363 days after turning the boat over she finally got a taste of her true element. I worked late into the night sanding, varnishing and completing other chores so I could take her to the Toledo Wooden Boat Festival yesterday. My wife and I drove to Toledo and launched her about a mile and a half from the festival.
When I thought of launching Ravn I envisioned a larger affair with friends and food, but the actual launch was better than I imagined; just my wife and I at a quiet boat launch with no one else around. I tied a glass nazir (a Turkish bead that symbolizes the eye of God) around the stem with marline and tucked a spruce bow and a raven feather in the marline. Then I said a little prayer to God, poured my favorite beverage on the bow stem. Gave her a little shove off the trailer and she was afloat for the first time!
There's still a lot of work to do -- I need to make the mast, yard, boom, rudder, tiller and fit the hatches on the water-tight compartments -- but I feel like I've really reached a milestone.
The best part is that she rows like a dream. I'm eager to see what she will be like with two, three and four rowers.