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  • 16 January 2013 - blood pressure went up, blood pressure went down
    Went to the doctor a few months ago, he suggested taking my blood pressure. I thought it was daft because I am slim and have never had high blood pressure. Turns out it was 130/90 which is just on the limit of prehypertension. I was not happy at all. Then I thought what has happened that could cause this. Then it hit me, I bought a car. Instead of walking everywhere I drove everywhere. Instead of walking at least an hour every day because I had no choice I would drive, even it it was 15 minute walk to work or 10 minute walk to the shops. So I started exercising again, felt strange, I had lost fitness. Seemed like hard work even though I was just going for a little walk. But over time my fitness improved, got my mojo back and started to feel better. Next time I went to the doctor it was 120/80 which is OK. I plan to keep on doing more and more exercise and get it down a bit lower. Just goes to show, that the little thing of walking 30 minutes every day, just how much a huge difference it makes

  • 16 January 2013 - have finished the 13ft rowboat
    A couple of months back I finished the new little rowboat that I had been putting off. Turns out that it ended up at 13.5ft because the stem had more rake that I expected. I have found that I am very, very, very impressed with how it goes. In combination with new better oars it handles strong winds well, windage as predicted is massively less. It handles rough water very well. It tracks fairly well and seems safe in waves

    I took it for a 2.5 day rowing trip to Westernport Bay near Melbourne. Boat went very very well. Oars went well. I need to make some tiny changes like having a hardwood skeg cover because the softwood skeg abrades away, also modifying the weights on my new oars slightly, plus adding a little forward extension to the centre thwart, because at full effort my long legs put my bottom forward of the thwart a little causing discomfort. I got a few little sores on the 'rear' mostly from lots of hard rowing. Last day I spent 20 hours rowing to get back, 8am one day till 4am the next. No way I could have done that in my larger 18ft banks dory with the huge windage and oars that were too long and had way too wide blades (narrow blades for me, 11cm I use). Every time I modify oars or build new ones, the oar blades seem to get narrower and narrower. Boat went very, very, very well. Extra initial stability made for more comfort and smaller size means much less windage and hence controllability.

  • 16 January 2013 - Procrastination and going to the dentist.
    I am not keen on going to the dentist, though usually the thoughts before hand are worse than the actual experience. In fact I have been putting off going to the dentist for 15 years. Now I went this morning all worried. I half expected him to say that my teeth were awful and he needed to pull a few out, cap some others and also give me 20 fillings. However he said my teeth were very good. They needed a good clean and a polish, but no fillings needed at all. I could not really believe it. I assume he is a competent dentist, he took x-rays of all my teeth as a standard thing, and said everything was fine. My teeth feel much better and much smoother after the clean (assume he got rid of tartar). Now I do brush twice a day, cant say my gums are superb, cant say that maybe I have not lost any enamel, but what I can say is that I needed no work at all. Just possibly one thing is using colgate total toothpaste, and another is not drinking fizzy drinks. In the US they call it Soda, here is Australia we call it softdrink. I never buy the stuff, awful disgusting overpriced sugar water.. ban the horrid liquid I say.

    It just goes to show that eventually you need to deal with issues, need to get the things done that need doing. I think putting off things becomes a state of mind and all the tasks that need doing seem overwhelming. Maybe the secret is just making a start on your to-do list, get a few easy things done, and get yourself in the habit of getting little things done. Over time your to-do list gets smaller and you have psychologically conditioned yourself into the habit of completing small tasks that can be left till later. Think I would make a good psychologist?

  • 24 June 2012
    Just returned from a five day camping trip. Was good to get away. Was more car camping as opposed to the normal overnight camping that I do. Car camping has a set of different skills. Learnt that it is prudent to organise your gear into boxes, such as food, clothes, camping equipment etc. It rained a lot, was cold. We had a very small earthquake/earth tremor, only 5.5 on richter scale, but the largest in Victoria in 100 years. No damage done. I was sitting by the fire at 9pm when I felt the earth move, my first earthquake. Went to Powelltown, Yarra Glen, Yarra Junction, Noojee, Woods Point, Warragul. I drove over the Thomson dam, biggest in victoria, my expert opinion, it is big.

    Intend to go away again shortly, this time for longer, plan is to go to Southern and Central NSW. This time will take a digital camera. Mazda 323 goes well, though going too fast over wet, muddy and slippery roads can have a downside, no serious damage done. Coffee in Warragul was good, coffee in Woods Point very so-so. I found I did not like the State Forest anywhere as much as I like National Parks, way too many logging roads, too few nice places to camp, lesson learned, avoid state forests and concentrate on National Parks.

  • 11 April 2012
    Have bought a John Welsford TreadLightly small cabin boat. Boat was built by a Robert Bayliss around 2005. It comes with a trailer, 2hp Honda 4 stroke outboard, fenders, a spare tiller, masts, sails, two anchors, a bag of spare stainless steel fittings, lines, an inbuilt bilge pump, some life jackets, and a stainless steel outboard bracket that swivels up and down for when the motor is to be used. Would have cost me more than $10,000 and a year of weekends to build. So all in all I think I have done reasonably OK. Obviously I would prefer an outrigger canoe, but these are hard to find second hand, think this will be a good boat to learn more advanced sailing skills on. Obviously had to get a towbar fitted to my car, had to get a 1 and 7/8 inch towbar specially made up, instead of the standard 50mm towball (metric system here in Australia), anyway, now have two towballs. Price I paid was very agreeable, am very confident of using it for a couple of years and selling it for the same or a little more than I paid for it (less than half cost it would have been to build). Boat has 90kg of lead ballast carried internally. The TreadLightly is very well built and is in excellent condition.

  • 11 April 2012
    The 13.5ft rowboat is slowly coming along. Is better built than my first boat, I would give myself 6 or 7 our of 10 for this one, but only 3 out of 10 for my first boat, so am slowly getting better.

    25 March 2012
    I have a couple of emails that I have not replied to. My apologies for this. Life has got in the way of me doing what a decent person should do and reply promptly. I know this is not really a decent excuse. Spending too much time pontificating about boats on the internet is mentally draining, and occasionally it is good just to get away completely for awhile so as to concentrate on other things

  • 25 March 2012
    An update on my webcounters. Now according to the statistics on the control panel for my website, it gets around 1500 hits a month, or approx 50 a day. However only 20 percent of these stay longer than 30 seconds. Thus I assume that I am getting ten hits a day from real people. I am reasonably happy with this. The aim is to have an unobtrusive website that is filled with information that people find boat useful and entertaining. I hope this website succeeds in that

  • 25 March 2012
    Have upadted the link to backbayboatworks, they changed their directory and hence I had to update the link. I have a small number of new links to add, not many as I would like as I am findng it hard to find new tacking outriggers. In next couple of weeks a few more links will be added, stay tuned

  • 25 March 2012
    Am builing my 13ft rowboat. I have spent about 25 hours on it. It looks like a boat now and it is progressing. Have some small jobs to do here and there. I had a few sheets of plywood lying around not doing anything, so it was prudent to make use of them, otherwise they would have rotted away to nothingness if I left them another year or two. Boat turns out of be 13.5ft long, is 4ft beam, bottom is 9mm ply and sides are 6mm. These are the marine plywood sheets that I had laying around. Will be coated with epoxy resin. It is my own design, but now that I have mostly built it, turns out that it looks very much like a JW Seagull rowboat, but 18 inches shorter. This was not my intention. I spent hours going over the design in the software, chaning a millimeter here, a millimeter there. In the end I just used a wooden batten to obtain a fair curve. So much simpler than software. It should be a good boat, wide enough to give a bit of relaxed stability, but narrow enough to give speed, plus seaworthiness in rough conditions. Should have heaps less windage that my first 18ft rowboat. Has been a good learning experience. Main thing is to start and have a go. Will post some photos soon. Boat will be painted red on the outside and red goes faster. Perhaps the main lesson here is that eventually you just have to bite the bullet, get away from the computer and start doing real work. Internet is great, but it is in my view a complement to life, and not a life in its own.

  • 25 March 2012
    Am a bit more financially solvent. Makes a change that in my life I dont have to count my coins and be careful with what I spend. Dont get me wrong, I am no millionaire, it is just that I no longer have to worry about living from week to week. It means a lot less stress, and allows me to concentrate on other things. Having zero credit card debt is a good thing. I hate those things. The only good they are for is for buying things online such as on eBay, or Amazon.com etc, pay electricity bills etc. I keep the credit card in credit by about $100 that way I can forget about it. They are truly evil things.

  • 25 March 2012
    Have got my drivers licence and bought a car. Better late than never I know. Is a 2001 Mazda 323 automatic hatchback. Have had it a few months now and it is going very well. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong with it. Every switch and button works and I cant really find fault with it. It only has a 1.6 litre engine, so when going up a hill I have to use a bit of throttle, but for going around town it is great. It gives me independence and allows me to go here and there.

  • 5 March 2011
    In recent days I have added ten new links to the main page of the website. I had better stop soon or otherwise the filesize will be so large that it will annoy everyone that uses it, by taking up too much bandwidth. I think I have to be close to getting most of the tacking outriggers that are out and about

  • 5 March 2011
    I updated the oars page a little. I mentioned the fact that I use lard to lubricate the leathers, lard works very very well on oar leathers

  • 5 March 2011
    I am trying to write an article on the history of tacking outriggers, the trouble is that this is easier said than done. I have today read again Adrian Horridge's book. I went to Melbourne University Library to read 'canoes of oceania' by Haddon and Horridge. The online catalog said it was on the shelf, but I could not find it there, not happy. There is a second copy that can be requested from storage, trouble is that I am not a university student. Seems a shame to spend $90 to buy the book online, when it can be had from the library.. sigh

  • 20 February 2011
    I did some sketches of a newer traliertri 18 boat. Concept is a simple craft. Would not be as fast, but should be simple to make. Accommodation is reduced to a single double berth. Idea can be seen HERE

  • 20 February 2011
    I updated the multi camp cruiser webpage, as seen HERE

  • 20 February 2011
    I added a new link and added a new diagram for the Ninja Pro tacking outrigger, as seen HERE

  • 20 February 2011
    I was browsing google, and have stumbled upon a couple of new tacking outriggers. These are more modified canoes. When I get photo permission back I will add some more links.

