View Full Version : Birthday Present for me!

Miami Mike
05-17-2005, 03:49 PM
Hello All,

Iím really more of a lurker than a poster but I thought I would share what I received yesterday from my wife as an early birthday present.

I am currently building (real-ly slowl-ly) a Penobscot 14. What this experience has taught me so far is that I must have been delusional to think my woodworking skills were as good as I thought they were. I had completed a few small pieces of furniture and I think I was feeling a little cocky. As I was driving home yesterday I thought it might be humorous to breakdown and post a little blurb here from the perspective of someone who is not turning out one of these fabulous show pieces that are normally posted here, but something that upon ones closer inspection, one might turn their head and wince in a ďthat must of hurtĒ sort of grimace.

Now donít misunderstand me, Iím not frustrated or annoyed by my lack of ability. Actually I feel quite the opposite. I think itís kind of funny and Iím finding the whole experience incredibly enjoyable. Itís been a great learning experience and Iím happy to be attempting something that I have thought about doing for yearsÖ.building my own small wood sailboat.

I also think itís only fair to point out that this is not one of those Ēoh, Iím such a wood butcherĒ posts that is shortly followed with a slew of photos of a craft whose finish is just short of The Presidential Yacht Sequoia and then standing back to reap the praise that follows....trust me itís bad! To say that there will be no bright work on the finished product is an understatement (and to think I originally had posted here claiming that I wanted to build a boat that would be finished completely bright when searching for the type boat to build.) If I ever overcome the twin evils of procrastination and lack of skill to finish this Penobscot 14, trust me it will be hard to make out the hull for all the epoxy and paint covered mistakes.

So what does this have to do with my early birthday present? Well, after driving home laughing to myself about all the foibles and follies of my project that I was going to post when I came in to work today, I was met by my wife with a gift wrapped envelope. She said that she thought that it might possibly be the best present she has ever given me and to go ahead and open it. Imagine my shock to open it and see a home made coupon for an all expense paid week long trip to The Woodenboat School in Maine!

I was completely taken by surprise as I didnít even know she knew they had a school there. She had been surfing on the WB site because she has seen how much I've been enjoying my excruciatingly slow project and she thought there might be something I would like on the site. When she saw the school she called up and spoke to Kim who, with the help of others at WB, discussed my current project and which of the classes I could benefit from most. It was decided that the June 5th, Building the Dory Skiff class would fit my time schedule and be the most beneficial. She called my boss and arranged for my time off and booked my flights.

I called a few friends, my brother and my Mom but I donít think they quite understood the greatness of this giftÖ.so hence Iím posting here!

Watch out Maine, hide the sharp toolsÖÖÖ

Bruce Hooke
05-17-2005, 03:57 PM
You've got yourself quite a wife there! Take good care of her!

And have fun at the WoodenBoat School...

05-17-2005, 04:03 PM
Very cool gift!

I know how you feel (I think), but you should take some solace in knowing that I have found that posted pictures of boats have a magical way of looking much better than in real life. For some at least, Im quit sure many of the boats posted here are horribly under-represented by thier online pics. Theres some real talent here.

In my case anyway I was pleasantly surprised by how much nicer my canoe looked posted online than it does up close and in person, 6 inches from the planks! Of course I think she's lovely in person but I know all her secrets.


km gresham
05-17-2005, 04:22 PM
:D She's making things tough on the rest of the wives! Enjoy your birthday gift. smile.gif

Ross M
05-17-2005, 05:00 PM
You must be doing quite a bit correctly on the domestic front, Mike. Keep up the good work on that end and enjoy the Woodenboat School!


05-17-2005, 06:49 PM
Happy Birthday & Congratulations on your obviously fine choice in brides :D

- M

ion barnes
05-17-2005, 07:44 PM
Thats awsome!

Miami Mike
05-18-2005, 10:52 AM
Thanks everyone for the responses and well wishes.

I knew that people here on the forum would grasp the significance of this gift more than those Iíve told about it in person and yes, I do count myself as a lucky guy in the bridal department!

dmede, thanks for the encouraging words. The funny thing is I posted a few photos in imagestation to send to my brother-in-law and I was amazed at how good they looked, all though I was fairly careful to stand beyond the point of detail when I snapped the shots. It reminds me of an old saying ďgood from far, but far from goodĒ.

