Its easy to forget the past especially when so many of these kind of projects are so topsy turvy at the beginning. But with the hazel leaves just beginning to appear again and a basket frame being weighed down and almost bound, it was at this time of year that all the materials to weave Bovinda's great basket began. It wasn't until we were out rowing with the Carlingford Lough Currach Club last Saturday, when I looked across the water to the other currach, that I realised, there they were, 6 years on, the same friends pulling on oars together. The Bovinda project would not have got very far without their continued support and encouragement and I have no doubt, it will be the same three who will be there again this year to seek answers to more unforeseen problems. Bovinda... Last year when the boat was finally lifted from the row of beer barrels upon which it had sat, the amount of checks on the list had not accounted for the seems of rawhide left un-greased beneath the boat, but with little time to catch the tide, we took a chance (or an experiment at least) to see if the raw hide thonging would last the few weeks, exposed to the salt water in its natural state. Apart from some seepage where the leather plates over lapped, the rawhide survived to see the winter past and now it is being painted with lanolin while the leather is being covered with fat. The winter months gave us a lot of time for alterations, it may sound petty but the sun-burn Bovinda got last summer, caused the fats to ooze from the skin in an attempt to protect itself. So this year well oiled pig skins have been employed to shield the exposed upper seams from the burning sun. They are a convenient size to stow away and just the right weight to prevent the wind displacing them from doing their job. Plug holes have been added so that when beached, any rain or water can be easily drained away. Two axe shaped quarter rudders have been made, in an attempt to prove that the carvings on the great menhirs of Brittany represent rudders to plough the seas, instead of the land. Blades have been carved to fit the oars. which have been weighed down over the winter in an attempt to make the alder trees straighter...... and the list goes on. This year the focus will be on working with a tripod mast and leather sail. Looking forward to it!!