Winter in the south ended outside work for a while, so I finished a less structural boat project lately, one started last winter but discontinued since. This was to draw a chart of the world onto our central wooden table, admittedly not the most essential project aboard Space Oddity. But it’s something which can be done while the snow’s blowing by, if made harder by the short hours of light in the day. And here’s the result finally.
I went for a standard Miller map projection, a bit stretched by our table’s particular shape; though I was tempted by some other projections, some sort of transverse Mercator for example. This would put the two poles in the centre, with the other continents around these. I recall that I went for the more standard projection due to how it fitted on the table, and for ease of getting maps to copy. Still think the other’s rather striking honestly.
I created the chart by scaling up a lot of maps I downloaded online, and with the help of an outdated French-language children’s atlas I found somewhere. It should be of about accurate proportions, a chart on which it’s possible to plot a course. Well, theoretically.
I used permanent markers to make the picture; I’d have loved the tools (and the skills!) to have burnt the lines into the surface, but it’s marker only. Parts were unprotected for months while I completed the picture, and I was pleased with the ink’s durability. Strong spirits did however dissolve the alcohol-based ink’s marks, one tequila incident leaving the east Pacific blurry. I varnished over the entire picture eventually.
The picture’s proved a conversation-starter certainly, and it can come in useful to have a chart centrepiece, as our visitors are travellers frequently. Sometimes it’s helpful to point out a place!
We removed this table while we restored the interior, and still haven’t bolted it down since bringing it back inside, because it’s so convenient to shove it out the way. We’re talking of putting it on a sliding track for this purpose. It’s on gimbals and unless locked it starts swinging freely, which is as pointless as it sounds for a table, since it can then be tipped by the slightest weight on one side. Setting down a plate on the thing is a catastrophe.
So in terms of its construction we’re none too fond of our table, though after all that work on the chart we’re stuck with it probably. Or I could do that transverse Mercator on the next one…