In light of all the recent bad weather, and my slow progress improving conditions with heaters etc - PLUS the fact that we all have better things to do than slave away in the Dockyard (well, maybe I don't) I'm putting off all working parties until the new year. It'll give me time to keep forging ahead with the organization of the Framing Bay and to think about the possibility of moving the No. 2 Monomoy in there. Lots of pondering, as usual - walking around the Dockyard staring at things. You all know the drill.
That said, this is prime time for development. Obviously I have my work cut out for me with the two restoration boats. But with the stand down and lots of time for reading and reflection, I fully expect the ideas to be flying. And now that the marines have paintball to work on, there should be development in both wings of the house. Let's cover what we have in development so far -
Monomoy Pulling Boats 2 & 3 - assuming that we'll have one or both of these boats ready for service for some portion of programming next year, what are our goals? I've been thinking of extending the Conquer the Chesapeake program next year to include not only the Cape Henry/Cape Charles transit but also several other legs to reach Washington DC - possibly a trip from the Norfolk Naval Shipyard to the Washington Navy Yard. One way and trailer the boats back, sort of thing. Oh yeah, and since we've decided that the chase boat is for sissies, we won't have one, in preference to several boats making the trip together. Another trip around the Capes from say First Landing to Ocracoke Inlet might also be in order, later in the year - provided we can dodge the early season storms.
Marine Paintball - our folks have started looking into this and have made some great progress in the last week alone. Hopefully when the operational season picks back up in March the marines will have yet another cool toy to play with. The program here is still up for development, but I'd havev to guess it would involve tactical-type activities in a controlled environment not open to the public. We have several potential venues to hold events with earthworks, forts, blockhouses etc and I hope we can develop a solid program along that end. Hell, you'll probably even see me back out there shouldering a firelock for the occassion!
3-pdr Naval Gun - the gun rocked our late-season programming this year, and next I hope we can open up more dimensions in the realm of live fire, and possibly even participation in some aspect of marine paintball! But as with anything involving projectile weapons originally designed to kill, maime and dismember, experimentation and development must invariably take place in a carefully controlled manner. If we can manage it, she would be a fun addition to our live-fire events, where we could actually study things like distribution patterns in canister and grapeshot as well as the effects of chain shot, bar shot and plain old soda cans full of concrete. Hmmm.
There are other projects hiding up our sleeves as well, including a few crazy ideas about what we might end up doing in 2012. "Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?" sorts of things. And no, I am not advocating suicide missions - just to preempt those emails. But pushing the envelope is what we're all about!
We'll be discussing all of this at a Board meeting in January - which will be conducted in an open forum setting - meaning any person can speak on recognition of the chairman. Hopefully this will allow interested members a chance to add their voice to our proceedings and lend a hand to shape our 2011 programming and goals.
Stand by for dates and location of that meeting, I'll post it as soon as it's set in stone.