Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hatch Alternative

I was debating whether or not to build this boat with hatches. Because it includes shear clamps, I won't have to reach inside to tape the deck seams. I read on another blog, that in this case, you can install waterproof deck plates for access to the watertight compartments, and skip the hatches. However, I do use hatches, so I compromised by planning a hatch for the forward compartment, and a deck plate to access the rear. I decided on a hatch forward, because a deck plate would be too hard to reach.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Kit

My Shearwater 17 "Wood Parts Only" kit arrived today, a whopping 17 days after I ordered it.  Not being One Who Takes His Time, I immediately unpacked it, and began joining the bottom panels. 
I dared to simply epoxy the "puzzle joints" together, without the reinforcing strip of 9oz. fiberglass tape. As I see it, this joint gets fiberglassed on both sides anyway, and the glue joint should be strong enough to hold the panels together until then. This intersection also turns out to be right in the middle of the cockpit, where that bump created by the saturated 9oz. glass will require lots of (heavy, expensive) epoxy to fill it smooth. 
I actually feel that there is just a tiny bit of "overkill" in the Instruction Manual. I tossed this idea at CLC's owner, (nice guy), and got a bit of a "raised eyebrow" response, but I had decided that my challenge for this project was to save as much weight and material as possible. More on this concept as I go along.

I also cut strips from leftover 4oz. fiberglass cloth to use in lieu of 9 oz. tape:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sleeping Giant

I've been here at least 50 times, between the ages of 8 and 53, and that's a conservative estimate. I might have thought that I knew every rock & tree, but I didn't-something about going back to a place after years makes me observe small details. 
That October wet snow/ice storm took a toll on the trees, but the maintenance folks  did a neat & skillful job of felling & bucking the damaged, unlike that gross giant-hedge-trimmer-on-a-bucket-truck thing they use to slash branches on the highway. Forest proliferation made it different anyway-big 'ol trees are gone, little, new ones are there.

 A view of "The Chin", from the "White Trail". These are the tallest sheer-drop cliffs on the hill. More than one has met a tragic end there.
This plaque is opposite the above mentioned cliff, on the easy "Tower Trail". Its obviously been there for years, but I never noticed it. Some of the nomenclature would be confusing for persons unfamiliar with The Giant's lore. On the opposite side of the "head", many yards of trap rock have been removed by quarrying. 
Actually, I never really noticed how much these cliffs are in the process of falling down. Every cliff has a big talus pile at its base, and boulders of every size and shape resting securely or precariously. Many look like a misstep would send them down.
The Good Old Tower, another CCC make-work project. About the same as ever, with a few modernizations.

I remember when this room had what looked like pit toilets on this bench. What the hell was someone thinking? At least they snapped out of it & filled them with cement.

 Spacious landings on the second & third levels. It was as if they were expecting hundreds of visitors at a time.

Nice spiderweb detail.

Top, with a view. A very safe place, you'd have to really try to fall from here.

Modern, solar-powered "facilities".

About 30 years ago, I visited a place now known as Dead Man's Cave. As usual, its really just a series of tight spaces in the rockfall. It seems that it used to be easier to find, since I can't find it after three attempts. I read detailed instructions on other blogs & message boards, and still can't find it. As I recall, it really took some nuts to go in there anyway, but I wanted to check it out while its still too cold for Copperheads.

2-18-12 Addendum:

We finally did find the Dead Man's Cave today.  I had been too stuck on the way I used  to find it via the Blue trail and The Devil's chute. My friend, who had never been there before, somehow sensed that I hadn't gone far enough down the Green Trail. When we did the directions/landmarks I'd read about were very good.
 This formation of boulders is directly to the left  of the opening. It looks almost like a deliberately-built wall. A picture of the opening, as it appears from the rock pile is almost pointless, because the opening doesn't  appear from the rock face. It is an abrupt right turn.
Looking down & in, after the right turn
Graffiti. Points  the way to Hell. ;/

The "front room" ends abruptly. You are looking straight forward at a wall, and a straight-down drop of 6 feet. I seem to recall going down  there, without the aid of that log in the background, in the past-but there was an even tighter drop-down hole further in, which  I didn't do.
This is as far in as I got today. 
On the way back, we checked out the abandoned quarry.  A lot of this hill has been eaten away. I thought it looked like a really good place to get beaned by a falling rock. 
We returned via the Violet trail. Lots of nifty exposed roots, and the ruin of an old dam on the Mill River.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mt Tom, CT

I'm obsessed with Towers lately. Especially the type of implausible, impractical, there-for-no-reason, Undedicated Monuments. Mt. Tom is easy to reach, right on RT. 202.

Someone thoughtfully arranged a directional sign of sticks. Not really necessary, there is a well-worn, rocky trail blazed in yellow.
 We paced our out-of-shape selves on the climb. First glimpse through the trees.
Actually, a sign at the foot of the trail said "Tower closed for repair". We couldn't figure out if that meant that the road to the tower (did it go there?) was closed, or that the interior of the the tower was closed. We went for it anyway, and nothing was closed. 
I was hoping for a nifty stone spiral staircase, but no. This wood is indeed in need of some repair, but not yet unsafe. 

Views from the top:

I've seen this type of thing several times, in the woods. At first, it obviously looks like a chimney that's outlasted its house. But oddly, the ground isn't particularly level in front of this, and there's no remnant of a foundation. A fairly tall tree grows right in front of it. The small structure to the left is poured concrete, and in bad condition.

We also took a side trip back to Cunningham Tower, in Cornwall. After checking that out, took the road up to the top of Mohawk Mountain. There are two fancy, modern communications towers, and a very nice view: