Well here we are again, already into the New Year, 2017. I trust you all had a happy and safe Christmas and New Year break.
What a great get together was missed by those who couldn’t attend our Christmas lunch at the Albert Park Yacht Club. The 30 plus who attended made little impact on the feast provided by the Club and the dedicated cooks from each family – I suspect many a trade was made of the left-overs.
Apart from meal, a few enjoyed the chance to have a pre-lunch sail, and Jim made more tests of the trim and seating in his new rowing skiff.
It was another busy and varied year in the WBA with:
Visits to Seaworks, seeing the Tenacious entry to Williamstown, tool sharpening at Geoff Divco‘s workshop, one pot cooking, St Ayles skiff visit
WBA boat trips Paynesville Classic Boats, Geelong Wooden Boat Festival, Maribrynong River trip with the St Ayles skiff, Weekend away to Paynesville and day on the Werribee River
I thank the Committee and others for organising these events.
Of course our last meeting of the year wouldn’t have been complete without the presentation of the awards for 2016.
The Broken Oar Award had attracted many contenders with competition hotting up for this coveted award. Contenders included David O’Dempseys’ unexpected and unnecessary inspection of the underside of the hull of his doracle while it was afloat in Albert Park Lake. There was also someone who when travelling under the bridges on the Maribyrnong believed his deckie when she said the mast would fit under the bridge beam only to hit the bridge. But the winner of this year’s award goes to the person who lead us up the Mitchell River only to get comprehensively snagged in the middle of the river where his boat was rocked about his midships like a see saw. The winner of the broken oar award is therefore David Stott.
This year the committee decided on an additional special award to go to a true stalwart of the WBA. (More and pictures follow-)
The 2017 ICWDR promises to be a bigger event than in previous years because the Australia Day weekend is spread over four days, beginning with the Australia day holiday on Thurs. 26th January.
Inverloch is not too far for a day trip from Melbourne on one of those days if you do not have overnight accommodation.
The model boat exhibition will be a new addition to the regatta events and WBA members are cordially invited to bring their model boats to add to the displays. The venue will be in the Inverloch basketball stadium so there will be plenty of space for a large number of models to be put on show and complete security for the exhibits.
Local model makers Keith Suckling and Alan Odges will have their collections on display and the exhibition will be open for all four days of the regatta.
The regatta program includes the following items:-
Thursday 26th Jan. Cruise across the inlet and picnic lunch on the beach for dinghies entered in the regatta.
Friday 27th Jan. Regatta races & Regatta Dinner
Saturday 28th Jan. Display of boats with public judging, activities for children, food stalls etc
Sunday 29th Jan. Vintage (wooden?) aircraft flyover Inverloch. (may occur on other days as well).
More details about the regatta, including entry forms for those planning to enter a boat, can be found at the South Gippsland Yacht Club website. Follow the ICWDR link. AND There is also an "Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta" Facebook page with news and photos.
Contact Leigh McNolty (0428 218 062) if you have any questions about the regatta or you are thinking about participating with your boat or putting a model boat on display.
Last Sunday (5/12/16) Orlando and I went to a lecture hosted by the Australian institute of Archeology, given by Shelly Wachsman, professor of biblical archeology at Texas A&M university.
Shelly happened to be working for the Israeli department of antiquities in 1986 when the remains of an 8m wooden fishing boat were discovered on the shores of the sea of Galillee, the largest fresh water lake in Israel which is about 12km x 21km. He described the 11 night and day operation to extract the remains from the mud as rainwaters threatened to inundate the site once more, how police were employed to keep treasure hunters away and how heavy machinery was employed to keep the floodwaters back.
Eventually the waterlogged timbers were encased in polyurethane foam and the entire remains were refloated on the lake and towed to the Yigal Alon museum further along the shore. A crane lifted the assembly into a hastily constructed water pool where, over the next 11 years the water in the wood was slowly replaced with Poly Ethlyene Glycol. (I have heard that this is the process they used on the Mary Rose remains in the UK and the Wassa remains in Stockholm. This is apparently the only way to stabilise the wood, which will shrink to dust if it is allowed to dry out.)
