Well, back to Flagstaff and back to normal. Oh wait. Normal is over with. No more normal. So might as well go get a Covid test. Nostril rape is really weird. Especially from a space woman. But I thought it a good idea since I’d been traveling and was about to go do a commercial river trip. But wouldn’t you know it: results take a week or so. By which time I was downriver. Never did get the results.



Some really lovely coverage of Fretwater boat world came out while we were traveling. We got The Gulch cover story with words by me and fabulous photos by my lovely and talented sweetheart Dawn Kish. Click on her name for more about her work. Click on Forward Into the Past for a glimpse of the magazine and the opportunity to order one.



Not only that but Patagonia did a lovely story as well (online only) with more of Dawn’s images. Find it here: Bound For Dory


I made a run to the glass recycler to dump about six months’ worth of bottles. How many Irish whiskey bottles can you find? Also fancy vermouth. Kind of embarrassing. It’s my guests that drink all those. Really.



Then I was off downriver rowing a big yellow raft for Canyon Explorations. I saw a couple feral goats. Unfortunately they were in close proximity to some bighorn sheep, and domestic critters give the bighorns pneumonia. So I turn them in to the feds. Bye bye.



Covid boating was a bit odd, but not that hard to do. LOTS of hand washing and masks anywhere near the kitchen. No close gatherings, and so forth. Man it was hot. Too hot for this old boy.


I got a cute new mask and thought it would amuse folks, but most folks didn’t seem to notice I was wearing one. They thought I looked the same.



My best buds Andy and RJ came to town for a week or two to knock out a few Doryaks and work the kinks out of production for this winter’s output. (Demand is growing!) Andy is doing one as a stitch-and-glue and may have plans for sale once he gets the bugs worked out. RJ and Dawn are building traditional. Spooky and Peekaboo wait patiently outside as their sisters gestate.
















Of course they need oars as well.







Meanwhile Spooky is getting a bit of retrofitting. We are revamping the wiring system for the bilge pumps, cutting in spare oar slots, and doing a bit of fine tuning here and there.
My current project is working with Shine Creative Industries to create a cool website for the Boatworks and blog. It’ll be a month or more but hopefully it will provide a good searchable showcase for all our shenanigans.
Lastly, what with all the Doryak publicity I’m getting a lot of queries. Here are some answers:
No, I don’t have plans for sale. We design them and loft them full scale and build right from the lofting. So I really don’t have a way to sell plans. However, Andy Hutchinson at High Desert Dories does sell plans and, as I mentioned above, he hopes to crunch the Doryak into something salable in plan form. Stay tuned.
Yes, we will be making them for sale as of late fall/winter. They’ll run around $6,000 or more depending on how many extras you want.
No, it usually doesn’t make them much cheaper if you come and help. It actually slows us down and I spend more time teaching and supervising than I do producing the goods. Although we sometimes do that as an option, we are getting more hesitant.
It makes more sense to either A) build professionally, or B) teach. And until I find a way to get affordable liability insurance, I have no plans to start teaching again in my shop. Much as I really enjoy teaching, the lack of insurance makes me a little too twitchy.
That said, Gary stopped by yesterday after a Grand Canyon trip to show off this boat. He took three of my courses a couple years ago (when I was still brave enough to do it without coverage) –bronzecasting, oarmaking, and building the Briggs boat. Man, he was a mighty good pupil–the boat is beautiful.