Well Blow Me Down


Well, it seems I have "survived" my third major hurricane as a front row spectator, and I rate it as a pretty good one. Scored my first EYE experience, very, very COOL. The downside to all the entertainment, of course, is all the heartbreaking and backbreaking aftermath when the fun part is over. All my boats are okay. Now, to find out how Tony Olsen fared. He lives on the west end of Galveston Island and was on the "good" side of the eye track, so he stands a chance of having stuff to return to. I think he may have gone down there to have a look today. I'm in League City, which is pretty much dead center between Houston and Galveston, and my place is located on high ground ... if you call 21 feet elevation high ground. I rode the storm out with 82-year-old Dad in the house I grew up in, located about two miles from here, and on the highest ground in G'ston County at 23' el. He taught me to "build up high and away from the creek."

I need to go paddling really bad. In fact, I really, really need to see and do something -- anything -- that's normal. It is impossible that it has only been a week, are you sure it hasn't really been a year? So y'all just keep up the usual banter here, it's super nice to check in and see unaffected stuff.

Here's Dad right out the front door...

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RE: Well Blow Me Down


I was wondering how you made out down there.  That tree almost looks big enough for a one man dugout canoe?  My parents got hammered almost as bad as you did, and they another 60 miles north in Conroe.  Glad to hear you survived. Now, let's go paddle!



RE: Well Blow Me Down


Glad you made it through, I was hoping that you'd get a chance to post to let us know, but I didn't know what your power situation was. Hope the cleanup/recovery progresses well. Are you sure you don't want to move to MD? Crab cakes, altitude above sea level and just pick up your supplies at the CLC showroom.

Hang in there, 


RE: Well Blow Me Down

Plan to get any boatbuilding lumber out of that tree, Kurt?

RE: Well Blow Me Down

Hey Kurt, glad to hear you made it through the cane. I know your going to be busy for a while with cleanup but if you need a break you should come up and check out Birke's OI. Absolutely beautiful!

RE: Well Blow Me Down

Some day my ol' father won't be around anymore, and when it comes I'm leaving the coast, I think. But it won't be to no Annapolis. Don't get me wrong, I loved the place and wanna come back asap, but dangit, I'm a TEXAN. I'd simply croak without Texas under my butt. Probably go to the Hill Country or maybe Shiner. Shiner would be a grand place to live...

 Believe me, my brother in law and I looked at those big overturned pecan tress and thought about milling lumber and making furniture or cabinets etc., but there just aren't any lumber mills around here and we have no clue as to how to cure the chunks. In the meantime, we're sorta clamoring to get the place cleaned up and back in order. Three weeks ago you could get good money for pecan fire/BBQ wood, but now we're happy to give it away for the hauling off.

 God, I'm so incredibly tired. I've been working nonstop day and night since the 13th and before. Ain't complaining, it's actually kinda fun, certainly exciting, and very rewarding helping so many people.

RE: Well Blow Me Down

Oh, and no ... no kayaks made of pecan wood please. Use cedar. It's cheap, easy to work, and light. I rail against hardwoods in canoes and kayaks except possibly as very small accent pieces. The virtues of light weight in small paddle craft are terribly overlooked -- light boats fairly LEAP forward with each stroke, and that's why I preach it so obnoxiously (it's also why racing boats are light). Also, I still believe hybrids are the best bang for the buck in homemade kayaks; they're fast to build, lightweight, and great looking. I love it that CLC is big into them!!

RE: Well Blow Me Down

Oh how I disagree.  I am paddling a "Expedition Single" that I made from Poplar (hull), and a Cherry deck with poplar and mahogany trim.  I agree it is heavier, but it cuts the large waves here in FL.  I even used Ash in the bow and stern for the abuse yaks here get here.  I will admit I thinned my strips to 1/8 inch, but it is worth the Ohhhs & Ahhhs everytime I launch.

RE: Well Blow Me Down

Hang in there Kurt, we're all rooting for you as you help your community and family to bounce back from this disaster.

Re getting out furniture lumber. A fellow around here has a portable sawmill (Woodmizer? or something like that) and one can call him up and he will come over and slab the wood.  You might ask around to see if there's somebody like that in your neighborhood.  (Who has an opening in his calendar  in the next decade?)

For furniture, of course.

Too much to think about right now, for sure, but the tree ain't going anywhere in the meantime.

I'm told that to season it, you just "sticker" it (stack it with little spacers of wood to allow air flow) in a dry place for a year or two, until the moisture content drops to the recommended level for furniture building.  As a cabinetmaker you would know more about it I reckon so I'll stop here.



RE: Well Blow Me Down

Camper, I look around and notice that log sections that have sat for a week or more begin splitting from the inside out. I can't really see where you'd be able to get a single board out of 'em in lots of cases. Wonder what the deal is? You're right: it's too much to think about right now, but if you get answers I'm a-listenin'... 'Cuz you're right about something else too: them big ol' downed tree trunks ain't going nowhere anytime soon.

 Kev, cedar comes in an incredible range of shades for a single species of wood, and anything you can do with hardwoods is possible with cedar if you're willing to go the extra mile in wood selection. Admittedly, hunting the perfect boards is my biggest time consuming headache in boat building, but the results are, just as you say, very much worth it. Whatever, as I always say: Do what works best for YOU.

RE: Well Blow Me Down

Hm.  Wonder if trees felled by wind just suffer too much stress.  I looked at one of three large trees Ike blew down in a friend's back yard and saw an inside out split, too.  Why would there be a delay of some days--no idea.

Anyway, I'll talk about my Sharpie cause Im mad at it. I wanted to temporarily fasten down the rear deck so I could fill in the gaps between it and the hull with schmoo.  I prepped the sheer so the epoxy would stick to it, and put packing tape on the bottom surface of the deck so it would lift off.

After letting the epoxy set up for what seemed like enough hours, I lifted it off. The schmooky dutz stuck to the packaging tape, and pulled away from the sheer like taffy, or just pulled off the wood of the sheer clamp and hull plywood edge.

What a mess.  I got it cleaned up, and I think I will just glue the dumb deck on, and worry about the consequences later.  I have a feeling I'll regret it when I go to put some hatches in the stern compartment, and have to work from outside only.

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