August Letters

One More Last Time…


I got a note from Matt Schiemer, Head Honcho of the Texas 200 Sailing Club.  He asked me if I might be interested in “making another run,” this coming June, and perhaps doing another memorial service for our departed shipmates.  Quite frankly, whenever I start to drag out the old dog eared Rand McNally and flip to the “T” section,  my wife, Kate, asks rhetorically—and with a lot of authority—“You’re talking about going back to Texas?  In June?…for what!?!”  My answer, no matter how outrageous it may seem to the uninitiated, “…it’s where the cool kids will be…”

Before Harvey landed, and messed up the entire neighborhood, I had been sort of toying with “another run.”  Now, all the more so!

Here’s what I’m wondering:  From what I can pick out of the news broadcasts, is that both Port Aransas, and Rockport took heavy hits from Harvey.  Both of these places have played a part in our collective TX-200 experience.  For example, I have never before or again been serenaded by a gent in cowboy boots and Stetson playing the bagpipes.  And, for that matter, I have rarely been befriended by strangers the way I was in Rockport, that year when I chose to bail out half way to Magnolia Beach.  With that in mind, I’d like to see if we can stir up some interest in a hairball idea.  Would other guys and gals who have sort of been on the fence about “another run,” be willing to do just that?

I propose to call the effort “One More Last Time.”  Further, I propose to make life a bit more comfortable for those guys and gals by starting out in either Rockport or Port Aransas.  We could meet up with the main body at one of the campsites—and escort them to the location where, we’ll hold our memorial.  This may turn out to be too complicated for scheduling purposes.  But, maybe not.

There are still quite a few of us—dark stares from the spouse, notwithstanding—who would sort of like to “make one more last run,” and remember our departed shipmates, in a place that just might be special to a lot of us.

I’d be thrilled to hear from anybody who might be thinking along those lines.  When we first moved here, out in the woods of Almostcanada, the local cable company literally strung their wires from tree to tree.  Things have improved a bunch since then.  We actually have a fiber optic system that keeps up connected to the rest of the world, quite effectively.  Please let me hear from anybody who’d care to drop me a note.

Dan Rogers


Howdy Chuck,

I’m looking at the videos of the destruction in Port A.
I know you will be thinking the same way … but if it is at all possible to run the boatshow somewhere in Port Aransas … it is a great thing to do.
Flags, ribbons, multicoloured boats, camping.
They will need something to FLAG that something extraordinary can happen. And boats and recreation are the keystone of much of the community.
The location was well chosen. It’s the perfect town.
That still hasn’t changed.
I hope something can happen this year if possible.

Michael Storer

A(nother) Good Day

Temps in the nineties and high pressure have dampened all breeze for over a week now.  But the weather folks spied something three days out that was going to drop those temps and give us some wind for Wednesday, starting early.  So I hitched up the recently retrieved and nicely waxed A cat, and showed up at Cliff Snow’s lovely home on Diamond Lake about 8:30 am, and the breeze is on!  Cliff and assorted friendly neighbors helped me off load and rig, and within 20 minutes I’m on the water, fully trapped out, with squeals of glee escaping regularly.  I make my way upwind to the east end of the lake in six tacks, poke into a small bay on the north side to see if any sailing buddies are home (no!), and turn downwind for a sleigh ride back to the beach.

Gusty as always, near 20 in the puffs, so great concentration is required to the pointy end up.  A couple of sloppy jibes put me in the drink, but in these winds it’s near effortless to right her.  After a couple hours of intense driving and furious sheeting, I’m spent.  Pull her up on the sand, drop sail, and spend a some time with Cliff in front of his computer monitor, browsing his extensive photo portfolio of life on the lake, year round.  Wildlife (animal and human), sunsets, iceboating, and spectacular aurora borealis shots entertain us for long enough to allow me to recover enough to look lakeward again.  I launch into dying breeze, and throw in the towel shortly thereafter.  The guys all show up to help me tear down and reload, and I cruise home with that warm glow.  And sore muscles.  Good day.  Thanks Cliff!

Dave Farmer

StopLossBags 3-year varnish storage test results

I’m pleased to issue the following test results of StopLossBags®.

