Friday, March 16, 2007

An Island Unto Oneself. A New Week of Sailing.

This is the island to which I tied my sailing canoe this week. It's about 50 feet across, and located in the middle of the Banana River Lagoon. I almost stepped on another stingray, and saw more dolphins. None of them seem to want to play with me, so that's sad. (LOL.) It was very windy, but my little canoe sailed great. I paddled a lot, too, and am now quite sore. But that's a good thing. I'm making more adjustments to my rig, and really must make a nice, comfortable sleeping/relaxing area, which I'll do this weekend. I bought nav lights and an anchor light, and will anchor-out for my nights this coming week.... It's funny. My best friend (a girl, of all things) recently left the country (for good), and I am extremely depressed, so I think my canoe is filling her space. Maybe I'll name the canoe after her. I didn't expect to feel this devastated. One last time, I guess. I've said that before. But friendship and love are such cruel temptations. I'll probably give my heart to others, I don't know, maybe. I don't plan these things. I'm just gonna sail, watch the stars, play with the dolphins and manatees, paint pictures, and allow the humans to do as they please.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Drawings tonight

Here are some drawings I did tonight. Even though I'm working a lot on likenesses, all three of the teenage girls here look MUCH too similar in my drawings. The flash didn't work for the girl/guy couple, but I can say with confidence that my drawing of the guy was a very nice likeness. And a little funny. And I'm giving attention to VALUE much more. For instance, the guy here had a much lighter skin tone than his girlfriend. (Note: the flash does weird things to drawings.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I saw my first stingray today. All I could think of was Steve Irwin, who was killed by one of these guys (in a wild stroke of bad luck). Stingrays are generally timid, and only "sting" when sensing a desperate need for defense. ... I followed this fella around a while in the clear-as-air water. In the photo he (she?) is mostly covered by sand, which is their way of hiding. Cool.

The Sea was glassy and clear

More testing of my sailing canoe today. There was no wind until afternoon, so I got to paddle a lot. I need it! Also today I learned to "paddle-sail,", in which I lash the mainsheet and the tiller (so the boat sails itself) and then I grab a paddle and stroke along with the wind, which, I found, dramatically increases speed during light airs.

Designing an Ocean-going Sailing Canoe

I was wondering if I could build a cheap, tough sailboat which can go out on the ocean, carry plenty of supplies, be unsinkable, and, finally, be small and light enough to carry around atop my Jeep. I came up with idea of a polyethelyne canoe (around $350) with home-made outriggers, sail, and lots of floatation. And so I made it. It's modular, so the outriggers/sleeping platform/maststep/daggerboard section disconnects from the canoe. I filled the canoe, to a large degree, with lightweight floatation foam (and soda bottles). The vessel has a capacity of about 800 pounds, so it can carry me and all the food and water I need for extended periods, like, several weeks, which island hopping and ocean passages require. I know it's crazy, but not really. I've read many books on sailing and passage-making and boat design, and so I have a good understanding of what's necessary, what's dangerous, what's possible. ... Anyway, it's still just a prototype, and not even painted yet, but I've been testing it over on the Banana River Lagoon, and it works! I still must adjust some elements, and fine-tune and paint it, but my theories have been serviced well.