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Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:32 pm

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How things are configured, assembled, and given capability is the essence of design. But it is more than that. Much more...

Coherent design is actually a "fitment program" locking in energies, potentials, utility, and other forms of power.

From oarlock position to reef points we see it embedded in the small vessel.

This program runs all through nature, from the atomic, to the molecular, and on up into the human and cosmic scales.

And the environment is codified.
Mathematics, DNA, and the Periodic Table are three that we have cracked!

It is that sublime air/water interface of the sea surface that positions the small boat skipper in the ideal situation to observe and interpret the implications of these beauties and dangers...



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Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:16 pm

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If our skipper bobbing around out there is observant in his relaxation and honors the little miracles of flotation and mobility that his platform provides, in a reverie , between two worlds, it could be that deeper appreciations will follow on naturally...

Duality
Symmetry
Harmony
Equilibrium
Rythym
Proportion
Repetition
Levels of Scale
Boundaries
Interlock
Fairness
Contrast
Gradients
Echoes
The Void

Building blocks of design.
Keys to beauty, performance, and safety.
Imperatives of order.
Secrets to a winning 2016 R2AK entry?



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Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:01 pm

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Hanging on the anchor in the sheltered cove recalling the events of the day's passage, the small boat captain is faced with those most basic of human psychologies...memory, and interpretation.

The Event is the crucible where the progress of life is mixed and ultimately measured. And events insist on being read for values, character and meaning..

As long as there have been boats, mariners, designers, and builders,
like all humans, have been faced with this challenge.
The current runs fast here!
Boats can be achingly beautiful creations for the profoundest of reasons..

Recognizing that all observers see things a little differently is a nice clue about what is actually happening out here.
Any and every event is a unique combination, and the witness is key.

And it is a variable proportional mix of four qualities that we use as our prism.
Logic, Art, Ethics, and the knowledge that it's all unfinished, we are Alive!
The Four Domains of Order..

Oh, and don't pay any attention to that little whistle going off!
That's just Humor, Irony, or Serendipity working our crowd!


Last edited by Dirk Visser 166 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:03 am

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The latest issue of Small Craft Advisor has a short article by David Buckman: "Drinking the Wild Air", kind of a writing sample and summary sketch of his 2010 book, "Bucking the Tide".
At the close of the article the editors were kind enough to furnish contact information for ordering.
(buckingthetide@gmail.com. 241 pages, $10, including shipping , while they last.)

The book arrived promptly, I'm about half through it, and can't remember when a small boat venture came across as so authentic, colorful, and more imbued with the flavor of centuries old sea salt!

Buckman is wide ranging in description, and capable of amazing depth. The implications of the five year story would be my "exhibit A" for the wisdom- inducing power of small craft.

Plus, the language command, and turn of phrase, simply an inspiration throughout...!



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Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:00 pm

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Tension: that is what Buckman allows is the catalyst for the exceptionally effective small boat learning leads.

Our motivation becomes a push-pull involving both sensation and self-preservation.

Curiosity and discovery are the traditional attractions and rewards, but most of us know it goes deeper than this on certain days!

I recently saw the mountaineering movie "Meru."
In this documentary, three expert climbers are making three successive attempts, over the years, at an unsupported first ascent of an exceptionally challenging Himalayan peak against strong odds. I was a witness to personal priorities that few of us could fathom.The situation and psychology was often "beyond the Pale", as they say.

Of course it was a telling window into an aspect of our situation as small boatmen. Risk and discomfort is part of our formula too, but much less deliberate, and more manageable, I hasten to add.

However, there is no denying an otherworldly commonality that we share with these climbers and other similar adventurers, which makes the rewards we gain very unique and precious...



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Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:33 am

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Getting perspective can help greatly with interpretation.

When the shoreline appears as a thin band on the horizon or even a hulking mountainous mass we know we are "outside the box" in another world. Our thoughts and priorities are irrevocably changed by the simple acts of coming aboard and shoving off.

This effect magnifies itself with the commitment required for an overnight experience or, heaven forbid, an r2ak, or extended coastal exploration.

It's physical too. The body is involved. Balance centers are called into play and the resultant involuntary muscle activity oxygenates the blood and sharpens the mind.
And that's even before the wind starts to blow...!



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Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:28 am

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The small boat is an excellent example of a limited controlled environment. As such it shares advantages with experimental set- ups that limit variables which can complicate the interpretation of the causes and effects.
Another advantage our skipper enjoys as he tries to piece together , "What the Hell Happened?"

The causes of an event happen on several levels, both sequential and simultaneous.
The flooding of the cockpit in rough weather can be related to undersized scuppers as well as the state of the sea.
The awareness of predisposing causes like this have led designers to the most powerful solutions and innovations through the years.

The best designers and builders have the ability to look beyond the "precipitating" provocation , and realize that events happen in a context and are composed of a rich fabric of causes, both known, and only intuited...



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Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:38 pm

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As our illustrious "El Capitan" ghosts along, pulled by the parabolic lift of jib and main, it might cross his mind that the singlehanded small boat is the ideal minimalist environment to demonstrate the
supreme power of ideas.
"For any creation, in any universe, there must first be ideas."

Since nature can be counted on to always follow her own laws, the sea becomes an exceptional setting to test the theories of aero and hydro dynamics, propulsion, geometry, navigation, complex and simple design, and not least, human psychology and endurance .

Natural law is where the concept of ethics gets it's start. Proper behavior of matter and energy in support of the unity of the world guarantees consistency.
Every element and process is constrained and predictable and true to itself, no matter how chaotic or beautiful conditions seem. But the distractions of society and the shore can often cloud the direct and clear observation of underlying causes and effects.

Laying a course with the power of free will and imagination, then seeing how one's efforts fare, that is a test that quickly sorts out the truth of things...!



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Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:25 pm

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The skipper smiles with individual, well deserved personal satisfaction .
After all, none of this would exist without his efforts.

He had the desire, the discipline, sensitivity, energy, investment, and the force of will to build this hull and fit it out.
A look around the cockpit, or walk around the hull is testimony to the thousands of decisions that became form, were made real, in the creation.

Decisions determining efficiency, durability, and beauty.
Reason, Ethics, and Aesthetics.

The owner-builder has earned his pride in the most direct and honest of ways, as the true agent who made it all happen, from the idea to the reality.

And as the concept of pleasing oneself becomes central, the boat develops a spirit and character reflecting that of the builder. Innovative, traditional, hybrid, special purpose, the evolving build will reveal the thoughts .

Learning is a given in this progression..



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Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:55 pm

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Consider for a moment how the form of a given tool is evolved.

Typically guided through the material by human intent and hands, it meets resistance. How this pushback is minimized or overcome ultimately shapes the artifact.

From a chisel point to a full rigged ship to a prop or oar blade, the interplay of the material's character and the user/fabricator's ideas and goals drive the process.

"Improvements" are measured by efficiency, economy, quality, comfort, speed, style, and a host of similar parameters ranging along the scale from the strictly objective to the highly subjective.
Where along this gradient an object resides changes with the observer and the times.

But a boat is an interesting example, it's gotta float, and keep mobility, amid various and repeated tests of strength and integrity. All the while looking good and performing capably.
Marine traditions run deep, in no small measure owing to the safety concerns dictated by the stern environment. Disrespect for the sea is simply a nonstarter as a cultural factor unless you are doing Darwin awards..


Last edited by Dirk Visser 166 on Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.


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