Having bought Woodenboat Magazine on and off for at least 10 years, I have to say that even with my poor workmanship, I experience a cheap thrill when I pull into my driveway and see that upside down boat frame in the carport. Iím not sure how my neighbors feel about seeing it, but I love it!

05-18-2005, 10:58 AM
SUPER!....now when is her birthday? ;)

05-18-2005, 11:28 AM
Yeah, there better be some expensive jewelery involved when her B-day rolls around. :D

Miami Mike
05-18-2005, 11:40 AM
Good question Norske3!

Hmmm.....jewelry, I hadn't thought of that. Her birthday is in August. She grew up in Toledo, Ohio so I was thinking a long weekend trip here:

Cedar Point Amusement Park (http://www.cedarpoint.com/)

Jewelry, eh Katherine? Hmmm, maybe the reliving of your youthfull days at your favorite childhood amusement park might not be the right call for her 40th birthday after all!

jewelry you say.........

05-18-2005, 11:43 AM
It depends, does she want to got to Cedar Point? If yes, by all means, take her, sounds like fun. Just make sure the gift is something SHE wants and not something YOU think she wants. ;)

km gresham
05-18-2005, 11:46 AM
Gifting. Always tricky. smile.gif

05-18-2005, 11:55 AM
Toledo? Hmmmm, I spent a week there one day.

Seriously though, If you get that nonpareil of a wife up to Toledo, I'd like to drive down and buy you both dinner, just so my wife gets to see a positive role model for how other wives handle the wooden boat building obesession.

05-18-2005, 12:41 PM
Hey Milo!

How come you never offered to buy us dinner?

Kathy is a good role model. She insisted I build her a boat. (It's almost done)

Miami Mike
05-18-2005, 12:57 PM
MJC, You cracked me up!

Not to go on and on about the positive attributes of my betrothed, but the carport I'm building the Penobscot in.....is her parking spot! No more shade for her car, it's out in the blazing sun 24/7 with the likes of me.

She gave it up with nothing but a smile and a laugh and she's been nothing but delightful since. This may not seem like much of a sacrafice to people up north but believe me, when you hop in your car in South Florida on a hot summer day it can resemble Dante's Inferno. I asked her recently if she had known how long she was going to be parking in the sun, would she still have said yes and she replied "of course!". I'm not admitting to how long it's taken to get to the point in the picture (which I'm slightly past), but I will say this, if the boat was a child it would probably be walking by now.

Here's her carport....my boat shed, so to speak:


Bruce Taylor
05-18-2005, 01:01 PM
You know, for my wife's birthday I might just give her a framed copy of this thread...

Nice post, for a lurker. smile.gif

05-18-2005, 01:28 PM
Great gift, great wife. I built my boat to the
level of craftsmanship you desribe as well. The
thing that suprises me is that regular people will look at it and still think you're amazing. I guess they don't know any better. And I'm not gonna tell them. Also, no matter what kind of job I did, I still can't wipe the grin off my face when I'm sailing it. Good post. Enjoy the class.

05-18-2005, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by FG:
Hey Milo!

How come you never offered to buy us dinner?

Kathy is a good role model. She insisted I build her a boat. (It's almost done):D Fred :D

What can I say? I'm sorry. Wanna come over to the new house for a barbecue?

Suitable house warming gifts include 16' lengths of WRC (fohc, please) and/or any old ahrrnn you gots lying around (bandsoars preferred).

Joe (SoCal)
05-18-2005, 01:59 PM
W :eek: W cool wife I'm printing this thread out and just sort of leave it around the house to see if my wife picks up the hint ;)

Good luck and thanks for the fun post. Keep posting we could use some new blood on this forum :D

05-18-2005, 05:21 PM
Happy birthday! You are a lucky guy. smile.gif It sounds like your wife really 'gets you'. Are you flying to Bangor or Portland? If you are coming into Portland and have any free time I'll buy you a beer and show you our current projects.

Steven (who also has a wife who gets me)

Miami Mike
05-19-2005, 07:59 AM

Thanks for the offer. I would have loved to take you up on it, but I'm flying into Bangor.

