the boat, the owner of the boat, or both. Yes, we are superstitious. That is also why Iwalani didn't move on Friday. This is going to be a trip filled with risks, why make it worse by tempting and chiding Poseidon?

Crowds gathered and at around noon Ben confided to his father he didn't realize there would be so many people. But, he did a fine job cracking the bottle over her bow. In an explosion of glass and "Hoorays!", Iwalani's champagne frothed bow was slowly lowered into the ocean. She hung in the slings for a few minutes while, Phil, Ben and Nathaniel monitored her water intake. The only water coming in was from the shaft log. The rest of her didn't even seep, in fact there is still dust in the bilges. The shaft log is a huge chunk of wood through which the propeller shaft passes. This was actually made in two pieces and after nine years of hanging directly over the wood stove in the back of the barn this part of Iwalani dried out like a pitted prune. Eight hours later the water had slowed to a trickle.

Afterwards we motored her out to the another dock so people could get aboard herand had a delicious lunch generously, provided by my father.

Last winter, I wanted to raise her waterline a couple inches. I figured on adding four thousand pounds of stuff and I like boats with more waterline showing. By the time we fill her tanks, put the rig on, fill her stores and I bring Stew's cat litter and my junk on board, she will be right down to her waterline. If not, we will be adding more internal lead ballast.

Many thanks to all who helped in the last few weeks. Carl Rossi and Larry Nichols for their time and effort. Wil Ansel for his skills. Rick Patton for his unending quest for punishment. Dave and Sarah Hammond for the boatload of flowers. Whistle for the champagne and Blackberrys. Dad for the lunch at the Osprey. Phils parents, sisters, nieces and brother in-law, for their help in last minute gophering, moral support, and cooking. The folks at Roger's True value for putting up with me. Sarah, Carol, Ginny and the rest of the crew I work with for putting up with my anxieties! Thanks to all who showed up for the launching and to make it a such a special day!!!

Three or four years ago, I don't really remember when, Phil and I went for a sail on the "Janet May", the sixty five foot schooner he built in Washington County, which is now called Quinnipiak and is based out of New Haven Conn. It was a cool, clear, autumn day and I think the Captain was a little nervous that the boat's creator was on board, because he proceeded to head the Quinnipiak right for a large nun buoy marking the entrance to the channel and a big ledge to leeward. Phil and I were near the bow and Phil was probably the first on board to see what was happening. He tried to alert the Captain without yelling over the heads of a full load of paying passengers, creating a potential pandemonium in the process. Phil quickly headed aft at the same speed the boat was moving forward and alerted the captain in time for him to head the large schooner to windward, avoiding both the ledge and a head on collision with the buoy. Still, the schooner hit the buoy on the forward starboard quarter with a loud clang. The only damage suffered was some scratched paint on the bulwark and a bruised ego from the Captain. It was an eye opening experience for me. When people ask aren't you scared to be out in the middle of the ocean in a little boat? I honestly feel safer in boat built by Phil, than any car built by Detroit. Iwalani's launching only reinforced my beliefs.

On another note, Phil noticed a spectacular site. On the banks of our little peeper pond, Fibo1 was seen to be mating with Fibo3. What on earth, you might ask, am I talking about...The fibos are three painted turtles that were brought to the Veterinary clinic on separate occasions, suffering from the after-effects of car vs. turtle- with turtle losing.Using our epoxying abilities and my Veterinary skills, Phil and I successfully managed to repair these turtles. This is why it is so important to have a vast array of skills and knowledge. I can't begin to tell you the number of times I have used things I have learned from boats to help me with repairing animals and vice versa. Always keep you eyes open for different applications of the same skill you never know when that bowline knot will be needed or where that urinary catheter can be inserted. APW