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Monday, May 22, 2017

Tall Ships

     Charleston, of course, was the biggest and richest port on the East coast during the ante-bellum days. It is still one of the biggest players. The harbor channel is on track to be deepened to 52 feet at low tide so as to accommodate the post-Panamax container ships. They already have the cranes installed to unload them. They handled one such ship (that arrived at high tide) this week, and are expecting one a week. The key to seeing more of these behemoths on the East Coast is the "raising" of the Bayonne Bridge later this summer, I think. In addition to the port is the remainder of the old Charleston Navy Base. There were tall ships here five years ago, and they hope to make it an annual event.
     At the last minute, figuratively speaking, Cindy and I decided to go have a look. We took the Jeep, a couple of lawn chairs, the handicapped placard, and I brought my walker instead of the cane. Of course, the handicapped spaces were full. As we walked toward the waterfront, I spotted a display of small, handmade wooden boats. Being a semi-skilled woodworker, I had to stop.

     On the middle of each side, in a slightly different darkness were the images of two fish. I looked to see if they were inlayed wood or decals of some kind. They were not only decorative inlays, but also structural elements. There was a seam, amidships, in the marine plywood sheathing. Bridging the seam were these two fish. I spoke with the builder and said, "That's just like a dovetail key!". He said, "Exactly." He also had four inlays of fish on the inside of the hull.

     These were sized and shaped to represent the minimum legal keeping size for the typical sport fish in the area. So, if you reeled in one of marginal size, you could lay it on the relevant outline between your feet and be sure! A clever idea skillfully implemented.
     The reason for our excursion, however, was the tall ships.

     The Pride of Baltimore is a restored topsail schooner with a significant rake to the two masts.

     This is the Alexander von Humboldt II.
     The temperature was above 90, but we were not outside very long. 'Twas a pleasant departure from my Kindle.
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