23 May

Update on Seeker,
This week was a great one for the Seeker.
Rick Hauschildt and I were best friends in our youth, and, re-connecting on the Seeker proved the depth of that friendship. It was great to have his hands on the boat. It was quickly obvious that Rick was up to whatever task I threw his way, so, we teamed up to install the covering board blocking both sides of the raised fo’c’sle. At first, Rick was shaky walking over the deck beams, but, after a few days of Tai Chi he was comfortable. For the most part, I laid out, and Rick cut the blocks on the band saw. Every other minute, we spent in the same kind of enjoyable conversation we shared fifty years ago. Rick also joined us in the “workout,” a workout that usually kills young athletes. Start with 100 deep squats, punctuated with intervals of half squats, then one leg hops, 20 cat jumps, back and forth over a barrel twenty times, and that’s just the warm up. We then do a series of uniquely difficult pushups before moving to the rings, you get the picture. Rick hung with us all the way, and wasn’t sore the next day. I don’t know how.
While Rick and I were running the blocking, Wayne Sweezy was cutting bungs on the drill press by the thousand. Steady is too mild a term to describe Wayne. Paul Antonelli, meanwhile was busy with a sander and paintbrush, smoothing and oiling the hatches and hatch coamings.
The skylight assembly needed a couple of finishing touches. First , a horizontal brace under the center frames, and then, a very technical mating of the four gutters, at their intersection. That job went to Wayne, as a reward for his relentless performance on the drill press. He quickly, patiently and perfectly shaped the intersections of the gutters. This is the kind of job that requires an artists eye, steady hands, and an engineers sense of design. When he was finished, Rick and I simlutaneously finished up the blocking. What did Wayne do? Quietly went back to cutting bungs on the drill press.
The twins, Dillon and Skylar were helping out as usual on wednesdays, and they were the perfect shore-footed team I was waiting for to carry the now fairly heavy teak skylight assembly up into place. We had to balance on the deck beams as we did so. It was fun for those boys. They’re superb athletes.
Rick, Skylar, Dillon and I set the skylight, and it whispered into place.
Oh, and did I mention that on Wednesday evening, Rick joined our improv modern dance group? All in all, it was a great week. Rick was welcomed by the island community. I’m glad we had this time together. I just wish the water was a little warmer so we could have gone body surfing. Rick’s a fish in the water.

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