Categorized | Uncategorized

Day 97 – Thursday, January 12, 2012

“Winch vs. Wench, and… The Hardy Boys Are In The House

 A winch is a mechanical device that is used to pull in (wind up) or let out (wind out) or otherwise adjust the tension” of a rope or wire rope (also called “cable” or “wire cable”). In its simplest form it consists of a spool and attached hand crank. In larger forms, winches stand at the heart of machines as diverse as tow trucks, steam shovels and elevators.

 A Wench is an historical British Modern English colloquial term for a lower class woman and/or promiscuous woman.   Also in the 19th and early 20th centuries a derogatory term for a non Euro-American woman, the male counterpart being Buck.

The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe Hardy, are fictional teenage brothers and amateur detectives who appear in various mystery series for children and teens (which I read voraciously in my youth, have a dear fondness for, and have brought my collection of some 60 volumes up to this Lighthouse and arranged on the shelves of the upstairs “Ocean View” bedroom in hopes that other kids might explore.  (Often I sneak a read of one, for instance “Escape To Witch Mountain”, which can be satisfyingly accomplished in a single and short evening).

When I woke at 7am to the sound of my MacBook ringing with a call from “extreme filmmaker” Sean Harris in DC, the wind was already strong and the seas were building, today an unorganized and out-of-step infantry of chop that continued to increase in strength as the morning sun seemed resigned to lay disguised behind a black and steely expanse of horizon.  A storm was coming and I had but a few hours to get the new “Hardy Boys” skiff into the Boathouse, a 10’ x 20’ structure re-built in 1881 that has not actually sheltered a boat in at least the last five years to the best of my knowledge, and sparingly over the last fifty for sure.

As the sixteen-foot tide was growing taller I un-tethered the skiff’s frozen dock lines from the south side of the floats and dragged her around the perimeter, coaxed her up along the long finger of the dock, and after several tries, maneuvered her so that her bottom was squarely between the 4 by 4 rails that start just short of the harbor-side Boathouse doors, and extend down over the rocks to the point that is “Low Water”, becoming a permanent residency to a variety of seaweed roughly halfway through their plumbing, linear descent.

The donated winch was a bit rusty but certainly workable if I could figure out how to mount her.  As it turns out I did not have either the tools (a drill bit that could drill through steel), or the hardware to safely secure her to the Boathouse floor.  I continued to pull her closer with the incoming waves and water until she was a few feet short but that was as far as she was going to go on my muscle, and the moon’s gravitational lift.  Plan B, or actually C, was Tim’s idea — Run a line from her bow, up through the front Boathouse doors and out then clear through the back, then up some 35 feet of catwalk to the back of the tractor, and mark off the amount of distance she had to be pulled to get in the Boathouse without striking the no-longer-working and not moveable old winch.  By 1pm “The Hardy Boys” were “In The House”.







By 2 a “Nor’easter” was screaming on the other side.  It was snowing hard and sideways yet nonetheless swiftly accumulating on the front yard, as the Keeper’s House windows rattled, and the grill and full tank of propane was lifted up and off the back porch and thrown down the steps and on its side.  I ventured out to get some snaps, lying flat prone on the white-covered ground as that was the only way to get a shot that wasn’t blurred by the stinging snow and staggering wind.  Nice, right?






Here’s a shot I took yesterday of dirt on the side of one of the fisherman’s trucks.  It’s macro focused and is about 3 inches by 3 inches.  And I really like it. Click on it and you’ll get warmer.






Lastly, thanks for checkin’ in, for sharing and “liking” The Lighthouse Endeavor, and supporting it in any way you can.  Not looking like I’m getting off island any time soon.  Click on pics and they get bigger.  I’ll leave the light on, and Good Enuf.  “…sfm”.  This is yesterday’s sky, from the Boathouse at around 3pm.


6 Responses to “Day 97 – Thursday, January 12, 2012”

  1. Rolf & Deb A. says:

    Enjoyed reading your post about your boat, The Hardy Boys. My wife and I both enjoyed reading the series in our youth, and the 1977-1979 Television Series, starring Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy, launched my wife’s still-to-this-day love of Shaun Cassidy.

    If you ever decide to launch an “Ask The Keeper” column on your website, our school-aged child would like to know if you have any (domesticated) pets on the island? And do you have any wildlife residing there on the island besides squirrels or chipmunks ?

    • Bill Kitchen says:

      rolf and deb, always so nice to hear from you. yeah, i read all of them too. kept about 80 of them all these years and now they are all upstairs in the ocean room bookcase. the column idea is wonderful and i will put it on the high priority list. as for the answers to the kids…i had shasta the lighthouse dog from june to november. we then decided it was a little to dangerous for her over the winter but she should be back in the spring. she’s an aussie/shelty mix. others…mice, crows, quail, weasels, i saw a garden snake once, two eagles live here, and seals often come up on the rocks to sun and on a rare event, even out onto the island. i’m told that every once in a while a deer will swim over but i’ve never seen it. oh and the squirrels are small red ones that run like gremlins. (please let me know you got this…). send any other questions along. thanks for taking such an interest.

  2. Love the photos of the keepers house.

  3. Tim Harrison says:

    Great wintertime photos of the lighthouse.
    Bill, you take amazing photos.


Leave a Reply