Monday, November 30, 2015

Winter Sailing




So, how did we spend our Thanksgiving? Winter sailing with family and friends. If there are two sailors plunked together at any event, whether it be a wedding, birth or funeral, the talk will inevitably turn to sailing, much to the chagrin of any landlubbers present.

So this is a formal apology to those who were caught captive at the dinner table, and had to endure exhaustive discussions about new and busted equipment, true but slightly exaggerated seafaring triumphs and tribulations, and photos of so many summers past, filled with fear, fun and family. I think you could call that being thankful!

Winter Sailing • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $200

Monday, November 23, 2015

Flying Monkeys


Professor John Marzluff, who studies urban birds at the University of Washington's Aviation Conservation Lab, thinks crows are actually very small flying monkeys. "Neurally, mentally, cognitively, they're a flying monkey." He added that a crow's brain is the size of a human thumb, huge relative to its body. This enables them to solve complex problems pegging them on the intelligence scale with primates.  

Crows also recognize and remember individual faces. "They recognize individual people that are important to them, and when somebody does something dangerous, they mark that person, remember that person, as far as I can tell, for their life," Marzluff states. 
 
So... this means there are
30-some-odd-million flying monkeys circling around out there in this country at any given time. They have marked our faces as good or bad, depending on what kind of mood we all were in the day of our individual encounters. And finally, they never, ever, forget a face.

It suddenly occurs to me that I have never really come to terms with my fear of flying monkeys.

Flying Monkeys • 8" X 8" framed to 12" X 12" • $200


Monday, November 16, 2015

Detective Mysteries


It's late fall. Darkness arrives too early. It's cold, and we we find ourselves with no choice but to withdraw to the safety of our homes where we can only imagine what lurks outside our windows, tapping in time to what we choose to believe, is the howling wind.

I head to the public library weekly this time of year, for about a month, search out a bunch of good detective mysteries, and jump in with both feet. I find that I can generally scare the hell out of myself in good form.

Detective Mysteries • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12"• $200





Monday, November 9, 2015

Working Harbors

Carver's Harbor is a real working harbor, and bedlam at daybreak. But we don't mind. We don't even mind the sound of tires squealing down the main street, ricocheting across the harbor at 2am, or firecrackers clapping a celebration somewhere up on the hill at 3. It's all part of the package.

We used to anchor the claudia along the shoreline, and out of the way in shallow water. The harbor was always chock-full of working boats - there was no room for others, though ours was probably accepted and admired by the fishermen as an ocean survival exercise. The unwritten rule was to just stay the heck out of the way.

When we took on the claudia II, we were launched in to a whole new set of maritime restrictions. We now had a five-foot keel and needed more water to anchor, which struck Carver's Harbor from future logs. So imagine our surprise when, on a whim and looking for a lunch stop last summer, we found a mooring we could use for the night.

Tom counted over 100 lobster boats as we zigzagged our way to town in the dinghy that day. Some of the vessels we passed were pretty impressive. Others were genuine mysteries. You can tell a lot about the captains of these boats by looking at the size, design and condition of their boats, not to mention the names on the stern. But that's bait for another blog.

Working Harbors • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $200



Monday, November 2, 2015

Bug Light Moon



I was out at Bug Light one evening last week trying to imagine what it might feel like to be sitting there on a summer evening waiting for the moon to rise. The moon would be further north than it is now, so I have sketched it that way here.

One of the many floating cities that visit Portland's harbor every season lumbered by, lit up like a, well, city actually. With a scheduled 6:54pm moonrise, I wondered if the cruise ship would obliterate the object of one of my favorite games - guessing where the moon pokes up on the horizon. It was going to be close. Fortunately and soon after the iron beast passed by, I was able to detect a faint reddish glow left behind in it's wake.

As it ended up, I was only two knuckle joints off on my calculations. I then settled back and watched as the moon slowly lifted off like a huge luminous balloon, heavy with millions of souls like me who were holding on for another glorious and sleepless, all night ride across a seemingly endless night time sky.