I was out and about early today, with a  fine rain soaking my hat, my shoes and everything in between. I usually walk southwards in the mornings, and northwards in the afternoons: that seems to be the comfortable thing to do, and has therefore become my Way.

Crested Terns were huddled on the edge of the reef, their beaks  pointing into a northwesterly breeze. A solitary Heron poked about in the rock pools….and I encountered a long-time friend: the resident Black Oystercatcher, who visited a few years back, liked what he saw, and stayed  on. I think he is a bachelor. He wanders among the rocks with his head down, now and then  uttering a plaintive little note, and scarcely bothering to move aside when I approach.

High up, a handsome Pacific Gull sailed across, from south to north. These birds, as they fly, keep a weather-eye out for unconsidered trifles – and yet,
they always give the impression of being on a mission; of heading for somewhere in particular, and with a particular purpose in mind. They are a bird of mystery, and mastery, and long distances….

Yesterday afternoon Sam and I strolled to the Estuary, a quarter of a mile  north of our  Bay, to see what was what. Sam was armed with his tiny phone camera, and he did an excellent job in capturing the delicate lights and colours of autumn. I think of Autumn as the season of pastels:  colour becomes less intense; contours shift and merge. The river itself changes course from day to day, as water trapped upstream starts flowing into the ocean.

We noted a single Pacific Gull, a single Silver Gull, both perched on the western side of the sandbar: not too close together, not too far apart. It looked to be a companionable – a shared – solitude.


A month or so ago I was thinking that installation of the Endclasp would be  a relatively easy matter – but alas, I discover it is by no means easy….at least, not easy for a novice.

I have so far developed three different templates, in the hope of coming up with a pattern that does the job.

One pattern does, indeed, look to be acceptable. In the gallery you can see an ‘experimental’ length of cypress, maybe 1.2 mm thick, bent around the ‘stern’ end of the lute. If that works out, I will use the same pattern on my Plan A cypress, and  hope for the best.

There is no particular endlcasp formula I know of, unless it be patience, or stubbornness – or both.

Perhaps: make haste slowly.


One of the satisfying things about wooden Boatsheds – and wooden Boats – is that they require annual maintenance….assuming they haven’t been  covered with a toxic sealant such as epoxy.

Winter, of course,  is the best season for attending to the running repairs on boats; the best season for dreaming great maritime dreams.

I usually  tackle the odds and ends of Boatshed maintenance in Autumn, when it is a pleasure to be working outside. The hands seem to create their own rhythm, while heart and mind are free to wander along any path they choose.

Each day of this autumn I have been sanding back the cladding, bit by bit – and thereafter applying our special linseed oil mixture, based on the secret recipe that Dad developed for Shearwater.

The Boatshed gradually emerges from its weathered  ‘chrysalis’, and reveals what was always there: a beautiful golden colour reflecting the mellow sunlight of autumn….