Friday, September 2, 2011

There isn't a recent photo of me about on the net, so for those who'll be attending the several gatherings where I plan to be, this is who you're looking for, or to avoid as the case may be.  Me, John Welsford at Kathies Cafe in Tauranga, ( very very good food!)

Travel and visiting friends.

Its only three sleeps until we’re  off in the big silver bird on the 6th. 6 weeks travelling in the USA, visiting friends, going to interesting places and events, and talking to people.
All about boating, apart from some of the scenery of course and maybe a few side trips to pursue my wife’s interests as well as a some of my non boating activities.  ( Walking is one, cant walk on water! At least I can’t in spite of what some people think of boat designers)
We’re starting off with three days at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat festival across the other side of Puget Sound from Seattle, its 12 years since I was  last there and I’m sure I’ll see lots of improvements and changes.  We’re to be guests of Peter Leenhouts, a director of the NorthWest School of Wooden Boat Building and I’m to meet the instructors and students there to talk boats, I’ve two talks to give at the festival itself and hope to make it to a meeting of the local chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Soc. Lots of talking, some listening too as this trip is in part research for future design work.
This is going to be interesting for me, Russell Brown and Richard Woods, both renowned designers of multihull sailing craft will be there and meeting up with others who practice the same craft that I do, ( even if their boats have more hulls than mine) is a rare treat.
Anyone wanting to catch up with us during the show should go to the Small Craft Advisor magazine stand and ask Editor Josh, I’ll be around there a lot, and if not then wont be far away.  Just ask. Talk to him about SCAMP and the magazine while your there.
From there we travel right across to the other side of America to Maine, and the WoodenBoat magazine offices where we’ll be guests of Editor Matt Murphy and Publisher Carl Cramer. As well it’s been a while since I was there and I’m looking forward to renewing old relationships, talking boats, writing, teaching, sailing, and checking out the scenery so different from the other coast.
Bob Hicks of Messing About in Boats magazine is driving up from Wenham to spend a day with us, I suspect that we’re going to talk classic racing motorcycles, a passion and experience we both share.
It’s a bit of a wake up call when the machinery one sweated to pay for, got hands greasy while mechanicing and raced is suddenly considered a classic, a sign that the years are flickering past at an alarming rate.  Anyway, Bultacos, Aermacchi HD racers, BSAs and so on will be where we’re at.  Oh, and a little bit about boats.
It’s a long way from Maine to San Antonio, three flights rather than the two from Seattle to Bangor, and we’ll be travelling from 25deg c days to 40deg c days,  hard after coming from early spring in New Zealand where a 16 deg day is about normal but no doubt we’ll manage. Cool drinks, light clothing, big hats  and shade, should work.
Leo Hill ran my jwbuilders yahoo group for years, he’s a good man and will be picking us up and hosting us for a few days and showing us around San Antonio,  he’s bought a Suzuki Vee Twin  cruiser, yes, two wheels again, and we’ll be out having fun on that as well.  I’ve no doubt that the breeze as we ride will help us cope with the heat.
We meet Chuck Leinweber of www.duckworksmagazine .com at Canyon Lake small boat messabout on 24th Sept,  and will be talking to anyone wanting to come and say hello.  It’s my second visit to that venue and I’m very much looking forward to seeing some of the characters I met last time.
If you miss that one there is another gathering the following weekend at the Centex messabout at Inks Lake, another chance for me to talk to interested and interesting people.
Chuck and Sandra host us for nearly two weeks, then, with Chuck at the helm of the car and a boat on its trailer behind we head off on the long drive up to Lake Eufaula for Sail Oklahoma where Jackie and Mike Monies will be our hosts during the Columbus Weekend  event.  Although only in its second year this has attracted an entry of close to 100 boats and twice that number of people, and hosts the Puddleduck racer world championships.  I’m told I’m entered in that latter competition in a “Kiwi PDR” of my design and am looking forward to it even though it’s a very long time since I was a competitive skipper.
This too will be a chance to meet other designers,  Graham Byrnes and Jim Michalac will be there, and between the three of us we cover a very wide range of boat designs, different techniques of construction and design theory.  Its going to be a busy weekend but I do hope to get a chance to sit down and swap ideas with these two.
From there it’s back on the road to San Antonio, back to Harper TX and Casa Duckworksmagazine then back to Leos where we plan on just blobbing out for a couple of days before the long long series of flights back to New Zealand.
There is a more detailed itinerary “here”  with times and places plus links to events.
This trip, being blunt, is a big chunk of money, and its only been made possible by the very kind support of Sandra and Chuck Leinweber of Duckworksmagazine and  boatbuilders supplies.  Thank you so much guys, it will be great to catch up with you again.
Thanks also to the others who have volunteered to host us or help us along the way, it’s a humbling experience to find that people who only know me through my work and my writing think enough of me to pitch in and help.  Thank you everybody, thank you.
John Welsford