Micro-Expedition, Sessions 12 and 13

The Gust

“The Gust”, Willem van de Velde, 1680

The bad news is that we had to cancel our final voyage as planned, due to a foul weather forecast and the state of completion of the students’ watercraft projects. The good news is that we’ve agreed to complete all vessels for a March 19 launching, the first day of the Spring Break, aligning us with a full moon, rising at 7:33 PM, just as the sun is setting. ?????? Also, the tides will be in sync with the direction of our journeys to and fro, with a 6.1′ high tide just as the moon is at its zenith around midnight. Should be a dramatic occasion.

Meanwhile, several of the students are nearly finished with their projects, particularly the SUP’s and folding dinghies. go fish rules Grace has been making wonderful progress with her portable catamaran and has proven to be a remarkably capable builder. ????? ?????? The delay in our plans will allow the students to be more thorough in detailing their vessels, with more time to make float tests and the inevitable adjustments obviated thereof. I remain confident in the group’s ability, enthusiasm and motivation to carry on, and am proud of all they’ve accomplished over the fall semester as part of my CCA Studio:Atelier, Micro-Expedition. Here are some highlights of progress made over the past two weeks:

susan milling

Susan and Peter milling ‘bead and cove’ strip planking from yellow and red cedar.

nicolas frame

Nicolas’ innovative SUP frame, ready for strip planking

nicolas stripping

Nicolas and Susan begin to lay up their strip-planked decks


Nicolas, gluing up strips on the underside

sarah's glueing

Sarah successfully glues and nails the contoured plywood underside of her SUP

sarah badass

Sarah has strip-planked the deck of her vessel, now ready for faring and sanding

peter's sup

Peter prepares to sand the strip-planked hull of his SUP, which has a flat plywood deck


Dean prepares to install the thwart, and fore and aft transoms for his folding dinghy


Grace assembles the second of two pontoon frames for her portable catamaran

willy underside

Willey decides to reveal the layers of material beneath coats of clear epoxy resin and bamboo fiber on the underside of his experimental kayak/skiff

To follow the progress of Micro-Expedition, the Atelier Studio I am teaching this semester as Visiting Wornick Professor of Wood Arts at California College of the Arts (CCA), please click here and scroll down.