End to End

“The good stuff” – marine plywood.

After a long winter of hibernating, work on the Bevin’s Skiff has begun in earnest. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been studying the plans and gathering materials including three sheets of Hydrotek meranti/keruing marine plywood (also known as “the good stuff”) and some bronze fittings.

Over two weekends, I completed the cutting and shaping of the stem and transom pieces in white oak. The stem is drilled to accept a bronze bow eye. With the two end pieces done, now I just need to finish everything in between!

Transom layout.
Finished transom and stem piece.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve 2007 at Westminster Abbey.

Ten years ago, I celebrated New Year’s Eve with a festive group hosted by Graeme Napier at Westminster Abbey in London. We had a sumptuous meal which we had all pitched in to help cook. Afterward, we processed around the abbey community performing some of the rituals from the Scottish Hogmanay celebration. Before midnight, Graeme led us up twisting stairs to the roof of the abbey’s northwest tower from which we watched the fireworks and spectacle of the crowds below. The night ended with a group rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” in the nave.

This year, with the temperature hovering in the single digits outside, I’m staying in and reflecting on the past year. Of course, the biggest event was our wedding which brought together and joined our families and closest friends. I finished a few woodworking projects and published a book. We traveled to San Diego, Chicago, New Orleans, and all over the Midwest visiting family. All told, 2017 was a good year for me personally.

As the clock strikes midnight, I’m hopefully optimistic that in the coming year our country will return to a path of civility, decorum, compassion, and neighborliness.