Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hole in my heart

Last week I got a message to call my Uncle Dave in Santa Barbara. He's in his late eighties and is in the final stages of life with a brain tumor. I made the call and surprised myself with my own honest expression of my emotional state... something I normally keep, if not hidden, at least camouflaged.

Dave Smith is a highly regarded architect and has designed many of the larger homes in Santa Barbara. His use of Spanish tile roofing was quickly copied by others when in the '90s, Santa Barbara was hit by a series of large fires. The only houses left standing in the ravaged areas were Dave's tile-roofed structures.

When Jack in the Box Restaurants wanted a national redesign of their eateries, Dave got the contract.

He was very influential in my life. When I saw his gouache architectural renderings as a child, I chose to pursue art, which led to college-level classes on a scholarship at Carnegie Institute at age 14. Later, I chose commercial art (now called graphic design) as a way to keep myself in food and art at the same time. My graphic design business led to publishing, my current occupation.

In the early '90s, Bliss and I would stay at Dave's large cliffside home while we worked selling ads in Southern California for our fledgling Collector's Guide publication. Dave fed us tri-tip roasts from the barbie in the evenings, and made us pancakes in the morning. We would eat on his treetop patio, so high we could see the oil rigs seven miles out in the Pacific Ocean.

And he would take us sailing in his Santa Cruz 27 racing sloop. We learned to sail in and out of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club harbor without a motor, tacking through traffic to his slip. Dave was a charter member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, and in 2000, was told he no longer needed to pay his annual dues... the board felt he had paid enough in his lifetime.

We would go the SBYC for an occasional lunch, sitting in the glittering crystal finery, being served by immaculate uniformed waiters and waitresses.

Dave got us started in sailing.

We wait for the news, bags packed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Semana Santa in SC

San Carlos is a beach town. So when Easter break comes to Mexico, Mexico comes to us. Our little town is home to about 4,000 residents, 3/4 of whom disappear to higher latitudes around this time of year. When Easter week gets here, our population swells to around 10,000. The party starts at 5pm and runs 'til 5am. Tecate beer tents pop up on every street corner to make sure nobody runs out. The music is LOUD. My friend, Greg Pyros took these grand photos of the event and I built a little slideshow with my Mac. If your browser can play Quicktime content, it should be just fine.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Painting in the wind...

This week I was just going to touch up a few spots on BLISS' hull and purchased some primer and gelcoat to do it. I sanded the entire boat from accent stripe to the bottom of the keel, and when I started shooting the gelcoat I was stunned at how good the boat looked... so I started painting the entire hull. It just has one coat on it now, with two more to come. Then  I'll tape off and paint the waterline stripe (the "bootstripe" it's called) and the accent stripe our favorite color of blue/green. Then two fresh coats of bottom paint. It will look better when that's done but I had to post this photo to keep my spirits up.

Life in the boatyard is complicated by the wind, which still "lingers" if you can call 50mph lingering! This is today's wind chart thus far.
When it gets windy, the painting stops. So, I've been going to the yard at 7am and shooting until noon or so. After that, I'm wiped out and ready for some down time. Sleep. Read. Eat. Blog.

Monday, April 4, 2011

In like a Lion, Out like a.. Lion

If you look at the wind speed for today, you see the extreme at 43 mph. That's not just the highest the wind reached today, that's just the last time it clocked in at 43. It's been hitting that speed all afternoon.

My boat BLISS, is in the workyard and I've been replacing the styrofoam in the dinghy (see The Three Dollar Cure). The stryofoam I used then was the open cell stuff and it didn't hold up. Now I'm using the closed cell foam that I bought for the FLASH. Trying to work with styro in a gale is foolhardy. So I came home and took a shower and wrote a blog. That's it.