Monday, June 21, 2010

Andrew Kitchen's J II/Arctic Tern

Taken at Mystic Seaport, this photo of Andrew's J II was used as the header for this years John Gardner Small Craft Workshop at Mystic, June 5 & 6.

J II pre launch

In the water

Andrew sailing at Mystic

The J II or Jeanne Henderson bears Iain's mothers name and is quick and lively, but a bit tender, IO redesigned her with a bit more beam and she's now the Arctic Tern

A very nice build, indeed.

The accursed yoke tiller. Even Iain Oughtred doesn't like them

all photos courtesy Andrew Kitchen

Timing is everything, it is said. Recently a posting on the Oughtred Yahoo group caught my eye. Andrew Kitchen had uploaded some pictures of his Oughtred J II. The J II is the first iteration of my all time favorite of Iain's designs, the Arctic Tern. She was fast and nimble, but a bit tender, so Mr. Oughtred redesigned her for more stability, with a bit more beam and more strakes per side. From Andrew:
The boat was completed in 2004, so she is actually a J II Yawl (the
earlier design on which Arctic Tern was based). She performs
beautifully, although she is a little tender, which I think explains
why IO modified the design. I have day-sailed her since, but never
cruised. I'll be showing her at this year's Wooden Boat Show at Mystic,
as part of the IBIM exhibit. I am particularly excited about this as
Iain Oughtred is scheduled to attend the show this year.

Yes, indeed. Last night I made a last minute decision to purchase my ticket to the Oughtred Tribute Dinner next Saturday evening at the WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport. Now sold out. I'll be looking to meet Andrew and his boat, which he's bringing to Mystic for the I Built It Myself exhibit. Maybe I can even cadge a sail!
Silent Maid will also be there...hmmm, maybe I'll be able to cadge another sail. I know that Russ Mannheimer is also planning to attend, unfortunately not arriving in Sjogin, oh well. Still it looks to be a great weekend. See ya there.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ulithi, Happy Father's Day

USS Card
courtesy tobyotter

USS Franklin

courtesy Emmett Baker's Ulithi website

Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands
courtesy Wikipedia

That's Dad, Signalman Second Class, USN on the right, typically with a beverage in hand.

Eugene Alford Armstrong

All photos are from Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands between Aug. 1944 and Nov. 1945
personal archive

My Dad served in the US Navy during WWII. As his eldest son, and born in 1951, dad's memories of his service experience were still vivid and I was constantly hearing the stories. He served for a spell on the USS Card, a Bouge-class escort aircraft carrier. He was a Signalman, Second Class. In those times a signalman was required to carry his battery for the signal lights on his back, backpack style. About 50lbs. worth. While wearing this gear my Dad fell from grace, ie. the USS Card, into the sea, was rescued but lost a kidney in the affair. The stories he told of his recuperation on Long Island and foray's into Manhatten almost daily included the fact that as a sailor in uniform he could not buy his own drinks or dinner, so generous were his admirers. What he told me about the reaction of young ladies will go unmentioned. Later he shipped out to Ulithi Atoll in the Western Carolines, which became the largest Naval base in the South Pacific and was the staging area for the war with Japan. Unlike many, Dad thoroughly enjoyed his service. Over and over again he repeated the story of the USS Franklin being towed into harbor on Ulithi listing severely to starboard. Read more about the Franklin and Ulithi at Emmet Baker's website.
At one point Dad acquired a small mahogany runabout, powered by a little 40hp. Merc outboard, which proved to be a magic carpet, opening a gateway to the Ohio, waterskiing, and overnight camping trips on 18 mile Islands. The best kind of fun for young kids and worth the prep work we put into the boat. Dad moved on to the universal oceanic many years ago. I have no doubt that the stories and the boat were the seed of my current interest. Thanks Geno! Happy Fathers Day.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

March13 2010 Nor'easter at Beaton's Boatyard

I can't tell what this is and Suzanne didn't know either, thought it might be a boat part.


Mantoloking Beach

Beaton's from a parking lot across the bay

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking Beach

Mantoloking Beach

Looking south from the boatyard


Boatyard awash


all photos courtesy Suzanne Beaton

I remember this day vividly. Even inland, nearly 100 miles from Beaton's, we experienced high winds, up to 50+ mph and constant rain, a wild day. Rain hard enough to create the first ever leak in my apartment.
The photos here were taken by Suzanne Beaton, wife of Tom Beaton, the third generation operator of this venerable boatyard, known for it's very high quality of workmanship, it's attention to several Barnegat A Cats, left to the yard for upkeep and a builder of high quality. Responsible for at least five A'cat builds, Beaton's is also home to Sjogin. I found this suite of storm photos while casually browsing Facebook. At first blush they appeared to be ordinary snaps of a tremendous weather event. My memory of the day and the furosity of the storm held me a bit and slowly I began to sense something more interesting. I began to see these photos as a straightforward attempt to communicate experience of the storm, probably as seen through the eyes of a gifted amateur photographer. They were pretty gray, so I played with them slightly in my photo editor, pulling out some color here and there, adjusting luminosity. Inevitably I began to compare my response to these photos to my perception of the photos on the gulf tragedy I had recently put up. I was struck by the ability of these photos to somewhat innocently convey the event, without reference to their maker, in contrast to the highly self conscious ( though beautiful) photographs by professional photographers and photojournalists in the previous post. During a phone conversation with Suzanne, she answered my question as to whether or not she was a professional photographer "not quite" and confirmed her status as a gifted amateur as I had guessed. I thought so for two reasons, first, she had not manipulated the photos and second, and more importantly, her 'style' did not intrude on the communication of the photographs. They are pretty straightforward, beautiful in their own right, but not self referential and loaded with 'art' baggage. I found the contrast with the pro's pictures revealing and instructive. Suzanne's work exhibits a good eye for composition, a demanding search for the fact, but are unencumbered with the need to convince us that she is a 'good' photographer. I applaud this and feel it makes for clearer communication. Let me know what you think.

