Monday, August 24, 2009


It's DONE! I did it! I built a kayak! It only took seven years from buying the kit to finishing it. There are a few fiddley things left to do, like add hand holds and then it is launch time. Building this thing has been a huge lesson, not just in woodworking and boat building but in how to approach life.


1. Ask for help.

The people at Pygmy Boats were incredibly helpful. They helped after some oops moments. They knew what was a big problem, what wasn't and what to do about both.

2. Work everyday.

The first two summers, 2007 and 2008, I didn't do this. In 2007 my mother was in crisis after crisis but I have no excuse for last year. This year I went and worked on that thing almost daily, even when I didn't want to, even when the previous day had been a disaster.

3. Only focus on the day's task.

When it's done, you're done. There were pages of unintelligible (to me) instructions. At first I read pages ahead and was so discouraged. When I focused on the task at hand, I could proceed.

4. You can accomplish a big and difficult task by breaking it down into little pieces.

This is one of those things I have heard for years. Yeah, yeah, I always said. Now that I have actually done it, I see that it is true.

5. No one sees the mistakes but you.

Eveyone is impressed that I built a boat. They see the total accomplishment. I see all the errors, all the learning how not to do it.

I DID it! I built a kayak!

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