Monday, January 31, 2011


Snow pix from last week, church sign stolen from my friend Di. BTW, it looks like this next storm, we might get a break from plain old snow. Check out this map - that magenta stripe that runs right to the end of Long Island? Ice accumulation! BLEAH! Map found via my friend John, who must occasionally be tempted to change his blog's name from Control Geek to Weather Geek. BTW, here's his his time lapse of last week's snowstorm, which is the one the photos above were from.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Small Boat Shop - Cold Water Workshop 2011 - this time, with lots of ice! (all photos by Ric Klinger of the SBS)

I forgot my camera, but here are some great shots of the annual Cold Water Boating workshop run by the The Small Boat Shop in Norwalk, CT, taken by Ric Klinger of the shop.

I always enjoy participating in this event, and this year was even cooler than usual - need proof? just look at all that ice! They always run this in the depth of winter because they want people to feel for themselves what the gear does & does not do for you - having ice to swim in just made it even better.

I hope to find time to do a bit more of a review, but I'm absolutely pooped after a beautiful but tiring paddle around the Norwalk Islands, need shower and sleep - but look what was on the front page of the Norwalk Sunday Hour today (I think you get one look before they want you to register, but if you want to read the whole article, it is free to do so).

Nice to see the cold-water message get some very good visibility in the press.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Please Vote For A Good Cause AGAIN! :D

Floating this back up to the top on the 28th - this is fantastic, they're up to #9 now! I've been voting every day, voting ends on the 31st, go LIRHA go! Follow the link below to vote.

This may well be the last blog in the world where you expect to be told what to vote for, unless it's maybe for Greg Barton for Olympic Hall of Fame - but tonight I have a special request.

I have a paddling friend who lost his wife to a riding accident last year. I think it would've been understandable if he'd never wanted to see another horse again, but on the contrary, he's had the far more beautiful response of committing himself, in her memory, to the care and well being of her pride and joy, a sweet Haflinger by the name of Charm, and right now, to trying to win a grant for a handicapped riding program that she was involved in, the Long Island Riding Association for the Handicapped.

That's where you can help, if you will! The grants are awarded based on votes, with the top 10 programs being awarded money. The riding program has been hovering right around the bottom of the contenders. At the moment they are actually in 10th place, which is in the money, and your votes (you can vote every day from now until January 31st) can help them stay there, or even solidify their position a bit more.

Unfortunately, there is a registration to vote, but I've made an exception to my normal tendency to shy away from those sorts of things to vote for them and I hope that you will too. Click here to vote! : o #10! " Note the next morning - redoing the link here, but if it STILL goes to some random-selection page, type in "LI Riding" and they will come up.

BTW, I have to say a special thank-you to blogging friend Claire and her friends at Quantum Savvy and Parelli Natural Horse Training. I first found "Claire's Garden" through sea kayaking circles, but almost exactly 2 years ago, she traded in her sea kayak for a sweet horse named Abbey, and this afternoon it suddenly hit me (oh, DUH!) that she might have a circle of horsey friends who'd be just as enthusiastic about riding programs like this as I am. The program had been stuck in #11 for some time - I passed the word and here it is a few hours later and they're back up to #10 & in the running for some gear again. Hooray!

Yes, I'm doing this because it'll make Bob very happy, same for Arlene if there's any way she can look down & see people working to help out a program she loved -- but I'm also doing this because my inner child never quite gave up being horse-crazy. Believe me, if money and time allowed, there would be more horses gently shouldering their way in among the dinghies and kayaks that normally rule the roost lilypad around here.

ps - the pony above isn't Charm, that's another Haflinger with whom I am actually acquainted. I just liked the picture and I don't think I'd figured out an excuse to use it yet!

Seal Snuggle

Oh my goodness. And speaking of cute...

Thanks, Susan!

BTW, like a few other sites where I've seen this on the web, I feel like I should put up some sort of major disclaimer. Back when I had a blogroll (cripes, I have GOT to get myself to work on redoing that in a form that Blogger won't think is a hacker hideout), one of my links was to a set of guidelines for safe. legal and respectful observation of marine mammals - lordy, this video could really be titled "how not to observe marine mammals". That's a very, very large wild animal she's cuddling with there. These are said to be elephant seals, and I think that this must be a youngster, because Wikipedia describes the females as growing up to 10 feet long and 1,900 pounds - plus youth would explain the playful interest - but even a playful swing of that very large head in the wrong direction could've ended up with the woman being hurt badly.

But she wasn't...and jeeze, it's adorable...and I don't think anybody who reads this blog is going to be stupid enough to go try to repeat this with any of our local seals (who would've left the beach for the water long before you got anywhere near them) so I'm going to pretend for a moment that this video doesn't pander in the most awful way to our society's rampant Bambi syndrome, swallow my guilt, and just share it already. I hope you'll forgive me.

Is it too late to declare this Cute Week on Frogma?

I wonder if the seal who likes to play is still at the aquarium...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bring On The Dancing Bunnies


It's snowing AGAIN.

Over in the Seals, Snow and Bigelow's comment thread, I'm getting argumentative over cheeseburgers and displaying my total ignorance of child rearing practices.

And I just whined about snow, to a guy in Vermont.

Bring on the dancing bunnies!

I was originally saving them for Lunar New Year (year of the rabbit, don'cha know?) but I think it's time NOW.

oh - PS for anyone coming in through Playak or random searches - this isn't just some random set of dancing bunnies I found on teh intertubes, the video is homemade, I just learned to do these last November & it's turned into something of a new hobby. This was only my second one without supervision, don't expect too much!

click "animation" in the labels at the bottom of this post if you'd like to see my first one & the one I participated in at a fantastic evening workshop run by the New York International Children's Film Festival - those will be the first few posts that come up (the rest are from people who actually know what they're doing). Just something I've been having a little fun with this winter.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Seals, Snow, and Bigelow's - 01/15/2011 Jones Beach

They made us sweat this time, they did.

Once or twice every year for the last couple of years, Tony and Walter (aka "Pinky and the Brain", aaka "Co-Chairs of the Sebago Cruising Committee") have organized midwinter sealwatching paddles at Jones Beach.

It's one of my favorite winter trips. In the summertime, Jones Beach may be a pure people's playground, but in the wintertime, the maze of marshy islands inside the inlet becomes almost as popular a playground for our phocine friends.

The first time I joined the Cruising Committee on this trip in 2009, I actually didn't believe it. Tony and Walter were billing the trip as a sealwatching paddle - but in the NY Harbor and Jamaica Bay area, a seal sighting was a special treat. I took the name as a bit of optimism on our trip leaders' part and made elaborate mental preparations to not be too dissappointed if we didn't see any. Wildlife can't be expected to appear on cue, it shaped up to be a great group of people (of course Sebago trips all tend to have that happen), it looked like a lovely area to paddle, there'd surely be some lovely ducks and geese to see and hey, it was supposed to snow, I love paddling in the snow, so even if the seals didn't appear on cue, hey, it would be a fantastic day.

The first seal appeared off the fishing docks before we'd even launched, and once we were on the water, they were everywhere.

They were following us.

They were watching us.

At one point we stopped paddling and just gawked because we were completely surrounded by a circle of seals. At another point, a seal popped up right in our midst - missed the shot by that much, the biggest ripple marks where the seal had been a split-second earlier.

Second year, it wasn't quite as easy to see them. There was a brisk breeze blowing, and it's a lot harder to spot those little round heads when it's choppy. We didn't see them quite as quickly, and a couple of guys who were landing just as we were launching said that they hadn't seen any, so once again, I began to tell myself the whole beautiful spot/lovely ducks/nice people/seals would be the sprinkles on the sundae story...

Of course, they were out there again, and then for the sundae-sprinkles on top of the sundae-sprinkles on the sundae, I jokingly asked ace birder Mary to find us a snowy owl, and guess what - she did! Incredible.

There was a 3rd trip that I missed. I think that was the one where the term "hundreds" came into use. The crew that did that one came back with a story of not seeing many seals and thinking it was going to be a so-so sealwatching day - until they rounded a bend back in the marshes and found themselves smack dab in front of a beach where a huge herd of seals was hauled out.

Unfortunately this resulted in an instant departure of every seal there - seals can get hypothermia too, and their sunbathing time is key to their health; they are very skittish while hauled out so the idea is NOT to suddenly appear right on top of them - in this case the humans and seals were equally surprised, there was nothing to be done but apparently the exodus was quite spectacular.

By my records, then, last Saturday was the 4th Annual-Plus Sebago Jones Beach Seal Paddle.

It was a cold and snowy, slightly blowy day,

but we had a very nice turnout, including a few paddlers with a little less winter experience who were nevertheless drawn by the prospect of seals, and even a very nice prospective member who'd found out about the club, came to the Frostbite potluck to meet people and decided she was interested in joining us for this trip.

L to R - Almost a group shot by Mary Ann (thanks Mary Ann!): Commodore Tony, Susan, Dotty, Walter, Mary Ann, TQ and me - missing: Martha; hiding behind Susan (bummer): Danica (I hope I spelled that right!)

Jones Beach is actually a great introductory winter trip. It's very protected and quiet inside the inlet, you're never really too far from land, and since it's all about watching the seals, there's no particular distance that has to be done for the trip to be a raging success.

They'd all heard so much about this trip, and we launched with confident promises of wonders to come...

But as I said at the beginning of this post -- the seals let us sweat this time.

I don't know if they heard that we were taking them for granted and wanted to teach us a lesson, or maybe they were down at the inlet having lunch, but we paddled for a VERY long time without seeing any.

And once again I found myself working through the litany of ways in which a seal-free seal paddle would be OK - this time, with others joining in.

Mary Ann, God bless her, started to point out the birds. A loon, a longtailed duck, how lovely!

Someone else commented on how beautiful the marsh islands were and what a nice place this was to paddle as we paddled on past the second seal-free inlet.

And once again it was a really great group. Sebago paddles are like that. Oh, did I say that already? Well, it bears repeating. They just are.

And then, finally, just at the other end of the inlet, the first one was spotted. We stopped, we drifted, we gawked, we paddled backwards, and those little round heads kept popping up here and there. It was still nothing like the density we sometimes see there (I actually didn't end up taking any pictures on the water because I didn't see any opportunities for shots that were going to be any better than pictures I'd taken on other paddles with seals, plus I was a little more in trip-leader mode than I had been in the past, which makes me lay off the camera a bit) but all in all, it was another good Jones Beach seal paddle. I don't think the first-timers were quite as blown away as I was on my first trip, but I think everybody was happy.

And then -- how do you make happy paddlers even happier?

Oh. My. Gosh. BIGELOW'S!

Doing wonderfully, deliciously unhealthy things to seafood in Rockville Center since 1939. Faaaaaabulous!Walter introduced this to the Seal Paddle last year. I begged to go back this year.

Guess what, I didn't have to beg too hard!

I once again chose the Ipswich belly clams with a cold Harpoon IPA for there...

and a quart of the best New England clam chowder I've ever had anywhere (except maybe TQ's homemade) to go. And Danica got a slice of key lime pie and a bunch of forks, and if you have been reading this blog for a while, you know how grateful I was for that - I was way too full of clams to have a whole dessert to myself but a couple of bites of creamy key lime yumminess to top of the meal? Wonderful.
Oh, gosh, and that reminds me, there's a sailing committee scheduling meeting on Saturday. I wonder if I could hunt down a Steve's Key Lime Pie somewhere in Manhattan tomorrow?

BTW - interested in going to see the seals at Jones Beach for yourself? You don't need a kayak or a drysuit, just warm clothing, some good walking shoes, and maybe a thermos of something hot (ok, and a car would probably help). The Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center offers guided seal walks all winter. Click here for schedule and details.

You may have grown up in Hawaii...

if you are buying a sandwich and the sandwich maker sticks toothpick frills in the halves of your sandwich and you suddenly have a flashback to small-kid time:

"Barbie kahili!"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy and Peaceful Martin Luther King Day to all

I was mixed up on the day the other day - happens sometimes when I have too much to do in too little time - but I'm almost glad that I made the mistake, because my friend John Edward Harris (Summit to Shore) had a great suggestion for a greeting which I now have to post today:

Dream a beautiful dream this Martin Luther King Day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Boatbloggers 2011 - Friends, Sailors, Boatbloggers, Lend Me Your

Boatbloggers 030

This one's for all my local waterblogged friends.

Word on the streets is that on February 11th, it will once again time for those of us who are so inclined to gather at a friendly local establishment for libations, viands, and talk of many things.

These New York Area Water Blog Fests tend to be rather informal gatherings - the first one I invited a bunch of my friends, for last year's I was in the middle of a particularly hellish time at work so didn't even do that much, and then I think there was a sort of big wild one with umbrella drinks and dancing on the caboose roof at Pier 66 in Manhattan that I missed because I was out of town at the time. This time, I thought it might be nice to, you know, announce it before it happened, especially since Tillerman is considering coming down, which would make it more of a Northeast Area Water Blog Fest (which would fortunately fit within the NAWB acronym, so we wouldn't have to reprint the t-shirts, if there were t-shirts, only there aren't, sorry) - so here you are!

