Right Coast Dispatch No. 5
These posts are being made from Maine now... though our trip has ended, I still have alot of impressions left from all the experiences we had. We'd all like to thank our sponsors (@Vissla, @Totalboat, @Dogfishbeer) and all the great people we got to meet along the way - we drove over 3,000 miles through 14 states (classes in eight of 'em) and helped you all get about eighty (!) new water-craft made with your own hands.
At no point have I been unaware of just how unique this experience was. Four days at a time we got to watch, help and guide hands to create something as artful as it is functional. We met dozens of passionate people, shared their excitement and came home carrying all of that with us. Thanks everybody!
Matt Entwistle and Nolan Collins are back now, but we expect more from them on future road trips - or whenever. You can mine the web for tidbits about their roll down the right coast at #Grainworkshop and #Creatorsandinnovators
The road's been long, but within each of the days we've traveled it, there's been a rhythm of tinkering, teaching and time in the water which makes this all feel like a practice; one that is fluid, where the mind is full and the soul, content.
Even with this rhythm, the variety of experience offered by our time on the road's been a surprise to me. In the small town of Lewes, Delaware, our class took place in the shadow of a National Historic Landmark; the Lightship Overfalls, one of only seventeen remaining lightships out of 179 built. Handplanes and paipos alongside three longboards came to life there... And with the boats wheeling in and out of their slips on the nearby canal and the big red ship with a lighthouse stuck in the middle I thought about purpose-built watercraft, whose forms, following function, are conferred with their own sort of beauty because of it.
More heritage - a bit more in our own wheelhouse - was had at our last full board building class of the trip. At Tuckerton's Seaport and Baymen's Museum, we did our thing right outside their Surfing Museum which showcased the evolution of surfing - from the boards to the people and places from which the culture has sprung.
With nine of us spread out in total occupation of the back deck, you could glimpse both the past and the present. As our class gained the insights and satisfaction that come from working with hand tools, the Museum's surfboards looked rigidly on out of the past with what seemed an elder's superiority, carrying an excess of pride in what were once the most modern of materials and designs. We were standing at the confluence of then and now, of time and craft. I'm sure we'll find ourselves here again as the evolution of form, shape, weight and material bend time around on itself once more.