As usual, my plans for a leisurely finish to the season went up in smoke. Had to lay in another 55-gallon drum of midnight oil. The non-skid went on the decks, followed by one more coat of paint.

But I was still missing a fair amount of hardware. For the bow plate and oarlock plates, I made 3/16″ plywood mock-ups and glued leather to their surfaces. I did a bit of tooling on the leather, then made sand molds of them. It’s always so exhilarating when it works.

The roar of the furnace and the smell of burning oil clay. Oh yeah.

Meanwhile, Marieke and I took one of my oarlocks from bronze casting class and made a far larger version out of wood to fit her monstrous oars.  Draw it up, cut it out of Port Orford cedar as a squarish lump, turn the squares to octagons, the octagons to sixteenagons, the sixteenagons to thritytwoagons, sand it for a while and cast it. Damn if the oarlock didn’t come out perfect. And her second one–oh my god–that woman has a future in bronze work.

Even the foundry got worked up. I guess I was running too hot a flame, and the crucible melted about an inch down into the firebrick floor. Jeez.

The next night it all went together, after hours of grinding and polishing. Marieke, Roy, and Derik stuck in ’til the bitter end.

And, right on schedule, finished. Three in the morning. No problem–I don’t load out for another five hours.

It looks pretty cool on the water. And I think with a few trip’s worth of tarnish, it’ll look even better.

I’ve got a short list of details to attend to before her next trip, but wow–what a treat to have her looking so sweet. Cataract at forty-two years old.