Sunday, March 8, 2015

Woodsy Skiing, Off Center Harbor, Tom Pamperin

Well it's been a while, Intrepid Readers, and I think it's high time to discuss a small variety of issues that have accumulated over the winter.  There is a fair share of some shameless promotion, but it is all worthy, methinks.

So, let's get this out of the way right now:  I LOVE WINTER.  I LOVE SNOW.  I LOVE COLD.  I LOVE NORDIC SKIING. This has been a GREAT WINTER!

This winter I started delving into the ancient and wonderful art of pine-tarring, waxing, and using WOOD skis.  They ski as woodie as you can imagine: They are smooth and quiet, fast and classic. I have two pairs, and am looking for a particular third, with plans to maybe make my own pair this summer.  Lots of fun potential, here, I strongly recommend (duh) which is run by the ever passionate Greg in MN who is keeping unique traditions alive, something that we here at GISAmateur can keenly appreciate.  Wood and traditional boats, wood skis, making life difficult for ourselves, stinking up the house with ancient concoctions, etc. "It smells hectic down here!" My brother yelled from the top of the basement stairs as a lit the pine tire on fire...

Obviously, it is very important to look classically classy while in the deep woods all by yourself:

My lovely, wonderful, amazing, sumptuous Madshus touring skis from the late 1960s

Pushing the Madshus around
Smoooooth as butter
Lovely Wife and I went to Acadia National Park and did some skiing there.  I have never skied next to an ocean before, and I highly recommend it! It was certainly neat to look out onto the same water I sail in the summer but under the dim broken light of midwinter, swept with snow squalls and now a hypothermic menace. If you ever want to have an entire National Park at your disposal without the summer madness, I highly recommend this time of year for a visit to Acadia.  Weather prevented summiting the higher mountains (40kts+ wind and blowing snow), but we had a great time low off the ridges down on the historic carriage and shore roads.

#2: Back to SAILING!

In other news, some of you may have noticed that Sea Pearl SCOUT and I have been on a somewhat heavy cinematic rotation.  The Intrepid Readers will remember BCBCBFest, where we had a fortuitous meeting with the dynamic and cutting-edge guys over at OFF CENTER HARBOR which have amassed a more-than-impressive collection of videos that detail everything from building a Caledonia Yawl step-by-step to the meditative aspects of small boats sailing on lakes.  There is truly something at this website for everyone, the videos are well done, highly informative, and feature heavy-hitting-legendary narrators, such as ***Doug Hylan, Maynard Bray, Harry Bryan***...! This is not an amateurish effort (unlike...well...) and if you subscribe to any magazine on sailing, boating, wood boats, etc., this would be a perfect addition to your library.


Hamilton Marine sent out a recent email with the SCOUT video here... please watch our greatness (and then come join me for some sailing in Maine!) and after I whet your appetite, sign up at OCH if you are thinking about it for yourself, or a friend.


Tom Pamperin, skipper of JAGULAR the legendary Bolger Pirate Racer which has been festooning obscure small boat websites for many years has published a uniquely humorous book on their dynamic adventures in "Jagular Goes Everywhere: MisAdventures in a $300 Boat." I have a copy, and you should have a copy too.  If you are reading this blog, chances are you have built a 3-digit boat, want to build a boat, or have happily descended the path of small boat madness, lost all your friends, and are now living in semi-permanent status in some frigid garage arguing with recalcitrant epoxy while your coffee goes cold... again. I send you greetings you hapless hermit for YOU ARE NOT ALONE in a cold brutal world which does not understand this particular madness! YOU HAVE FRIENDS! Friends like Captain Callsign and Cap'n Jon, and Dan Noyes, and Tom Pamperin--who has never sailed with the three of us but who is of the same mind-- I know because I read his book!  Your bathroom is warmer than the garage, and this book will keep you good company for those quiet times.

Let's talk 3 digit boats. Build a Duck Punt for crying out loud.  Especially if you are in northeast MA, NH, or southern ME. Maybe we can get a racing series or something like that going on.

I know, I know, repeat picture but I so love MRS MUMBLES and she loves ME

My favorite wood-buying-place is Goose Bay Lumber in Chichester, NH.  Lie Nielsen had an event there recently, and I did not go, but I am sad about that, but this somewhat famous spoon carving fellow put up a very nice blog post about the event, and I share it here so you can see where I buy the wood for my projects and my boats.  Carl and Carl Jr. and team are very helpful and there is a wonderful variety of neat-O woods, and they have great marine plywood selection!

To hold you over until next time: Check out this great pic of SCOUT sailing Muscongus Bay last summer, taken by Green Mountain John of WAXWING fame!

I think that is all I have for now for you, you funny Intrepid Reader types who just keep coming back for more! You're all great!


  1. Well, that was (is) refreshing! Thanks! But, I wonder, will fame and fortune (you are raking in royalties, right?) go to your head and distance you from us, your Intrepid Reader types...


  2. The Fame will certainly go to our heads, SCOUT and I now sport large sunglasses and fake mustaches for disguises. The Fortune part doesn't exist, as this is all pro-bono in support of those that support and help diffuse our little idiosyncratic hobby. (and I felt like the blog needed a post of at least something).