I thought I might post a new topic (now that I'm getting into the whole posting thing) looking for suggestions on how to spend my little exrta time that weekend. I'm arriving into Bangor around 11:00 pm Friday night, so I'll have all day Saturday and half day Sunday free until I have to be at the WB School.

I plan on getting a rental car and I've made no hotel reservations yet, so I guess I'm up for anything. In short order I have a soft spot for maritime museums and dive bars, not necessarily in that order.

Any suggestions?

Bruce Hooke
05-19-2005, 08:18 AM
There is a maritime museum not far from Bangor/Brooklin in Searsport, Maine. Penobscot Marine Museum (http://www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org/). The other maritime museum I know of in the area is down in Bath, which is a bit of a hike.

For spectular coastal scenery head the other way and go to Acadia National Park. For lower key coastal scenery head down to Deer Isle (especially Stonginton). If you are looking for some nice places to get out and enjoy the scenery on Deer Isle, pay a visit to the Island Heritage Trust (http://www.islandheritagetrust.org/).

If you are interested in picking up some used tools while you are up there (just make sure you have a way to get them back in your checked baggage), pay a call to one of the three stores of the Liberty Tool Company (http://www.jonesport-wood.com/jwabout.htm). Liberty Tool sells used tools that are meant to be used rather than put on the mantle -- a very dangerous place! :D

Since I don't drink I'm afraid I can't help you with dive bars.

Be prepared for it to be chilly up there. I've seen it drop down into the 40's there in early June. If a fog rolls in the temperatures even during the day can be in the sweater range, particularly for someone who is coming from climate where sweater weather probably ended months ago!

Miami Mike
05-19-2005, 10:45 AM

Thanks for the reply. The people at WBS also forewarned me about the weather in their paperwork. I donít really have any winter clothes so I guess I will be layering. I have to dig out some long pants from the attic as I havenít had a pair on since I got married.

The museum and tool company seem right up my alley. Not that Iím that knowledgeable about the tools but there were a few on the WBS list as recommended to bring that I donít have.

In your opinion should I stay in Bangor Friday night and stay in Searsport Saturday night?

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it.

05-19-2005, 11:00 AM
Here's an idea, Mike: That's the weekend of Mystic Seaport's 36th annual John Gardner Smallcraft Workshop Weekend - June 4th and 5th. Change your flight ( :eek: ) to land in N.Y.C. and drive up to Mystic. You could even stay on their Tall Ship (not the Morgan, the steel one) for a few extra bucks. Or maybe next year. smile.gif I'm still hoping to go this year but I'm not sure if I'll be able to. I went in 2000 with the whole family and we all had a great time.


David W Pratt
05-19-2005, 11:26 AM
When in Brooklin, try to visit Brooklin Boat Yard,, and Brion Rieff Boat Builders. You'll see some very inspiring stuff.

Bruce Hooke
05-19-2005, 11:31 AM
Given that you are getting into Bangor at 11 PM I would certainly reserve a bed there for Friday night. Driving the back roads of Maine can get a bit confusing even in the daylight, so I certainly would not set out from Bangor at midnight if I were in your shoes! As far as Saturday night goes, I think I might aim for staying somewhere closer to Brooklin on Saturday night than Searsport. If you want someplace scenic to stay, reserve a room in one of the motels in Stonington (there are also lots of scenic B&B's throughout the area if that is your preference). My thinking on getting over closer to Brooklin for Saturday night runs as follows:

1. Even if you spend all day at the marine museum and the used tool store you will still be out on the street at 5 or 6 PM.

2. In my opinion, aside from the musuem the area over closer to Booklin is more interesting (do note that I may be very biased on this because my family lives on the Brooklin side of Penobscot Bay!).

The big caveat is that if you want more than one day for the used tool store and the marine museum then of course staying in Searsport would make more sense. A lot also depends on what you want to do besides visit musuems and used tool stores. I tend to like walking in the woods and on the shore so my bias is towards places where I know about nice spots to go do that sort of thing.

If you want to see a truly classic Maine seaport town visit Castine. 225 years ago it was the most important port between Halifax and Boston. These days the harbor is pretty much dominated by the Maine Maritime Academy training ship and pleasure craft, which pretty much reflects the current population of the town as well. Stonington is much more of a working waterfront and so a good place to soak in that aspect of Maine.