This was all good to know – but what about the wooden boat? It turned out that analysis of the timber and construction techniques plus pottery remains found with the boat have dated it at BC50 to AD70. The boat has earned the nickname “the Jesus boat” because of its location and time period. Evidence does suggest that this style of boat may well have been the type that Jesus slept in and called his fisherman disciples from. The location of the boat was not far from Mary Magdalene’s home town.
It has been six months since selling Beth and relocating to California. I’m still recovering from the culture shock but I’m now comfortably driving on the wrong side of the road and happily ignoring red lights on right hand turns. I still have some trouble with the funny accents but one work colleague helpfully informed me that you could enrol in accent reduction classes. I offered to pay the tuition for him but he seemed to take my kind offer the wrong way and hasn’t spoke to me since.
Apart from a few minor complaints I have settled into my six day working week and figured the most appropriate purchase with my first pay check was plans for the Caledonian Yawl from the Wooden Boat Shop. I can’t wait to move back to Australia, get a workshop again and start building!
The East Bay Area and Monterey Bay The most common traditional boat along the California coast is the Monterey clipper whose hull shape came with Italian immigrants in the 1800s. Clipper construction boomed with the sardine cannery industry in the 1930’s.
My first sighting of a Monterey clipper was on the Santa Cruz boardwalk as a static display boat. They are mostly about 28 foot, making them similar in length to a Couta boat but the double ended design makes them appear very small for a commercial fishing boat.
I have seen some very well restored Monterey Clippers along Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and lots of “fixer uppers” in Santa Cruz and Monterey.
We had registered Penguin to go around to Narooma for Boats afloat festival, which is always a good trip and event. The slide on was packed and Penguin’s trailer all but hitched up to the car.
However, over the past month or two we have moved my parents into Aged Care with all the work that that entails, and we had to sell their house. The Estate Agent wanted to see us to list the house, the night we were supposed to already be gone. Then there was a huge amount of packing and clearing to be done before the first potential buyers came through over the weekend.
It all got too hard and we could not justify running off for a boating weekend 700 km’s away through all that. So we shelved the trip and got stuck into the house spending a couple of full days with the help of family and friends and got it to an acceptable state for open days.
Meanwhile our son Andrew was crewing on the Paddle Steamer Alexander Arbuthnot, from Echuca downstream to Koondrook/Barham, for the opening of their new wharf on the following Monday. He said why don’t you come to Koondrook? It is not too far. As we were already packed, our calendars were cleared and we could do no more on the house in the short term, we decided to go to Koondrook. Koondrook is located on the Murray river about an hour’s drive west of Echuca, near Cohuna and Kerang.
The council have built a new interpretive wharf that winds among the trees on the spot of the original Koondrook wharf, with a pontoon extension suitable for Paddle Steamers.
The Arbuthnot was built in Koondrook as a barge in 1916 by the Arbuthnot saw mills, then was converted to a steamer in 1923. She was the last Paddle Steamer built on the river in the paddle steamer age. It was the first time in about 70 years that she had been back to Koondrook, and of course this made quite an event for Koondrook and when we arrived, she was already busy taking one hour cruises.
The opening of the wharf occurred on Monday, and despite it being a weekday, all the politicians and councillors were there and all the community turned out as well and a surprisingly large crowd witnessed the opening. The wharf is a great feature for the town, and I think it is a case of “build it and they will come”. For boats travelling on the river it is a convenient stopping spot with good mooring and the town services are right there.
The Wooden Boat Association was formed in 1989 for people who enjoy wooden boats and wooden boat building.
Members appreciate wooden boats for their aesthetic qualities, the beauty of the boats and the materials from which they are constructed, and the pure romance of wooden boats.
In this age of mass production, each wooden boat is as individual as her owner.
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