Tuesday, November 2, 2010

See what's going on here? Well here's an update!

Yesterday we got some great work done around the Dockyard. We cleared the Launch out of the Framing Bay and got her into the Hold. Now we're reorganizing the shop and laying out to begin lofting the corrected lines for Monomoys No. 2 and 3. The Lofting Bay is likewise setup for the corrected lines being lofted full scale - an ongoing evolution that will take several more days of work to complete. The lofting plan will begin with the layout of the lofting boards, sheets of plywood inscribed with parallel lines several inches apart. The offsets from our computer program, when completed, will be transferred to these sheets and faired, then traced in mylar film - a clear sheet that doesn't stretch or skew in normal conditions. The mylar sheets will then be carefully cut out and used to make up templates for molds, keel, forefoot, stem, heel and sternposts. These will be produced in the Carpenter's Shop and shifted to the Framing Bay, with the exception of the keel, which will be laminated in place.

Also, we plan on building parts for both boats simultaneously. Because the boats were built together, their corrected lines are identical. So we'll be shaping two keels, two stems etc and all at the same time. By the way, it was decided that since we have to replace the keel on No. 3, to do it on No. 2 as well. After all, if there is one thing that we're learning about these boats, it's that they were used HARD and repairs were not always up to snuff. Some of the damage isn't readily apparent until you start really REALLY digging and we don't want any surprises late in the game. So we'll probably end up replacing much of the original fabric in the interest of ensuring safe, reliable operation later.


I'm still fussing with the CAD program to get the corrected lines for the Monomoys. I'll post samples of the 3D renderings etc when complete, but for now, stop poking around my drafting table - they aren't there.


On a completely different note, amidst all the hubbub we are also making preparations for the annual Battle of Great Bridge. The event is a fun and light-hearted rendition of the 1775 battle that pitted colonial forces against the British for the first major engagement in Virginia. The history is very interesting, complete with your typical insane acts of bravery, questionable tactics and predictable outcome. But the event takes place on a small - very small - patch of the original field (as it can be argued) and is attended by about 50 reenactors but thousands of spectators. The scenario is set up with bales of straw and fence sections to represent the various topographical and military features.

I remember when I used to get so excited about these events. And I am excited about this year, though honestly mostly about getting our crew together for underway operations in December. Burning powder just doesn't have the same fascination anymore.

On that note, I should mention some particulars. First, everyone should know that we're the Brits at this one - we play the bad guys! There will undoubtedly be some fun plants in the crowd and plenty of heckling to do - which is usually the purview of the marines. We Sailors will spend our time ashore doing what we do best - chasing down attractive women and hunting down alcoholic beverages. And woe betide the officers that forget our sailorly tendencies, who subsequently end up losing a few along the way!

The event runs from December 3 to December 5, although the first day is mostly setup and prep. This year we will be camping so bring the sub-zero sleeping bags. It should be fairly comfortable so long as we prepare, prepare, prepare. The British camp will be right along the water this year so we're not so isolated from everyone else, and the marines will spend most of their time ashore mixing and mingling. They will setup camp on Friday afternoon and get settled in while we Sailors tend the boat and get her to the site.

Monomoy No. 1 and the 3-pdr are coming with us, so we Sailors should have some fun navigating the small stretch of canal. We need to try and NOT drop the lockmaster's bribe doughnuts in the canal this time around. The marines will be out in full lobsterback gear as well, ready to march off and do that voodoo that they do so well.

The main event proceedings continue over Saturday and Sunday. Although most of us (myself included) will be camping on the field, some may leave and come back. Mustering times are 0800 on Saturday and 0900 on Sunday. And rembmer, the more the merrier, so stay and partake!

Command ashore is in the hands of Joe Sturiale, who will be dressed up as a Lieutenant in the British Marines, while command afloat will rest with LT Glenn Atherton, who will be dressed up as a Royal Navy Lieutenant for the event. Petty Officer Caleb Bryan will play the part of Able Seaman and Coxswain of Monomoy No. 1, and James Filler will do his thing as Sergeant of Marines. Yours trully will be dressed up as well, pulling an oar in the boat as a Boatswain's Mate and chief trouble maker.

And by the way - make sure you tell someone you're planning on attending, if you are. I don't think we're accommodating walk-ups this year.


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