1. Made With Paper

    Below deck, at dock, quietly without the glory of sweeping waves water still finds its way to the lowest spots on a boat, the bilge. If all works as it should a float will engage the pump. The pump will expel water out of the boat back where it belongs and the boat will stay afloat.
  2. Made With Paper

  3. skunkbear:

    Where do plastic bottle caps go? A lot of them end up in the ocean. 75% of ocean debris is made of plastic. And it doesn’t just float around. A lot of it ends up killing marine life, like this young albatross.

    We talked with marine biology professor Richard Thompson yesterday, and he said:

    It’s not about banning plastics. It’s about thinking about the ways that we deal with plastics at the end of their lifetime to make sure that we capture the resource.

    On Midway Island, where this photo was taken, 1/3 of albatross chicks die from ingesting plastic. This image comes from photographer Chris Jordan, who says:

    For me kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth.

    Jordan directed a film about Midway Island and you can explore more of his pictures here.

    A few years ago I went on a plastic diet — after witnessing windward beaches in wild places littered with colorful bits of our plastic culture. I tried very hard to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic I consumed to see how hard it was to cut back. Initially I tried to do without ANY plastic, but found it impossible to consume anything other than food from farmer’s markets and the cost and selection of a natural product compared to a plastic one was prohibitive. A modest reduction is easy for anyone. Here are five things that cost nothing and make a difference.

    1. Take your own cloth bags to the grocery store. Don’t put your head of lettuce, few apples or oranges into a plastic bag. Only bag for the checker if the items such as peas or Brussel sprouts which are too small to handle or would fall through the cart.

    2. Don’t buy plastic bags. Instead reuse what you naturally get when you use your processed foods such as cereals, breads and small fruits and vegetables. Save glass jelly or other jars to store single servings of leftovers. They don’t absorb the smell or taste of the food and can be reused until they break. Also reduce trash bags. Compost what you can. Recycle what you can. Give away what you can. The small amount that then ends up as garbage can be put in the stray bag you inevitably end up with occasionally. If your community requires bagging of garbage (most do) fill the puppies up before you push them to the curb.

    3. Consider metal, wood, natural fibers or glass over plastic. This may cost a few cents (or dollars) more. I bite the bullet more often than not, then work an extra bit if I must. I have never noticed toiling overtime to pay for the difference.

    4. Notice what is plastic. So many things, including shoes and clothing is mostly plastic. Look for options with less plastic and more natural content. If you buy the plastic loaded goods, say athletic shoes, when you are done with them, don’t throw them away. Donate them. Many running stores participate in shoe donation programs. What may seem “done” to you may be a prize for someone who simply needs a sole under their feet.

    5. Think of disposing of plastic as a serious responsibility. If you take responsibility for the very long-life of your waste it will give you pause when you reach for the cool but highly disposable items like the dental floss with a built in plastic handle and pick. Avoid one time use plastic as much as you can.

    As you can see from the sad photo. A tossed bottle cap does make a difference, a sad one.


  4. xscenify said: Most drawings I see are of people or animals or something animate. Really few people draw non-living things and see its beauty. Glad to have come across your sketches! :)

    Thank you. Today I am drawing a row of trees. I’m not sure I’ll post them though. They look “wooden.” I usually can feel pretty good about the way a boat or a dock looks when I render it. It is rather easy to capture its static existence and lack of essence. The water however is a subject which will freely show me more moods than any person will. I love looking at and drawing the water.

  5. Made With Paper

    I’m lucky, privileged as well as lucky really. But lately I’ve been feeling jinxed. I figured out last night after sailing a boat that I toiled over for two years, that I’m too hard on myself. I was anxious about every detail while using the freshly refurbished boat. I did not want to scuff her, or have anyone see me make a goof, or worse have it recorded in photos. A boat was waiting for me to take pictures of the boat with the newly donated sails.

    A few nights before I sailed with the best sailor I know, Larry. I was left without crew, so he invited me aboard while he taught a newbie. It was Friday the 13th and the dubious date tossed him (I thought it was aimed at me) a little test. As we entered the busy dock area, he asked the new sailor to drop the jib. It was jammed. Calmly he instructed, “well, drop the main then.” It was under the same spell. It would not come down. I tried too as we were sailing fast in a fairway that was not that long. “I’m out of options.” he calmly said as we turned the boat as close to upwind as the fairway would allow. “We’ll come in to the dock at a small angle and bleed off as much spend as we can. Hang on.” I moved to the bow, grabbed the bow line, hung on to the forestay and stuck both feet out, not to try to get off to stop the boat, surely I would be sacrificing myself to save some fiberglass. I don’t believe in that, but to drag both feet to slow us before we hit one of the zillion obstacles in our path. The green slimy dock was slick as snot on a doorknob. I didn’t think my worn out deck shoes provided any friction to slow us, but we did not crash and burn. Far from it. A sailor who was pulling his boat onto a trailer unceremoniously grabbed our shroud as we zipped past and brought us to an easy stop. So, was I jinxed or was I lucky? After thinking about it, definitely I was in the LUCKY camp. I have the privilege to be welcomed on a National Champion’s boat. I had the prior experience to know an heroic leap from the speeding boat would unlikely end well. Most accidents happen at the dock. I have seen many mishaps and learned to avoid many of them by never jumping from a moving boat. I only step. Lucky! I got experience in a way that injured no one and broke nothing. Lucky! And the next day, Larry, the very accomplished skipper said after admitting it was hairy and something he never had happen before, it was lucky the newbie got a very nice lesson without damage or injury.

