Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hello, Old Friend!

Yesterday I got out to the boat shop after over a month of  running around with the trailer, the new job, and starting graduate school full-time. Luna looked so sweet and lovely as I approached the shop. I climbed up on her keel, situated myself where her "cockpit" will be and lingered for a few moments imagining rolling waves instead of rolling hills. Then I got to work building the L-A-S-T frame! More on that tomorrow.

View from Luna's cockpit.
One thing I've learned about boat building is that the shop needs to be a pleasant place to work. This doesn't necessarily mean lots of expensive tools (I'm still a proponent of using the cheapest functional tools you can get), nor does it mean a climate controlled, deluxe barn. I guess to me it just means less exposure to the elements. The shed I work out of, while the price is right, has a dirt floor and only one wall to the North which makes exposure to all sorts of stuff inevitable.  

A project like this requires thousands of hours. Given this, it is generally best to limit the "excuses" one has to not go out to work during a few spare hours. Sometimes I find myself hesitating to go to the shop because it is 110 degrees outside, or the wind is really high and I don't want to cough and sputter in the heavy Texas dust. I am no delicate petunia, but sometimes that's just a bit too much. 

View of the shop floor.
While I have been less-than-organized all my life, this mess is not all my fault. Let me introduce you to the beautiful part of the USA I call home:

It isn't quite this bad.

Actual view from the back of the shop.
When I moved here a couple of years ago, the ranch was lush and green:

The ranch in September, 2 years ago.

Then the drought hit and we haven't had much rain since. This, combined with the common practice of ranchers in my area desperately clearing the land of all vegetation on the false hope that it might rain (it never does), means it is pretty dusty here. 

While the ridiculous amount of dust might drive me to entertain apocalyptic thoughts, I can't imagine what it's like for the ranchers whose livelihoods depend on the rain. My heart breaks to see the hardworking couple who own the ranch I live on sit on the porch praying for rain as thunderheads roll in-- and then roll out-- without a drop of water hitting the ground. Here's to hoping the drought ends soon.

Boatbuilding in Hindsight
Boat shop requirements for The Next Boat:

1. no month's average temperature may exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit 

2. the shop must have at least 5 sides (one of these must be a roof)

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