Preview: TALLY HO – Episode 38: I CHOPPED off my FINGER!

December 11, 2018

Nate Rooks Nate Rooks

Watch Leo Goolden as he brings back the 47’ teak-planked TALLY HO to the glorious gaff cutter she was when launched over a hundred years ago in England. This vessel, designed by Albert Strange, lies under a shed in Sequim, WA, that Leo built next to the shop/apartment he rejuvenated—helped out occasionally by Poncho the parrot and Brian the dog.

The backstories, and there are many, can be found on Leo’s website, his Facebook postings, and on the Albert Strange Association’s TALLY HO pages.

In addition, Leo wrote a piece on TALLY HO for SOUNDINGS Magazine – “Tally Ho, Adventure! The Quest to Put a 1927 Fastnet Winner Back on the High Seas”.

December 8, 2018 – Episode 38: I CHOPPED off my FINGER!
After a few episodes that left us all asking for more TALLY HO progress, Leo and his temporary helpers turn up the speed. We fly “fast forward” through the process of making several pairs of live oak sawn frames from cutting out the futtocks, driving the treenails, and fine tuning the heels of each frame with router, saw, and plane so they’ll fit perfectly into the sockets of the keel timber. Leo also finishes his “roller-furling” auxiliary tent for the side of the shed, another example of his quick and ingenious work.

Abruptly, Leo shifts gears to address the title of this episode. He cut half an inch off the end of his middle finger in an unnamed accident, and rather than dwelling on being an injured craftsman, he uses this as an opportunity to address some important philosophical points regarding risk and how it influences growth. Leo’s message so closely reflects Off Center Harbor’s philosophy that we’d like to spend a little time on it here as well.

Rather than preparing for and learning from risk, our society has slid toward wide-spread avoidance of, and shielding from, risk. “It probably reduces accidents slightly, but also hugely harms the learning process,” Leo explains. “If you don’t take risks, then you don’t learn for yourself. Those risks don’t always pay off, but ultimately you learn from them and you get more experience. Of course I’m annoyed that I cut off the end of my finger, but personally, living a life that’s full of experience, where you learn from your own mistakes and make your own decisions, is worth losing a finger or two.”

A septuagenarian Race to Alaska comrade of mine (and two-time finisher) shared a similar sentiment in Campbell River as we waited for our turn to run Seymour Narrows: “I do this because there are so few chances to truly challenge yourself these days, to take a risk on something where you may not succeed. This is my opportunity to challenge myself, knowing that I may fail, giving me the chance to really live.”

If we ever compile an OCH Guide to Living, learning and doing it yourself will be one of its first chapters. While videos have an inherent vicariousness, every single video we release comes with the hope that it will inspire our members to undertake an adventure of their own and successfully deal with whatever risks are involved. While we too are sorry for Leo’s pain and loss, his sharing of the experience and ensuing reflections make this one the most valuable installments of TALLY HO yet.

“Calculate your own risks, and take responsibility for the outcomes of those risks.” – Leo

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