Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hello and Welcome!

New blog, Post #1.

While I often thought of beginning this particular blog, I've held off posting, as the 'Project' so far has been mostly personal.  Yes, I've mentioned it to folks, been assisted by a few and passed out a type of business card, to anyone seemingly interested.  However, now in it's 6th year and having made 308 sails, I'm now delivering the last of them and raising the bar, upping the concept.

Sitting here now in my hotel room in Panama City writing the first entry, my thoughts are still mixed. What is interesting to me, is that over the past few years, the sails have been made and delivered in annual batches but much more has occurred.  My exposure to the recipients of these sails, the islanders, Kuna (or now referred to as Guna) Indians living off the coast in Panama's Caribbean, has allowed me to know these people much better.  With that, I have also learned of their problems.

The Ulu Sail Project was intended and has worked well to bring new sails to those who have dug out canoes.  These canoes, called ulus here, are their main source of transportation and while they did have what was referred to as sails, these were a patchwork of materials from discarded cruiser's sail cloth, bed sheets, political posters, plastic sheeting; anything that could catch the wind.  They were 'not'...a sail, made with a prescribed shape that captures air and produces lift as would an aircraft wing...or a true sail.  The ones I have made and delivered are true sails that allow the Kuna's in their ulus to sail better including much better upwind performance now. The sails are common now in the western area of Kuna Yala, known as the Robeson Islands and the bright colors around the islands and on the horizon, I must say, look beautiful.

More later, but for now, I hope you subscribe to this blog(available on the right), for further updates.