    Although I’ve been at sailing for a long time, I’m still learning. There is so much to understand. To learn, for me anyway, it sticks best when I mess up, or there is a memorable crisis, causing me to rethink every detail. When the spinnaker pole goes overboard, when the halyard jams at the top of the mast, when the winch handles breaks at the most inopportune time threatening to break the mast — that’s when I learn the most, not when someone tells me, “Do it like this.” I attend the school or hard knocks. I’m lucky to have such skilled professors! I’m lucky the knocks have been in a progression that never resulted in more than a bruise or bump.

    As soon as the new sail photos were posted, a very good sailor shot me a note with the preface, “Don’t take this the wrong way…” This is not the first time I have seen that phrase referring to sailing photos while I was driving. He noticed I was not holding the tiller extension correctly and explained how it should be done. I’ll ask if he saw other goofs later, when I see him

    I’m lucky I have so many school of hard knocks sailing teachers.

  6. Made With Paper

    The morning dew was dripping from the rudder blade when I got to Bleu Bateau. An hour later, races were delayed at the dock while we waited for the wind to come up, which it did. I’m lucky to get to sail with such an accomplished, and very patient and forgiving sailor. I’m still having issues with the spinnaker set, gybe and take down. I some how managed to loose the pole overboard during a gybe to make the line, just 150 yards from the finish of the last race. We doused the chute, turned around and picked the pole up before it sank, but waved goodbye to four boats in the process. Saved the equipment but went to forth place in the series. Dang!

  7. donleyjan said: I love your bike. That is a wonderful painting.

    The big pink bike caught my eye as I walked past. It’s gone now, so I’m glad I saw it. I may add a cyclist, later. That is one of the things that makes Paper53 fun. Clone an image at any state and tinker more.

  8. Made With Paper

  9. Aloft — where the sailboat’s silent engine purrs.

  10. Made With Paper

    This past week has been full of sailing downers. On Sunday, ignoring a marginal forecast for race day I pushed ahead. I loaded my car, drove to the lake and began to ready my boat, all the while my little voice pestered me, asking “What are you trying to prove?” The answer was not a good one. I was trying to prove I could go — not that I should. Walking to get my life jacket out of the car, a friend driving past stopped to tell me they heard the forecast had been updated for 20mph with gusts of 30+. I bailed. Cluck, cluck, cluck. What a chicken! I made a good choice, but I still felt regret.

    For the midweek, beer can races I filled in for an injured crew on a J24. I couldn’t have been a worse replacement. It was windy. They suggested I drive so the two moderately burly guys could hold the boat down from the high side. I would have none of it. Chicken. Cluck, cluck. Cluck. What a chicken. I asked to grind, forgetting I’m old and tiny and weak. I was unable to trim the sails fully in the stiff breeze. Everyone was disappointed after the sail, except for the folks on the boats in front of us.

    On Saturday, our crew was planning on hoisting a spinnaker during a race for the first time. A big stretch for me, and for most of the crew too. With wind shifts, there was not a down wind leg, so we did not mess up with the chute. I just got my butt thoroughly kicked without an excuse. It was humiliating, humbling and generally horrible. I simply sailed like I didn’t know how. Three strikes — I swore off racing, even sailing.

    Sunday, feeling remorse for a string of regrettable outings, I suggested to my sweet husband we take out the refurbished Scot. Five sailors ended up on the boat, with light wind. The day was glorious. Enjoying the sunshine, we chattered, told stories and laughed. A friend who later confessed, she had never been in charge of anything — ever — skippered the boat. She took us out onto the lake, around a crab pot, close to the Coast Guard Station, past the lighthouse then landed the boat like a champ at the dock. While we were putting the boat away, I asked what she learned. She inexplicably burst into tears. Perhaps the day was relaxing for four of us, but not so much for her. Once again, I walked away from a boat lacking the happiness a sail usually brings.

    Last night, for the Wednesday beer can races, I decided not to sail but would work on my boat. I’m pretty good with maintenance. No need to be brave or fast or sensitive and I get satisfaction from fixing things that are broken or worn. The skipper of Siren found me and asked me to sail with them. The injured crew was still out and they needed my help on the same boat I goofed up on the week prior. I drove. Not sure it they planned it that way, knowing I needed a boost or if it just worked to put me on the helm. We made some mistakes, I made most of them, but we had fun while we tried to go fast. It is always beautiful at night too.

    Sometimes I forget, sailing isn’t really about the boat, or the crew, or the speed. It is about everything interacting in the singular moment. Most times the interaction works fine, sometimes it is thrillingly awful and other moments are simply glorious and beautiful. Sailing, like so little else I do can be inexplicable, complex and lovely. 

    Sailing reminds me of life. How could I think of giving that up?