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The GOSSIP

Number 217 / March 2010

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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himself on the front door with whangs of the thing he had cut from the shark. In his left hand was an empty rum bottle. He streamed blood from head to ankles, but a smile of pure rapture shone through the torn mask of his face.

Jimmy Anton, the son of an Australian father and a Gilbertese mother, was not the man to refuse a risk either for himself or his boat. He called out his Gilbertese wife, and between the three of them they got the boat launched at once. His wife brought coconut oil for Teriakai's wounds, blankets and brandy for the rescued. They set out together. The moon had risen by then. They found the capsized boat just before dawn. The captain and engineer had been in the water twelve hours, but they were still safe inside their canvas bag. Teriakai was awarded the bronze medal of the Royal Humane Society. Before that arrived he had acquired a uniform to wear it on, for we discharged him from prison at once and made a colony policeman of him. Nobody ever found out what he did with the trophy the shark gave him. It disappeared from official ken the moment we got him into hospital."

 

Book Review (JanP)
Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes - Gary Dierking

Gary Dierking designed Penny and PeteO's boat (which Solway Dory built). He is an authority on Pacific and Indian Ocean sailing canoes and has a wonderful website. This is a very attractive book to look at with lots of really clear diagrams, which include some interesting details that might be adapted to other sailing canoes. The book has plans for three canoes, which can be configured either as trimarans, shunting proas or tacking proas. I have read a lot of books on boat building and this is one of the best; the plans and instructions are clear and his "Wa'apa" set up as a trimaran and with a good reefable rig would be an ideal first boat building project with probably the best ratio of pleasure to effort of any boat you could build. Having said that, the book should probably come with a health warning for people who live in Britain.

Dierking is quite keen on shunting proas. His description of how they work is as good as any I have come across. These boats have an unhealthy fascination for many people who ought to know better (me for example) but common sense tells us that they would not be a good idea on our narrow, crowded and cold lakes (but you can't help wondering). He is also a bit blasť about the need for reefing but then the weather where he sails must be rather different to ours. Even if you are not actually planning to build an outrigger canoe but are just interested in how they work, this is worth buying.

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