Now, I don't really want to get into RSVP's specifically, but if you'd like to come, it would be helpful if you would let me know in a comment here or else via Facebook message. We've traditionally (if two times = tradition) had the winter gatherings at the salty & historic Ear Inn. We LOVE the Ear, but it works a lot better for a smaller group, so if there turned out to be much interest, we would probably shift the venue to someplace that can handle a bit more of a crowd, even if that means we have to bring our own paper and crayons.
Right to Left:

"We", btw, is a loose conglomeration of a paddling frog (who occasionally swims and sails, too), a Puffin, a Bowsprite, a Tugster, and a chap who likes nothing so much as simply Messing About in Sailboats.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Martin Luther King Day Greetings.

Almost said Happy Martin Luther King Day, but that always just sounds odd. Easter is happy. Hannukah and Halloween are happy. Martin Luther King day...should be something more serious maybe?

Maybe the proper Martin Luther King day greeting would be "A thoughtful Martin Luther King Day to you". Or something like that.

Wish we still had him with us today.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Alison Dyer Re-Opens the Rubbish Rainbow Challenge

Long-time readers may recognize this picture from a couple of years ago!

I'd been inspired to set up this shot by a post Alison Dyer had done on her blog a couple of years back. She somehow ran across it this morning & said "Hey Bonnie, so sorry - I just found this entry. So glad you thought of taking up the Rainbow Garbage Challenge. Perhaps we have to put it out there again for the upcoming paddling season. Any paddler who make a 'rainbow garbage' out of available beach garbage - please send me a photo (the more high res the better)!
cheerz, Alison"

Here's the story behind the photo:

I'd gotten the idea to do this over on Alison Dyer's Squid Ink. She and a couple of her friends were stormbound on an island one day last summer & while killing time, made a Garbage Rainbow. She's been documenting refuse problems in her area of Newfoundland as a personal project, and this was just a twist produced by the weather suddenly handing her some time to kill, but she'd suggested that it might be an interesting project for kayak bloggers who are interested in sort of bringing people's attention to the astounding amount of crap we see out there to do the same in their own areas.

I'd left a comment saying that sounded like fun & I'd probably do one sometime once the weather warmed up enough to make beachcombing fun. See, I had this crazy idea that it was actually going to take me time to get the full spectrum. Ha. Silly me.

It's a little depressing how wrong I was. TQ & I stopped for a quick break on Ruffle Bar on Saturday. Nothing fancy, we just wanted to have a little tea & stretch our legs for a bit. I collected this mini-rainbow in about two minutes, from a shoreline space of just a couple of square yards. I was standing up near the high-water mark, where a lot of the trash gets stuck in the brush along the shoreline. I looked around & realized I was seeing just about every color I needed. Those that were missing, I found just a few steps away.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This Space Intentionally Left, If Not Blank, Then At Least Less Wordy Than Initially Considered.

I got a little angry/snarky/self-righteous over on Facebook today.

Somewhere in there I think there may have been a not-bad point or two. I was thinking I might come home and try to turn my little fit into a blog post.

But the good points were mixed in with some cheap and easy nose-thumbing and somehow it seemed like it would be disrespectful to do that just as the memorial service was about to start.

And then I listened to our President's speech and now find myself thinking it would be disrespectful to do that, period. So I'm not going to.

Peace be with us.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sebago Frostbite Regatta 2011

From Sebago Frostbite Regatta, Jan 8 2011

Of course what was really going on there was a warm-up balance brace -- or would that be cool-down? -- getting ourselves acclimatized for the traditional Sebago Frostbite Regatta rolls. That water is COLD these days, you don't want to just plunge in without a little preparation.

It was another very nice paddle. Despite it being a LOT frostier than it was on the 1st, we had a good crew of 9. Fortunately there was almost no wind (well, fortunately for us, not for my sailing friends who were hoping for a bit of a sail but wisely realized it wasn't going to be worth the bother of rigging, paddles & oars were really the only way a person was going to get anywhere). We saw a couple more seals over by Ruffle Bar, we hit both of the salt marshes near Sebago, and we had a lot of silly fun when we found some thick ice in the closer of the 2 salt marshes.

And as I said when I posted this over on YouTube - I think this video proves without a doubt that any child who thinks that growing up means you stop playing is simply hanging out with the wrong grown-ups.