  • 20 February 2011
    I have been reading some articles on history of mulithulls in the pacific. I need to do some more work and write an article. I think I will really need some help with this though.

  • 20 February 2011
    Over the time I have had a couple of queries as to how I do my diagrams. I have tried to explain a little bit and wrote up some notes on this page, also difference between GIF and JPEG, details can be seen HERE

  • 26 January 2011
    The website went down for a few days over Christmas. Apparently the problem was with a water leak above where the servers were located in Seattle USA. Without enquiring, I had assumed that the backup would in a different physical location. Apparently not, the backup server was directly below the main server. I recieved an email saying that all data was irretrievably lost. I was not particularly happy.

    I started to rebuild my website with files from my hard drive, and learning how to use google cache. Using a combination of these 2 tings I was able to get 98 percent of the site back up. After doing this, the technical people tried the hard drives again (after a few days they had dried out) and all data was recovered. The moral of the story is BACKUP YOUR DATA. With USB thumb drives so cheap these days, having a data backup on your hard drive, plus everything backup up on a couple of USB thumb drives, seems the only way to go. Lesson learned, thankfully no lasting harm done.

  • 10 May 2010
    I chopped up my outrigger and chopped up my crossbeams today. I have to be realistic about storage space. All three of these items were twice the weight they should have been, so it is no great loss. Sailing days are behind me for the medium term, now it is best just to relax with simple rowing.

  • 10 May 2010
    I made some small changes to the 13ft rowboat lines. I lowered the forefoot a little so that it will cut through waves a little more. I changed teh lines after looking at designs in the books by Peter Culler and by John Gardener. New lines are at absolute bottom of the page.

  • 10 May 2010
    I made some changes to the 'replacement boat' design. I think the new changes result in a boat that is very well suited to the design goal.

  • 26 April 2010
    I have added notes on a small trailerable houseboat, that could with a few hours work undertake moderate coastal passages. As always in many ways it is just another 'thinking out loud' idea. It can be seen here

  • 28 January 2010
    I have added notes of my first rowing trip in real waves. Was psychologically difficult but physically went fairly well. Notes can be seen here

  • 28 January 2010
    I have put up a quick page of Mike Haldfields tacking outrigger. There is another photo I have which I have temporarily misplaced. The webpage on Mike's boats can be seen here

  • 23 January 2010
    I have been in contact with a Mike Hadfield from the Nelligen region on the South Coast of NSW. Mike has built two tacking outriggers, the first was a 21ft tacking outrigger in which he went for a lenghty trip in the remote Cape York pensinsula in Queensland. He has now completed a smaller 18ft tacking outrigger made from Aluminium which he intends to use in his local area. He has been kind enough to forward me a photo (with the kind thanks of Ian Smith), I will be putting up a page regarding his boats shortly

  • 23 January 2010
    I have uploaded some text on my three day trip of early this year. Yes I was not ready in time to go for ten days, so I did a three days trip instead, not ideal but better than nothing. Notes can be seen here

  • 23 January 2010
    I am off rowing for three days in the bay from 24 to 26 January inclusive. Should be good to get some exercise, some muscle tone, to get away. Will be carrying much less weight than last time as no outrigger, no crossbeams, no rigging.

  • 7 December 2009
    I have added an opinion page, it is more likely to be wrong than right, but at least it gets the brain working

  • 7 December 2009
    I have added some more links. I have added links to Hawaiian outrigger canoes, and a link to a Tahitian outrigger sailing canoe. I have also updated the link to Ian Smith and his Windrigger craft, he changed the address to his website and I have belatedly updated the link

  • 30 November 2009
    I bought a wetsuit today. It should assist in safety for when I go sailing for several days late this year. I last bought a wetsuit in 1990, so I hope this one lasts and I do not grow out of it too quickly (I outgrew the last one in the chest, not the stomach, I am not fat!)

  • 30 November 2009
    I have added a design file downloads pages and added several design files for download. This means that anyone can download a file, play with it and make the most of the file.

  • 15 November 2009
    I am planning a 9 day sailing trip for between Christmas and New Year. I am 11 days off work in this period, and it seems best to get away and onto the water. Plan is to spend several days circumnavigating Port Phillip Bay (Melbourne, Australia), and if weather permits to go outside of the bay. The smart thing will be to keep within my capabilities and not to push things too far. Heres hoping that the weather is good in this period

  • 15 October 2009
    I have a new job working in a laboratory. I am very happy with my new job. The pay is twice what I was earning in the hotel, and the hours are better. Fingers crossed that I continue with this job and all goes well



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