I never thought I could binge out streaming videos, but one rainy day changed that. I know it’s happening out there. Home-bound Americans are camped in front of their TV or computer screens, binge watching Netflix or Hulu or YouTube or…. One study claims that, since the advent of COVID-19, Americans with access to a streaming service are watching an average of eight hours a day.
There are even streaming choices produced locally here in Port Townsend. Finnriver Farm and Cidery now offers a new service, Incider Space, featuring musical performances and lectures. The Northwest Maritime Center is now offering virtual boatbuilding, navigation, and seamanship classes. The Rose theater even has online options.


And, yes, I admit that we usually sit and stream our favorite programs every evening after dinner, just a couple of episodes, but not for eight hours. I could never sit and stare at the tube that long.


Or could I?

My response to the stay-at-home order had been keeping busy tackling a long backlog of outdoor projects. But a recent rainy day forced me to migrate to inside projects. Washing windows was a project on my list. At least I could start with the insides while it rained.

But before starting, I stop at the computer to peek at a website suggested by a friend. A young British shipwright in Sequim took on the herculean task of rebuilding an old wooden sailboat and is making videos as he goes.

Interesting, I own an old wooden boat, so I’ll just watch a few minutes and then start on the windows.

I click “PLAY.” Episode one is from June 2017 when Leo Sampson Goolden finds a historic sailboat sitting forlornly under a tarp in Southern Oregon and decides to buy Tally Ho for £1 British sterling (about $1.25 US). “She’s a 107-year-old Albert Strange designed Gaff Cutter, 47′ on deck, and she needs a total rebuild,” says Leo.

The windows can wait a bit longer. I click PLAY on Episode 2 and watch as the boat is trucked to Sequim. In Episode 3, he builds a shed over the boat. Next episode: He renovates the shop next to the shed.

It’s only been 30 minutes. No problem. But my stomach is growling, so I visit the kitchen pantry. I fast forward to Episode 15 where Leo travels home to the UK to work on another boat to earn money for the Tally Ho project. Before the episode is over, I have a bacchanalian collection of popcorn, M&Ms and Dr Pepper alongside the computer.

I’m hooked.

The windows are still waiting, but I need one more hit of the resurrection of the Tally Ho. In Episode 6, Leo removes the garboard planks. I know what those are.

Click – Leo’s at Edensaw Woods, shopping for purple heart to replace the rotten keel timber. Click – He’s shaping the keel timber scarf joints. Click – removing the hatches. Click – demolishing the deck. Click – another trip to England to earn money. Click – milling live oak in Georgia. I keep clicking and eating.

I raid the pantry for cookies and more soda. Click – Leo introduces a revolving cast of characters that volunteer to help the Tally Ho project in Sequim, including Saylor the old yellow lab and Pancho the wood eating Macaw. More popcorn. And a beer.

I’m on a binge.

Episodes fly by – 18, 19, 20, 21. I struggle to keep my head up during Episode 22 where someone lends Leo a 100-year-old ship’s saw to use for cutting new frames.

I close my eyes and rest my head on the desk. Eight hours after it starts, my binge ends. I’m exhausted. My stomach is upset. But I summon all my strength, raise my head and dump the empty snack bags and cans.

After eight hours, 22 episodes and 2,500 calories, the binge ended.

The Tally Ho project is still going strong with another 50 episodes on-line and more to come. Am I one of those average streamers in that study? Will it rain again tomorrow? Will I binge again?
I peer out the windows. They’re still dirty.

Epilogue:
The Tally Ho videos have become immensely popular on YouTube. Leo has 173,000 You Tube subscribers. Episode 71, posted on May 2, has 469,000 views. Episode 72, posted May 16, had over 164,000 views on the first day. You can start binge watching yourself at https://sampsonboat.co.uk/.

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Carl Berger
Writer, Photographer, Founding Member Prior to 35 years wandering about the industrial construction world, Carl Berger spent five years as publisher, editor, reporter, photographer and janitor for a small weekly newspaper in Wyoming. Retired now, he moved to Port Townsend in 2017 and keeps busy tending to his wooden boat, Sockeye, a 45-foot converted Pacific Northwest fishing troller built in 1944.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Lovely article about a secret, or not, vice I think we all share – though mine is not about boating.

  2. Wait till you get to those little plastic tubes of aged cheddar and bags of brussel sprouts puffs. Those, and episode 112, “Leo sails to New Zealand” will have you hooked forever.

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