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Variety is the Splice of Life

Posted in Rigging News

You never know what kind of boat is going to show up in front of our shop. Last month it was a great big steel replica of a Thames sailing barge, but because even that would have been a bit too plain for jaded Port Townsend tastes, this one had a theatrical gridwork superimposed on the rig (see picture above), because this barge, the Amara Zee, is the floating, sailing stage for the Caravan Stage Company, who have toured the world putting on shows that mix Monkey Wrench Gang, Cirque de Soleil, surreal fever dreams, and Ecotopian fantasy in more or less equal measures. We got to help out a teensy bit with setup, and I was worried that Julia, one of our riggers, was going to run away with the circus.

The troupe put on several nighttime shows in Point Hudson, amazing and amusing us with way-aloft acrobatics, first-rate music (much of it live), plus film and special effects, all in the interests of telling the tale of a post-apocalyptic struggle between Monarch butterflies and evil petro-gnomes. You had to be there. No, you need to be there. The show is off for the winter, but you can catch their wanderings here: The Caravan Stage Company.

Once the Amara Zee had cleared the harbor, we returned to more prosaic vessels, like a nice Wauquiez in need of a general rig upgrade, and a Passport 40 in need of chainplates. More on these projects anon. Meanwhile I mentioned a fiber-rigged Ingrid 38 in a previous post (see Our New Rigger) but I didn’t include a picture of the whole boat, so here it is:

Not your typical Ingrid. The owner, Cindy Stahl, is a recently-retired tugboat captain, who spent much of the last year utterly rebuilding the boat. The 3-strand Vectran standing rigging

— much of which she and her son Ethan did the splicing of — was just one aspect. It all cam out beautifully, and Cindy took it on a splendid solo shakedown cruise.

I will leave  you with a plug for my little ebook about adventures aloft. Thanks to all of you who have said such kind things about it. All the rest of you, here’s a  little preview:

You can get your own copy downloaded from either Amazon or Apple.

Fair leads,

Brion Toss