Where was I?
Since I last scribbled here I've replaced Ripple's batteries, modified how the battery selector works, added a shore power console (with proper breakers, fuses, and an over-the-top charging system), wooded every bit of brightwork on the exterior (except the boom and gaff spar), learned an enormous amount about varnishing (and become a life-long enthusiast for Le Tonkinois varnish), sewn a summer awning, reconditioned her boat cover, and, finally, had Ripple out of the water to do her topsides and bottom and mast.
Each step of that process should have been documented in these pages, but operator error (that is to say, laziness) intervened.
Having Ripple's mast off turned out to be the crux of the process. And so very worthwhile. If I can recover momentum here, I'll try to summarize the progress. At the end of the fourth year of my stewardship, Ripple is in the best shape since I've had her, and it feels great.
A wooden boat, like love, is a campfire. Waxing, waning, dangerous, demanding of attention -- never static. And Dylan's lyric is as true here as anywhere: If you're not busy being born, you're busy dying. Ripple and I have been aborning, even if my writing wasn't.