Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sail away

We have officially put our section on the market and the horizon I can see past Shakespeares Cliff (named by Cook in 1769) is compelling!
My grandfather, Hugh McRae, was a naval architect. He came out from Scotland early last century to build floating gold dredges on the west coast of the South Island then went on to design the paddle steamer Earnslaw which was the mail and supply boat on Lake Wakatipu out of Queenstown. She is still running and is now a tourist attraction coming up 100 years old.
I built my first boat at 11. I hammered out a piece of corrugated iron till it curled up, brought the ends togther and bent them over with greasy rags as caulking to form the bow and stern. Then I lashed two lengths of big bamboo to it forming an outrigger with more bamboo as floats. My mother refused to let me take it out to sea so I mucked around in the estuary spearing flounder and catching crabs which I once boiled up in an old paint tin. No wonder I can hear voices!!
My first sailboat was an old kauri P class built like a brick shithouse and if I capsized it more than three times it would slowly sink until only the nose could be seen. Great fun though. I made a spinnaker out of mums old sheets and cruised along happy as a sandboy.
While in High School I raced Arrows, an open dinghy with mainsail and spinnaker, out of the Howick Sailing Club. There were 70 boats in the club so it taught me a lot about performance. Then I found fishing and a procession of adventures in speedboats followed.
But that's another story!

6 comments:

fucoid said...

... spearing flounder... dream come true.

chook said...

Not from the flounders point of view!

Hopper said...

Don't you find it funny how when the pier is empty it's easy to dock a boat... but when the pier is cull of other sailors you always have to make a few cuts at it???

Great narrative here...

Drew me right in...

Could have been my mariner background from Newfoundland...

You'd be a brave and hardy soul to sail our seas...

... ...

...

Aside from that...

Sorry to have aired that past conversation here...

I mean no disrespect to you as an author...

I hope that it's not something you are sore about...

But if it is...

I hope you'll call me out on it... like the Crow did...

It's alright for us to be akin of words, and respectful in that, but opposed by ideas...

Thanks for being there... thanks for making all this possible...

Till soon...

JP

chook said...

Ahh the pressure to look like a man who knows what he is doing! What should we care, but we do.
I have absolutely no problems about you airing your conversations on my site. I would love to think it was a forum for all kinds of discussions.
I also feel sad that you and Crow are at loggerheads and hope it is just a misunderstanding. I don't want to lose either of you.

Anonymous said...

morning dave.. its johnny b, been keeping up with yer blog whenever I get the chance.. love yer work mate.. peace

chook said...

Hey Johnny, what a surprise. I miss our conversations. What are you up to?