The bay and marsh pictures are from the vicinity of the Beaton Yard, and the beach pics are Mantoloking Beach.
You can view the original photos and much more on the Boatyard's Facebook page, if you are a friend.

Thanks to Suzanne and Tom Beaton.

I am posting these photos with joy and a great deal of admiration for Suzanne's 'braving the storm' to document it.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oops, we may have a problem here

Seawater covered with thick black oil splashes up in brown-stained whitecaps off the side of the supply vessel Joe Griffin at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana Sunday, May 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A tugboat moves through the oil slick on May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. (Michael B. Watkins/U.S. Navy via Getty Images) #

Oil burns during a controlled fire May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard is overseeing oil burns after the sinking, and subsequent massive oil leak, from the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform off the coast of Louisiana. (Justin E. Stumberg/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Dark clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico, May 6, 2010. The U.S. Coast Guard working in partnership with BP PLC, local residents, and other federal agencies conducted the "in situ burn" to aid in preventing the spread of oil. (REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg-US Navy)

A pod of Bottlenose dolphins swim under the oily water Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Winds cause ripples to form on the water of grassy marsh wetlands in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, as work continues to try to protect it from the massive oil spill on May 9, 2010 in Gulf of Mexico. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

An oil-stained cattle egret rests on the deck of the supply vessel Joe Griffin at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, Sunday, May 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Oily water is seen off the side of the Joe Griffin supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, May 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A helicopter takes off from the helipad of the Development Driller III, which is drilling the relief well at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico on May 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Gerald Herbert)

15 One of the New harbor Islands is protected by two oil booms against the oil slick that has passed inside of the protective barrier formed by the Chandeleur Islands, as cleanup operations continue for the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster off Louisiana, on May 10, 2010. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Blobs of oil from the massive spill float on the surface of the water on May 5, 2010 in Breton and Chandeleur sounds off the coast of Louisiana. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Captain Johnny Bourgeois and deckhand Chris Crappel (left) of Venice, Louisiana retie netting for shrimp trawling as they wait for the shrimp season to reopen in Venice, Louisiana May 9, 2010. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced that the shrimp season in the territorial seas of the central coast of Louisiana from Four Bayou Pass to Freshwater Bayou were closed effective sunset Saturday. (REUTERS/Sean Gardner)

Louisiana National Guard Private Dallas Bacon guides a dump truck as they use dirt to create an earthen barrier as they try to protect an estuary from the massive oil spill on May 10, 2010 in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Louisiana National Guardsmen use Blackhawk helicopters to build a dam to protect the fragile wetlands known locally as "Bayou" near the town of Grand Isle, as work continues to protect the coastline from oil after the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster off Louisiana, on May 11, 2010. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty)

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill makes its way to shore on Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana on May 7, 2010. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Vernon Bryant)

An aerial view of the northern Chandeleur barrier islands shows sheens of oil reaching land, Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The islands rest 20 miles from the main Louisiana coastline. (AP Photo/David Quinn)

This image provided by NASA shows the Mississippi Delta (top right) and the growing oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico on May 5, 2010. Photo was taken by International Space Station Expedition 23 flight engineer Soichi Noguchi. (AP Photo/NASA - Soichi Noguchi)

Shrimp boats are used to collect oil with booms in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, Wednesday, May 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

An oil soaked bird struggles against the oil slicked side of the HOS Iron Horse supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana Sunday, May 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

all photos:
© 2010 NY Times Co.

I haven't yet written about the Gulf disaster because it has seemed overwhelming and incomprehensible and beyond the scope of my reporting, though certainly not beyond the scope of 70.8%'s stated intention. I found these photos and felt they were a testament to the realities that will stand alone. While they do not encompass the totality of suffering by humans, critters, plant and stone, they do give us a window. Even the very wind is affected.
Amidst the flurry of finger-pointing, with harsh vitriol being doled out to BP, to Obama, to NOAA, I'd like us to remember that anyone reading this is complicit in this crime against our Mother and home.

Thanks to the Boston Globe and the NY Times group for making this witness available.

PS: I don't quite know how to say this but... beautiful photographs of tragedy are in themselves a paradox and irony. Perhaps amateur photos would in an sense convey the tragedy more explicitly.

Certainly the gulf disaster is a wake up call to us all, and especially points a finger towards a return to fishing under sail.