Castor Bay
New Zealand

Under Construction

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Under Construction


An Introduction from Tony

Dave Robertson’s encouragement to his readers to send reports of their voyages was heard at a time when Minnie Moltok was to be fitted out and sailed in order to try out various solutions and satisfy the father that she was fit to carry her owner and the latter’s sister in whatever weather might turn up. Overwhelming gratitude felt at the honour of winning the book prize influenced the decision to send this report. (Perhaps one should also have considered buying a lottery-ticket.) The ideal voyage to “kill two flies with one smack” was a 100 kilometer as the (eel-) crow flies trip round the island, not non-stop, but over a weekend. As it happened it blew a gale that weekend, and the solution to that hadn’t been fitted yet, but the gale gave an opportunity to work at it on land. Using the jib as mainsail was tried, boomless and with boom, for extreme conditions. Jib-as-main, with boom, looked pretty good, but before the daughters would need that, they’d want to reef down as much as possible, which means lowering the gunter-gaff to the gooseneck, and reefing the jib to fit the reefed main. A block is fitted to the gaff-neck for the other extreme of weather, to hang another mainsail from, as a sort of genoa. Three sacks were filled with sand, 50 kg in all. Since it can begin to blow too much when one is an hour or two from any sensibly obtained supply of sand, our sand was carried aboard, even in a calm.
Tony Bennett

In March 2008 a man who was a constant supporter and referee of my website work, Tony Bennett, passed away suddenly.
Tony was a Briton a scientist and archaologist married to a Dane with a family of two daughters. A very intelligent and articulate man in every respect.

My first contact with Tony was when I was just starting the Woodenboat website was the learning curve was full on and grew on a daily basis.
I go back to that story now and then and continue to be amazed with the detail and excellence of the construction of the story. Tony and I corresponded regularly over the years and it can be said he dragged me out of my Antipodean isolation into a greater understanding of Europe and wider world.
I will forever be humbled by the effort Tony put in to helping me get things sorted. If a page did not work or my grammar and spelling (or logic) was worse than normal I could expect a note from the headmaster.
It’s hard to explain how somebody from the other side of the world you never met other than by words on a screen could become such a good friend. But it happened.

Arohanui Tony, may your final journey across the bar be a peaceful one.

Crossing the Bar
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.