"There is nothing more pleasant than cruising on a boat with the whole family."
Letter from Empress Catherine the Great

Thursday, February 22, 2018

First Half of February: Four "Other" Days and Three Work Days

The "other" days:
One restaurant and theater night with Bennett and Harriett.
Another dinner party at Sheila's house with Bennett, Harriet, Marcy, Christine and Heather. All six in addition to Lene and I are connected to us through diverse ways, and have sailed aboard ILENE. All but two have cruised overnight with us.
An exhibit at the Parsons School which is part of The New School, a quarter mile from home. The subject was "The Ocean After Nature."
It sounded promising or at least relevant, but the concept and execution were both sadly junk: very politicized video displays of  the effect of humankind upon the sea. Sorry, but I have to give it low marks. But the free wine and foods after were good; I called Lene to tell her not to prepare dinner for me. During the noshing I was speaking about my connection to the sea with a stranger. He said he knew a guy who was gay and who wrote a book about his sailing with his partner. I said "Do you mean Gene Kahn? He was a member and on the board of our Club and I sailed with him aboard his boat "Bevel"! I read his book, "Deep Water", and he was quite a good sailor and writer." Sadly AIDS caught up with him maybe ten or more years ago and he is no longer with us. But what a coincidence!
And the last of the four Other days was the Club's visit to the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery of contemporary nautical art in Fairfield CT. Mr. Jinishian, an expert at sailing as well as art, gave us a lot of his time and expertise.

I had checked this gallery out last year (when we went to the Met) and the advantage was that in Fairfield CT we did not have to run all over the huge museum to see the pieces from around the world. In Fairfield the beautiful and expensive pieces of art were all in one jam packed room.
The art did not disappoint but the attendance, only five people, was disappointing. Oh well, as they used to say in Brooklyn: "Wait till next year!" A nice tappas lunch followed at Taberna Restaurant in Fairfield.
                                      Gene, Lene, Rhoda, Lloyd and Roger
And the three work days (11.5 hours total):
The first was at home where I cut and scraped the old elkhide cover off  of the top quadrant of the boat's wheel, sewed on the new, stronger and thicker elkhide replacement and created two black leather rings to cover the seams between old and new. The old had lasted twelve seasons and the other three quarters of it, where my hands were on it less often, seem like they will go for another twelve.
The other two work days were devoted to putting the marine toilets back together again. My instructions had been to tap on the hard white plastic piston rings with a hammer to expand the outside diameter of those rings, where the piston rubs against the cylinder wall, to get a tighter fit. (Unlike an auto engine, which runs hot, we are talking about seawater here so plastic will not burn or melt.) I think I did too good a job because I could not get the cylinder back in with the rings on it. So I used new rings. Another problem: The 5/16" threaded rod I fabricated by cutting the head off a bolt with the Dremmel tool was perfectly adequate for removal of the piston, but not long enough for the reinstallation. So I had to to buy a longer bolt and decapitate it too. The forward head is completely put together, though untested as to leaks. This acid test will take place once the boat is launched. And further work on the reinstallation of the aft head requires that the broken bolt be drilled out.

Stay tuned!