Welcome statement

Welcome to my blog on the building and sailing of a Goat Island Skiff (GIS). Join us on the Michael Storer Wooden Boat Plans forum or on Facebook, where the community of Storer Boat builders, owners, and admirers share their ideas, experiences, and watery hi-jinx.

If you are new to this blog, start at the beginning by selecting the oldest date in the blog archive located in the left-hand column. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

jeffhatch45's photostream


I'm currently smitten by the CLC Pocketship (several other GIS skippers have moved up to bigger boats, so I'm not totally crazy).

This build is particularly awesome.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chivita Visits Mother of Exiles

...or, Chivita Seeks Liberty!

Photo courtesy Rick LaFontaine

It has been months in the planning, involving multiple sailors, several cameras, secrecy, bribery, the internet, and not a small amount of of head shaking and angst.  But on Saturday, August 10, 2013, the Goat Island Skiff Chivita paid homage to that New Colossus* known to many as Lady Liberty, The Lady in the Harbor, The Statue of Liberty.

Inspired by the many epic adventures of Goat Island Skiffs around the world, I wanted to share with the GIS community what's near and dear and epic to me.  As a Native New Yorker, I have been blessed to grow up so close to an international icon of welcome and inclusion.  The former New York GIS builder/sailor Al Zuger shared his photos of sailing in the East River with the United Nations in the background.  That got me wondering what it would take to get a photo with The Statue.  First step, of course, was to build my own GIS since Al moved to Canada.  I also hoped to provide a sort of bookend to my GIS hero, Christophe Matson, whose journeys along the Maine Island Trail are the polar opposite of crowded urban harbor sailing.  His photos are even more awesome than his adventures (if that's at all possible) and I knew that I would have to swing the pendulum WAY to the other extreme if I was going to add any value to the GIS community's visual frame of reference.

I knew I would need a lot of help in this endeavor.  The Statue is best viewed from the water.  I would need a photographer that was not only very good, but also one with sea legs.  Thankfully, I am related by blood to just such a photographer.  I pressed into service my brother, photographer extraordinaire, and captain of the sailing vessel Flor D'Luna. The fact that he's been an internet junkie/geek from the days of dial-up BBSes only adds to his credentials; he gets it, I didn't really need to explain why.

More help would be needed sailing my GIS.  If I know anything about the NY Harbor, I know that it is not to be taken lightly.  The waterway is very busy with real-deal vessels: commercial ferries too numerous to count are in a constant flow on a multitude of routes; cargo ships and tugs with barges; sightseeing craft and other recreational boats everywhere.  It's a busy place.  Then there's the water itself.  The harbor is the meeting place of ocean and river water coming from several different directions, where tidal cycles are corrupted and currents flow according to their own plan (Wot? You gotta probl'm wit dat?).  Needless to say, I would want a crew mate that could put the GIS in her sweet spot (i.e. sailing two-up) and that would not be intimidated by the conditions.  Enter Patrick Daniels.  Like so many transplanted New Yorkers ("...If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere..."), Patrick has embraced the City fully and completely.  He has rowed as crew in the harbor, has sailed and worked on the famed Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and sails dinghies in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens.  Plus, he soaks up City lore and history like a swab on a deck.  When I asked the GIS Facebook group for assistance, Patrick jumped on the opportunity.

My loving wife and children, my parents, and anyone else who would listen, were all just as important by supporting the idea and even asking those important questions like, "do you know what you're doing?"

Thank you all for helping me achieve a major GIS milestone.

Woo hoo moment
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

Port of Newark in background
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

Photo courtesy Rick LaFontaine

Photo courtesy Rick LaFontaine

Dodging traffic, a NY pastime
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

If I can make it there...
Photo courtesy Rick LaFontaine
 Other images of the occasion:

Cap'n Dave meets Jim Chambers, Commodore Emeritus of the RoyAle Morris Canal Dinghy Club
Photo courtesy of Pat Daniels

Chivita exits the cove into the harbor on a beam reach; this is my only GoPro shot because I fail at GoPro

Cap'n Rick sets out on his mission
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

One of the many hazards, this boat blew by us often
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

Historic ferry terminal/railhead in Jersey City
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

Ellis Island immigration station
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

All hands on deck
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

Is that a Goat on the horizon?
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

Aye!  Goat ho!
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine
It don't git no better'n this!
Photo courtesy of Pat Daniels

Couldn't have done it without you!
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

Here's the scar to prove it
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

The able crew of Flor D'Luna
Photo courtesy Hernan LaFontaine

*A poem by Emma Lazarus is graven on a tablet within the pedestal on which the statue stands.

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

(Source: http://www.libertystatepark.com/emma.htm)