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About AON

  • Birthday November 15

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Spin and fly fishing;
    Violin and fiddle (you need to understand the difference to get this);
    Wood carving;
    Reading historical/fiction;
    Use to do a lot of sailing and hunting when I was much younger.

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  • Full NRG Member?
    NRG Member
  1. Miracles do occur

    I do know exactly how you feel, and so I now pay every day forward that I can. Congratulations on the success of your operation and I pray you have a quick and full recovery.
  2. I just received notification of a 10 day program, May 1 thru 12 2018, sailing on the US Brig Niagara on the Great Lakes. If anyone is interested the info is below and attached as a PDF. 2018 Sea Trial Program.pdf
  3. Update the blog (re: the January meeting held last weekend) on the club website at modelshipwrightsofniagara.weebly.com for those interested.
  4. Below are some photos from our meeting held at Lee Valley Tools in Niagara Falls this afternoon. It was decided to change the club name from Marine Modellers of Niagara on the Lake to Model Shipwrights of Niagara to avoid confusion with the club in Port Colborne. A website will be launched possibly before our next meeting. Models brought in were "The Hayling Hoy", "Bluenose II" being restored, Naval Gun from a kit, Dumas model Aligator motor boat. Also discussed was the original "as launched" figurehead of HMS Bellerophon for which there are no images, only a description. "Before it was damaged the figurehead represented Bellerophon as a nude figure draped in a red cloak riding Pegasus, his right arm raised, holding a javelin. The horse’s wings were spread." "The figurehead would have been painted white during its time in service. In 1814 the Navy Board approved more use of gilding and colours for figurehead decoration." An artist's painting of Bellerophon with his spear ready to thrust while mounted on Pegasus was displayed for discussion. The meeting ended with a short presentation on how to read ship line drawings. Once again HMS Bellerophon was used as reference. A PDF is attached for those interested. Our next meeting will be January 14th, possibly at Lee Valley again. The location is expected be confirmed next week. reading lines by AON - NOV 2017.pdf
  5. How old is your wife? I tell my darling wife all my tools are to go to my son so she can keep all the money and the house and they will all be happy. He is so comfortable with the idea that he keeps borrowing the tools. (I've got to fix that yet) Problem for them is that I don't intend to pass on.... ever. The tools are too darned nice to part with.
  6. Thank you Darrell I am happy you found this post and find it in any way helpful. If you need something in particular (a photo with detail) I'll bet if you e-mailed (via info on their web page) them they would be happy to take a pic and send it to you. They are an absolutely fantastic group of people and very dedicated to their ship.
  7. I had a photo above where they coiling the running lines in layers of three individual coils so they would not Knot up in a big mess. I couldn't recall what they said it was... coiling the lines: it is called a "ballantine coil" I'd never seen this before. https://captnmike.com/2011/10/03/coiling-line-using-the-ballantine-coil-on-the-adventuress/
  8. I acquired two old pencil sharpeners and while looking them over I suddenly saw a ropewalk conversion project in my future. Seems all it needs is an addition to the hub end to connect the three lines. This will not be for some time but thought I'd share the idea and would appreciate any comments. pencil_sharpener_1.mp4
  9. final batch of photos to wrap up. First is the Plaque outside the brick and fence before you get dockside. it reads: "... Battle of Lake Erie, September 10, 1813..."the second war of independence" gave the United States control of Lake Erie..." Now remember I am the enemy as I am Canadian, eh? We view the war of 1812 as an invasion to take over Upper and Lower Canada, not as a second war of independence. We like to think we won this war as the invasion failed. In fact no one won outright but concessions were made, and yes we all agree that the native peoples were the only ones that lost something... all their territory south of the lakes and west of the colonies. The ship's bell with the date 1799 is that of the Charlotte that was taken as a prize of the battle and placed on the Niagara as she didn't have a bell. This is a copy of the bell as the real bell is kept safely in a museum. The last photo is me getting home... the border crossing... Canada. If there are any "officials" seeing this, my car was in Park and the engine was turned off... honestly, I was not driving while distracted.. really officer. I know people onboard gave me funny looks as I took photos of things that couldn't be of any interest to anyone... except model ship builders! I thoroughly enjoyed the four hour cruise on this ship, she is absolutely beautiful and her crew were magnificent! I would highly recommend this to anyone that can get to Erie Pennsylvania. I have not been paid, enjoyed any perks, or had my arm twisted. My endorsement is given freely.
  10. some sailing pics. Lake Erie is by far not the largest of the Great Lakes but you can see in the second photo, looking aft, the Canadian shoreline is not there. Sailing was very noisy... orders given by the captain or first mate, orders repeated by everyone. It was also extremely hard work.... what little I helped with as we were all invited to join the crew and sail the ship. As the Captain said: " Wind is free. Using it is hard work". They didn't have all the sails out. I'm guessing because... 1) they didn't have the crew, 2) she may have heeled over a bit more than some guests might have been comfortable with, 3) it would have been that much more work putting everything back in order dock side at the end of the day! I didn't mind as this was the experience of a lifetime. This was how my father's ancestors in Newfoundland made their living, sailing square rigged ships going fishing and sealing then heading off to England to sell the cargo in the holds. This is how my mother's father's side came over from Scotland as passengers. One child born on the voyage and his wife buried at sea. This is how my ancestor nicknamed "the cat" came over from Portugal. They called him the cat because of the way he scurried about in the rigging overhead. I slipped in a selfie photo! Proof I was there. The last photo is of the captain explaining the manoeuvres (tacking) prior to executing them.
  11. some photos below deck head room was quite low. I am 5 ft 10-1/2" tall and I was bent over 90°. Every time I lifted my head I banged it. They say the distance between decks is less than normal because the bay the ships were built in is very shallow. They built them there because the British could not see in the bay so the ships were a complete surprise.
  12. Some photos of a working deck. Although it seems a mess to the untrained eye, everything is in it's place, neat and tidy in readiness to be hauled in or let out on the next order to tack. The first pic, coiling the line... was actually three individual coils each layer overlapping like a clover leaf. This method of coiling a halyard keeps it from becoming a knotted mess when it gets pulled out of the coil. There is a name for this method of coiling... I just cannot recall it at the moment.
  13. Some photos and a video of the 32 pound Carronade. Please excuse the butt shot at the end of the short video. I had to lower my phone to find the STOP button. They described it as being for short range so they said the British had the advantage with the long range cannons on approach where as the Americans had the advantage when the got in close. I see the long range cannons still doing considerable damage regardless how close you came. These were some extremely brave men. firing_the_carronade.mp4

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

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The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.


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