Wednesday, May 15, 2013

To Boston and Back Again

The day after the keel was poured,  we returned to the Little's house to clean up.  It sounds like a big job- but the clean-up wasn't really the hard part.  The hard part was loading the keel-  now a solid block of lead weighing roughly 4000 pounds- onto the the trailer.  Cody and Dylan and John rolled and winched and cursed and sweated- Afton and I lounged on the grass in the sun, and somehow neglected to take any photos of the process...   Oops!   

Once the keel was loaded on the trailer, and securely tied down, we drove down to the shop, and rented a fork lift.  One of the factors that makes our shop location so great is the proximity of a Howe Rental company.  They rent out all manner of industrial equipment, and are less than a block away from us.  I think it took longer to fill out the paperwork- check out and return- than it actually took to unload the keel.  

Once the keel was safely in the shop, we breathed a huge sigh of relief.  It's done!!  Yipee!  Then we headed home- to our tiny apartment,  filled to the brim with people and stuff.  Cody and I, (well, if I'm honest, it was mostly me) scrambled to pack.  We were off to Boston early the next morning to work for Vertical Solutions for two weeks.    That night, we hugged Afton and Dylan and Tim, who were setting off for an epic road trip through Canada the next day, and collapsed into sleep.   

Our trip to Boston went smoothly.  We arrived and took the "T" system to the stop we had been directed to- we were staying at an apartment in Cambridge, not at the rental house with the rest of the crew, because there wasn't room.  The next step in our directions read, "Walk east until you encounter the three-way madness."   Being new to the area, and lacking any landmark, we weren't sure which way was east.  We asked a bus driver- who surely would know the cardinal directions, right?- and he had no idea.  No one seemed to know which way was east.   We figured it out by trial and error, and eventually found the place.   That night, we wandered around Cambridge, strolling through the MIT campus, where everyone we passed seemed to be having a serious, intellectual conversation,  "But you have to remember, the potential energy is in stasis, so..." or something like that.    The architecture was neat- a blend of old and new styles, and all the trees were in bloom.  After dinner, we took a pedi-cab home.  We slept soundly in our 8th story apartment, and when we woke up the next morning,  could not believe the news that  the fatal shoot-out involving the Boston Marathon Bombers had occurred not a mile from where we were- and had been so happily wandering the night before.  The city of Cambridge was in lockdown- all public transportation was shut down...  I'm sure you'll remember the news.    Luckily, the job site was close, but in the city of Somerville, which wasn't under the "Stay Home" advisory.  We hurriedly found a cab, and headed to work.  

The next two weeks were a blur.  We managed to work 160 hours over the 13 days.  We worked roughly 8am to 8pm, never taking a longer lunch break than 1 hour.  Just as a point of reference, working a typical, 40 hour week schedule, 160 hours is a month's worth of work.  The work itself wasn't too bad- I was mostly sanding the finish sheeting, and building a simple handrail on top of one of the bouldering walls, while Cody was putting on the finish sheeting for almost the entire 160 hours.  The gym is HUGE.  It's going to be one of the largest gyms in the nation when completed.  

 One of the bouldering walls. There's another on the Mezzanine level, which you can see the corner of in this photo.  

One of the rope walls.  Opposite this one, there's a huge feature called "the tongue," which overhangs nearly to horizontal.  you can see the lip of that wall, just barely, in the upper left-hand corner of this photo.  
You can see a neat video about the gym here.  

We worked our last day on a friday, and were scheduled to fly home at 5pm on Saturday.  We took the day to explore the city and see the sights.  

At the site of the Boston Massacre, behind the Old State House.  
Those animals, perched on the corners of the building, are a lion and a unicorn, of all things.  

On the Boston Commons.  That's George Washington behind us.  

Springtime!  So many beautiful tulips!  Lots of blooming trees too.  

The site of the more recent Boston Massacre.  Or bombing, I should say.  There was quite a memorial set up, and the little trees nearby were missing many branches.  A chilling and moving sight.  

  We didn't really have an agenda to see the city, but did what we usually do, and looked for good food, and some historic sights, and maybe a marina to wander.  Exploring Boston, without a good map- we had a free tourist map, which was just okay, was confusing to say the least.  Cody was calling the place "Loston"  by the end of the day.  

  We had some classic cornbread and clam "chowda" for lunch at the Union Oyster House- the oldest restaurant in the country, open since 1826.   From there, we found the Italian neighborhood on Salem Street, and were kicking ourselves for having clam chowder for lunch, as there were so many restaurants offering traditional Italian food...  But we were determined to find some authentic Boston Cream Pie, and found it at Bova's Bakery.  The friendly man behind the counter- the owner, presumably- boxed up a generous slice of Cream Pie,  made us an incredible sandwich for dinner on the plane, and picked out a box of cookies to bring home as a gift for the Mannions.  (Who celebrated the birth of their 2nd daughter, Little Tilly Mae, the day we arrived home.)    If you're ever in Boston, I would strongly recommend checking out the historic North End district. 

Whew!  Now, we're home again, and back to the boat shop!  


We decided on "sprung" decks, which run parallel to the sheer.  They're going to look so nice when they're finished!   One benefit of the hot weather we're having is that the epoxy we use to attach the planks cures quickly.  We're able to put in two planks per side every day.  

Cody, after milling all the lumber for the decks into planks.  He was wearing ear-muff hearing protectors.  I think it was a little dusty in there.....  

The skylight above the table is installed!  It looks great, and is keeping lots of dust out of the cabin.  The glass is 1/2" thick tempered glass- very strong and sturdy.  

Cody's just finished laminating the skeg, which is upside down in this photo.  
We're going to have to lift the boat up higher to attach it!  

 We were doing some dog-sitting recently.
  Rumsy loved to come to the shop and chase the ducks in the creek outside.
 He's the worst duck-hunter I've ever seen.

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