Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A boat

Someone said that a boat is a hole in the water into which men pour money. This is a rather accurate description of a boat. Another wise man commented that the two happiest days in the life of boat ownership is the day you buy the boat and the second is the day you sell it.

I dearly love to build wooden boats. I have built several through the years and have found it very satisfying. One of the first boats I built is on a web site called Uncle Jon’s if you want to see some pictures of my boat builds. I am now building a sneak boat. In reality it is a flat bottomed canoe or pirogue that I dream of using on small streams/creeks and snagging smallmouth bass, blue gill, black perch and goggle eye. I grew up fishing in small creeks and fell in love with them. Later my fishing focus naturally evolved as Stockton Lake became an amazing fishery and it was close to home. Now that I have time to rediscover who I am it occurs to me that I never really did like lake fishing as much as I did the stream experience and plan to return to my first love. Creek fishing engages all of your senses as you sneak into the fish’s kitchen and offer your subtle substitutes. Lake fishing is a communal sport with people all around. Creek fishing is done best in isolation. In isolation one can even think important thoughts and maybe even hear the voice of the Maker. I could go on about creek fishing and probably will in later blogs, but for today I want to talk about wooden boats. So forgive me when I don’t close the blog by saying something like, “I hope to see you on the creek”, because I really hope I don’t see anyone when I am on the creek.

I plan to build this canoe/pirogue as light as I can. I hope to keep it under 50 pounds so I can drag it behind me as I wade and load it easily into the truck. I am building it out of ¼ inch plywood and joining it all together with fiberglass cloth and resin. I plan to paint it camouflage so I can use it as a blind/hide as I fish, hunt and take photographs from it. I am now in the design and construction stage and will blog a picture of it when I get it finished.

I have not yet attached photo’s to my blog and if I can I will do so to show off some of the boats I have built so far.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The bear

My car is in the shop having a little body work make over to correct a bent bumper and some sheet metal that resulted after a utility pole moved behind me as I backed up. The reason the truck being out of commission is germane to this blog is that my dog Dakota usually rides in the back as we drive to the trail head. Dakota, in typical dog-like fashion, never misses an opportunity to do the dog-thing and roll in the foulest smelling thing she can find. And, yes, she stinks to high heaven. Since the truck is out of commission at the moment the only other option for taking Dakota is riding in the back seat of Gail's car. The smell takes that option off the table. Ok, back to the bear. I decided just to walk to the trail head. This decision put me and Dakota way behind Joe and Lois Grantham on the trail. When we met them after their turn-around they were somewhat shaken because they saw an animal on the trail they did not expect. It was not a dog, nor a hog the long-time natives to the area declared. It was too big to be a ground hog or a coon. After going through a process of elimination they believe it was a cub bear weighing in at 70 to 80 lbs. If Dakota had been in her normal position on the trail they would have never witnessed the rare bear sighting because she would have been far ahead of us and would have dispersed the bear before we would have been aware of its presence. I didn’t see the bear although Joe believes he got a glimpse of it the next day far in the distance. Isn’t it odd how little choices make so much difference in our lives. If I had not backed into the utility pole I would have driven Dakota to the trail, she would have been out in front in full attack mode and we would have never seen the bear. Philosophers and theologians have spilled much ink over such musings in the past. I think I will leave the heavy lifting to them and just look for bears.