Saturday, January 5, 2013

shaken, not stirred

The can of varnish, a pint of Pettit 101 Captain's Varnish, had been sitting inside the closet for almost a year.  So I picked it up and walked about the house shaking the can like it was a martini mixer.  Once well shook I started reading the specs on the back. 

The first line says "Do not shake container.  Remove cover and gently stir varnish, using wood paddle of spatula."  James Bond, apparently, would not have been much at varnishing.  And neither am I.

But it was a warm clear day, good enough to get that first layer of varnish on the rub rails, boomkin and tiller.  There are hints of that nice rich glow that will show more and more as each of the next six coats go on.  It is far from a perfect varnish job - Spartina will not win any ribbons in a boat show.  But it looks good enough for me.


The annual fishing trip was cancelled due to a family emergency that involved a few of our crew.  I tried to find quick replacements for the trip, but when I could not the captain was very understanding about the late cancellation and we came to a fair and reasonable resolution.

The fish seemed to have cancelled their trip too.  The annual three-day striper fishing tournament is going on and as of now, the third day of the contest, zero stripers have been caught.  This unheard of poor fishing is being blamed on the steady west winds we have had this week, blowing the surface water and accompanying bait fish away from shore and out into federal waters where the stripers are protected.

It was just last year that the bait fish - menhaden - were so thick that the near-shore waters were filled with not only stripers, but also with huge bluefin tuna, whales and, of course, fishermen trying to catch stripers and tuna.  Go figure.


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