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As plans are written in the sands of low tide, is an old saying I have come quite familiar with.  It all started with a very generous donation to our beer fund a while back.  This wonderful addtion to our social life might have seemed like a small gesture but to us it wasn’t.  It was a potential life altering event and no the sky doesn’t have to fall to change the entire course of ones life.Lyle Hess 24

Turn the clock back 21 years, I was a young budding drone working in the field of solar engineering.  I had been given the task of telling the entire manufacturing department that they wouldn’t be receiving Christmas bonuses.  These guys were upset, the best I could tell them was that their reward for a hard days work was an opportunity to work another day, needless to say it didn’t go over well.  A few days later I discovered that all the suits received their annual bonus and I along with all the other guys that made them rich were nothing other than peasants.  In my youthful naïvety I decided I would never be a peasant again.  I wrote a mission statement to Corporate, sold or gave away all of my worldly possessions and made a new life for myself.  Change is a good thing but also a scarry one when you are 25 years old.  I had made a twenty year plan to work hard, save all my money and eventually sail away.  Two months later I was getting the crap kicked out of me in the channel between Maui and Hawaii known as Alinuihahawa wondering if I had made a mistake giving up the familiar security I had grown accustomed to.

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On our way to the bar to celebrate the Halloween weekend we took a 8 mile sidetrack ending up at a haunted marina.  The short stout double spreader mast caught my eye and my curiosity.  I never would have discovered this little gem if it wasn’t for the kindness of a stranger.  This is the fourth wooden Hess that has fallen into my lap in the last 6 months and a reminder of how fortunate I am in this life.  If you can’t appreciate the beauty of wooden yachts you might take lesson from Carol Hasse or Lin and Larry Pardey, if these interviews don’t strike a chord in your heart nothing will.

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Its cold and windy today, easy to want to hide away in my warm dry cabin but Sookies bowsprit needs painting.  Its easy to lose motivation to write, or do maintenance at this time of year when the last of the warm sunny days of summer has sailed away.  Twenty years ago I could never imagine that I would be passed the torch to keep the romance of old traditional boats alive but here I sit caretaker of one of the last of the Mohicans.  They say that life is a concentric ring, that we are all connected to each other through this ring.  If I only reach one person through this journal and they pick up the torch and keep these old wonderful boats alive I have done my job.  Winter is marching in here, we have battened down the hatches and are ready for all that mother nature will throw at us.  We don’t have much be we have everything we need, we feel like Walden on water.

“There is but a plank between a sailor and eternity.” – Thomas Gibbons