Finally the day arrives for launching my latest guideboat. It is a day that I sometimes thought would never happen. This boat was a struggle especially down the stretch of planking and the decks. It took me three years to build her what with a move and all. But she did turn out to be a beauty and I can now put the birthing pangs behind me.
Now for a name. I suggested Jezebel to Fran but she thought that was silly and I should give her a more Adirondack-based name. We live in a place called Endion in Long Lake. It was named that by the Bissells. Tom Bissell’s grandmother Alice started a hotel in 1837 on the property he still owns. Tom is now 92 years old and very much the patriarch. Fran and I will interview him about his family history and let you what we find out. In the meantime, here is the name chosen for my boat.
I have asked two of my guideboat buddies to join me in the launching, John Homer and Jon Vermilea. Lucky for me John brought his wife Deneen and Jon brought his wife Ashley and his three girls; Johanna, Charley and Emerson. These two families added a festive air to the day.
After retiring from the US Army John has started his own business, Adirondack Rowboat Paddle and Oar. This past Saturday he launched a raider guideboat. John is specializing in casting the bronze hardware for guideboats and other small craft. He now has his own foundry to do this precision work.
The plan was to assemble down on our beach for the launching. John, Jon and Ashley are very familiar with our beach since it is the starting point for the second day of the 90 miler Canoe Classic. They have participated in that race more than once in some crazy weather.
Before I even thought to ask, John and Jon had brought the Endion Runner down from its trailer on to the beach.
The guys help me into her.
Off we go!
I can breathe more easily since the boat seems watertight.
Now it is time for John and Jon to take her out.
After the launch we retire back to our house for lemonade and cookies. The Vermilyea family brings back many happy memories of our kids. We had four of our own, and they provided much hilarity and fun as these girls do. Johanna, Charley and Emerson remind me that kids are almost a different species, certainly different from stuffy adults. There is no veneer about them, they love simple pleasures like water, grasshoppers (that spit tobacco juice), they love to run (often without watching where they are going), they are curious and inquisitive about everything. What fun they brought to a happy day.