Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I have listened to the rain pattering down on it for years; it has kept me warm and dry but sometimes new jewelry is needed for the old girl. I started grinding fiberglass to install a shiny new custom-made forward hatch for the Bristol. I built the existing hatch out of newly milled mahogany 18 years ago. My father was alive then and helped me build it. His weathered hands held the boards as I ran home the screws. I had just bought the Bristol and had her shipped down to Port Canaveral from Essex, Ct. The trucker had not latched the fiberglass hatch and it had blown off during the trip; just the hinges remained. I taped some plastic over the opening and took a series of complex measurements on the crowned, trapezoidal hatch combings. Now, it’s old, weathered, seen many years of salt air and some seas over it. I have made two Sunbrella covers for it over the years—the second one is frayed. The new hatch is custom forged 316 stainless; solid, waterproof, vandal proof, as shiney and perfect as perfect chrome. It will take the tons of water from a big sea and not let a drop below. I will make a cover for it too so 18 years from now it will still glitter around the old gal’s neck.