We have just concluded 36 months of testing of StopLossBags .  The results are that the polyurethane stored for three years retained 99.73% of original composition.  The color of the polyurethane had ambered, or darkened from the original light yellow to medium brown but was still clear with no cloudiness.  At the spout there was some thickening of the polyurethane, much like gel.  It was, however, confined to the spout, and the rest of the finish retained its solvent-to-solids mix.  Though it has not be further tested we expect its ability to produce normal results in protecting wood to be unchanged.

The results from two years had been 99.83%.  While we expect most woodworkers will use their varnish within twelve months, we’re genuinely pleased
that our bags pass that threshold effectively.

I hope your customers continue to find them a beneficial to their woodworking and boatbuilding.

All the best,
Tom Schrunk

“Happy Hour” in Brazil 

Hi Chuck,

Konrad’s “Happy Hour” in Brazil is slowly taking shape…


For Your Amusement

here is a shot of today’s action. this is Jim’s Paddleplank with Itty Bitty Berry aboard.


Blue Ribbons

I wanted to let you know that I finished my sailboat modeled after a Barnegat Bay Sneakbox this summer. I entered it in the Minnesota State Fair Creative Activities competition and it won 2 Blue Ribbons in the wood boat/canoe category.

Attached is a picture of the boat with the Duckworks sail on display at the Fair.  Thanks for the great sail.  it works great and I was able to sail the boat twice before the Fair competition.

Dan Breva

Dave is not the only one..

Hey, Chuck.  Wouldja’ see if your Whakamole Department can insert pix in the comments section on top of Dave Farmer’s discussion of skinny dipping in the Spokane River, on the rez side.  This is a small group of stalwarts including Tom Gale, Dennis McFadden, Steve Lansdown,  and yours truly engaging in au natural activities of a similar bent.  September 2014.  Same spot…

Dan Rogers

Back to Water!

The wind gods delivered today, as per the National Weather Service prediction.  Steve called me last week to extend me a sailing invitation aboard his steed on spectacular Lake Pend Oreille, but I was off in MT, probably sailing.  So when I called to offer thanks for the invite, we settled on today, trusting our faithful government servants.

Such an outing provides an unnecessary excuse for a motorcycle ride, so I fire up the Wee, and gleefully head for the back roads that snake over the northern flank of Mount Spokane, and hence onto the Rathdrum Prairie, and then into Farragut State Park.  Once home to thousands of WWII Naval recruits doing basic training, it’s now open meadows and timberland on the southernmost shores of the lake. Today the navy’s only presence is a submarine base, for research or training is my best guess.  The lake is 2000′ deep in spots (making it good for subs), being a huge mountain valley filled with the coldest, cleanest, bluest water you can imagine. With plenty of mountain above lake level to please any mariner.

We cavort in ever increasing breeze, til we have to reef(partially furl) the genoa, and play the main in the puffs.  Tacking upwind eventually takes us to the very southern tip of the lake, Buttonhook Bay, shaped exactly so.  Nothin’ to do but spin her around for a romp downwind, and out into the main body of the lake.   Where the wind gets fluky, big ups and downs, massive shifts in wind direction.  Entertaining!  Steve graciously grants me the helm for the entire trip, and serve admirably as crew, responding to my every command with a smile.


The afternoon winds down, and we return our worthy craft to her slip.  I remount the two wheeler, and return whence I’ve come, making one stop at a small lake I dimly recalled.  Ah, to lie on the forest floor, gazing up, listening to the breeze in the trees.  Next to water, even better! With that refreshing break, I resume the cruise, and get home just after my lovely bride.  Another full day!

Dave Farmer


  1. I’m not certain mr storer has ever seen the damage a cat 4 hurricane can do. My question to him is how are the people trying to rebuild port a going to replace all the facility we use; water, electricity, bathroom, food and fuel just to name the obvious. Would a contribution to the community be a better idea, and then the boat show next year?

  2. Excellent point, Lee. My own suggestion for next year’s TX-200 should pass that same reality check. We who are fortunate to live far from this particular ground-zero will need to standby. Thank you. Dan Rogers

  3. Well, I’m headed back to Texas next summer. If I get to sail the 200, great. And, if I don’t, and spend the time helping rebuild the lovely coast towns we fell in love with, that’d be great, too. Nice people and charming towns are what we found down there along the waters edge in Texas.

    Such a lovely and unique place.

    My love and best wishes to all affected by Harvey.


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