Another great day on the bay, and another in a great series of winter weekend paddles. I haven't been keeping track but I'm pretty sure it's been at least 4 in a row, and we're hoping for another one this weekend - it's time for the annual Sebago Seal Paddle, the official one at Jones Beach. We've had some nice sightings in the bay, but Jones Beach really is Seal Central in the wintertime. Can't wait!

Monday, January 10, 2011

No contest...

OK, it's official - you guys are hysterical and I can't call this a contest because "contest" implies "winner", and I can't begin to pick my favorite. Kayaklepsy? Kayakalypse? Looking for lost car keys? Passed out after a poo widdle dwinky? Every trip to comment moderation has brought a new giggle, so I declare everyone who commented to be the winner, and if you didn't read the winning entry, well, here they all are.

Virtual drinks all around!

I Decide To Shoot a Beer Commercial in Anegada
I Decide To Shoot a Beer Commercial in Anegada

Oh...and just in case anybody needs it, here's some good strong black coffee, too...


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

Calico's Story - Part 2

And now, the conclusion of my very special guest blogger's tale.

Xmas 1960… I lay on a beach, holed. My waterline was cut through almost to my frames by the relentless slicing of the slush ice. And then one man with an idea (”That hull’s shape should never be lost. That must be an olde catboat.”) came to my rescue. For 50 dollars, I was heading to a home in S. Dartmouth where I would be brought back to life. Xmas passed five times as Gerald Monjeau stripped me to the bone, replaced my frames with locust, filled and faired all the slices and holes and brought me back to full health.

Gerald, a master also at recycling, fashioned a new rig for me, two masts and leeboards. Though ‘different’ from my early racing years, I still felt proud when I tasted salt water in 1966. Catboats were popular then as cruisers, but I sailed fast next to the variety of boats in Padanarum. For 26 Xmases, I was Monjeau’s boat, Calico. Gerald was a working man, but took me out every free minute: Cuttyhunk, , Woods Hole and Home. Over the years I must have sailed 8000 miles with the man.

Xmas 1993… Hurricane Bob had left his mark on Padanarum in late ’92 and I was one of the few that escaped. With little more than a broken bowsprit, I was hauled for the winter and bought by the McKay family of Mashpee. Long time friends of Monjeau, they promised serious care and the protection of the Mashpee River. They also vowed to keep me busy, indeed I spend April to December each year ‘going out’ with some or many of them. Some love taking me to the islands for days on end. Others just like me to be their swim platform. The little ones love the ‘kitchen’

The McKay children , spouses, their children all take their turns; indeed they number 19 as we approach another Xmas. In 2009, I felt 600 miles of Nantucket Sound pass under my hull, 103 voyages included trips down to Cotuit, over near Hyannis, ten days on Nantucket, and countless lunches upriver or down at the spit. Mckay with Eilis walk down to my dock daily to look for birds and fish. Kestrin has come from San Diego to see what boating New England is all about. Brady and Savannah were the last passengers of 2009, and Karen, Katrina and Eve use me as their picnic kitchen and houseboat to the beach. Grace has perfected her diving from my bowsprit. Tadhg has already claimed me as his slice of the ‘pie’ that Papa will leave someday…so I am confident that I shall live on for many more sails. Next spring Breda and Rob will bring me the 10th grandchild to take a nap in my cabin, sit in the sun of my cockpit or get the feel of the tiller with Papa.

So far, by my count, I have covered over 60,000 mi. over the water; I have gone around the Earth next to 2.5 times; giving pleasure to a growing number of people. So next time you are wondering about your mortality, remember that a simple plank from one tree has been and will continue to do it’s job for years to come.

The end - except that it isn't really, is it?

Thank you again to Calico and to her captain, Bill McKay, for sharing her story. I may never have the opportunity to sail with you, but just reading your tale (and better yet, sharing it here on Frogma) has brought warmth, cheer, and summery thoughts to some chilly winter days.

Long may you sail!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Calico's Story - Part 1

And now, it's time for the first of a pair of posts from a very special guest blogger, as promised.

She contacted me through Facebook:

On your blog, you and friends were wondering who and what I was... Catboat / Yawl. built 1898. My captain, Bill McKay slapped her together in woodshop. (er, you do numbers, so that's a lie.) Anyway, if you and your blogger friends want my entire history, write me back! See you on the seas someday... I'll be in Mashpee, Nantucket, Cuttyhunk Marthas Vineyard or Padanarum. Fair winds (er... you don't care, do you?) Calico

Well, I was about as tickled to read that as anything I've gotten through Facebook yet, so of course I got back to her right away.

You all remember Calico, right? She's that lovely converted cat that I'd gotten an instant crush on the minute I saw her on the Mashpee River (and I'm far from the first, she said kayakers stop to admire her all the time):

The posts where we discussed who she was were actually some of my favorites last year, losing out by a whisker to animations in the November section of my 2010 Year in Review. I actually learned a lot about different types of boats as we discussed skutsjen, canoe yawls, cat yawls and other possibilities. I myself spent a ridiculous number of hours surfing the net looking at pictures of boats that all fell in the close-but-not-quite category.

O-Docker was immediately off on the right track with the 3rd comment in the series,

"And metal masts on a (presumably) wooden boat? I wonder if she began life as a catboat and was later converted to a yawl."

It turned out that his gut instinct was right, as was eventually proven by the indefatigable DoryMan, who was first slightly sidetracked by the yawl rig but after more research finally came back first with her name, then with a link to Flickr set taken by Wendy Byar, crewing on the catboat Silent Maid (another beauty) which confirmed that she of the lovely leeboards was indeed Bill McKay's converted catboat, Calico.

Somewhere in there, O-Docker commented,

"If those leeboards could talk, I'll bet they'd have a tale to tell."

They do indeed, and here it is:

Calico's Story, Part 1:

Xmas 1776… I began the living part of my life as a shoot of Northern White cedar, in a rapidly disappearing forest near New Bedford. All around me were stumps of my parent trees which had been cut to supply the vessels of the Revolutionary War, raging along the East coast, up past Boston. I passed 100 Xmases, passed the Civil War; slowly growing into the perfect width for planking – I knew my time was short.
Xmas 1895… The growing part of my life was ended this year; I was harvested for use in boatbuilding. Luckily men were not at war that year; the Civil War was now history and the Spanish American War would not begin until 1898. Newspapers were sounding the call for Americans to build their Army and support the civil war in Cuba. Young men were exposed to the ‘You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war,’ position taken by the newspaper industry, and were enlisting again. But the five years I spent drying out, was also a good time on the national sailboat racing scene. Vigilant, designed by Nathanael Herreshoff, was the victorious United States defender of the eighth America's Cup in 1893. The former working catboat designs were being changed to a racing designs and built by names like Hanley, Dunn, Long, Herreshoff, Crosby and Roberts. And I likely was built by one of these smaller builders – no doubt to be raced against other catboats.

Xmas 1898… I became the hull of a 24 ft. racing catboat. While expert hands of some craftsman shaped me into separate planks and covered the beamy, 10 ft. frame of a future cat, I was feeling the impact of the November 26, 1898 winter storm which paralyzed southern New England. On Thanksgiving Day strong winds, in excess of 40 miles per hour, began blowing from the Atlantic Ocean across the New England coast. Blizzard conditions disrupted the entire area. Transportation became impossible; some trains were halted by 20-foot snow drifts. Boston was perhaps worst hit by the storm. Approximately 100 ships were blown ashore from the city’s harbor and another 40 were sunk. About 100 people died when a Portland-based steamer sank near Cape Cod. Bodies and debris filled the harbors and nearby beaches. The storm is thought to have killed at least 450 people, not to mention the hulls of boats built from my parents’ wood.
After the finishing touches: centerboard, underslung rudder, and gaff sail, I raced in the waters of Narragansett and Buzzards Bays. No one has found much about my first 30 years; but I carried a good skipper for months on end – probably 30 Xmases and 7000 miles under my keel.

Xmas 1930… Documentation exists that I traveled to Monument Beach this year for a rebuild. After my racing career, I was refitted… a major refit; I was to be a working boat. My centerboard was gone; ripped out and replaced with a stout oak keel. My planks were comfortably refastened. Resting atop mounting blocks was a Ford truck engine, and to keep my captains warm there was a working cabin at my bow. My low draft stern was perfect for my job, lobstering the rocky shores along Padanarum. A few working guys owned me and I would get beat up. Working about 25 Xmases: several days a week, and all twelve months of the years, I was tired. 38000 miles of water had passed below my keel; and I lay on the beach, a derelict. Were these cedar planks heading for the fire?

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of Calico's Story.
A very warm thank-you to Bill McKay for providing his lovely boat with an Internet connection so that she could share her story with us this week!