Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Important Links For Readers

I just checked out my friend David Billa's blog Setouchi Explorer. David is from France (he blogs in French and English) and lives with his family in Takamatsu, where I was just building a boat for the garden there. He just blogged about my project and some of his other posts talk about things I blogged about, such as our trip to Shodoshima to see the barrel-makers, and Ogijima to tour this tiny island.

If you are interested in Japan I urge you to follow his blog. He's focused on his home region, in particular his love of the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. Just promise you won't stop following my blog!

And on that score, I hope to have an interesting project to start showcasing very soon here, but May 15th I fly to Japan and begin building a cormorant fishing boat with 85-year old Seiichi Nasu. This should be an amazing project. Joining me is my friend Marc Bauer, a naval architect I've worked with on two projects. He was the project manager in charge of building the Schooner Virginia. I did a bit of work on her but Marc and I first met when he designed the sail ferry Weatherwax which I built.

And I have learned the garden boat I built this winter has been launched. David has promised to get some photos for me and as soon as he does I will post them here.

And I am very excited to share a link to this new website dedicated to those interested in wasen, or traditional Japanese boats. A few years ago my friend Masashi Kutsuwa and I started a list serve called Wasen Network, an attempt to link various folks in Japan who were working on aspects of preservation of the craft. These included enthusiastic amateur boatbuilders, university researchers, curators, naval architects, and people just intrigued by Japanese boats. I counted it as a success, as I watched posts go up inquiring where to find lumber and boat nails, then saw replies providing sources (I did this via Google Translate). But I started to realize we needed a more "solid" platform to share information. A member volunteered to make a Facebook page, but I though a website would work better, providing main topics that could be continually updated with new information. Lo and behold someone was thinking the same thing. Inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog I hope to help him develop this into a comprehensive source of information. Use Google Translate to check it our or just hit links and explore, but this is new and a work in progress: