More from Alan Byde on his Aran currach:
Michies ‘plans’ for building St Caoman was a dark pitch stained stick about 5 feet long, 3 inch by 1 inch. It had notches on the edge and some lines scratched on the surface. It was Michie’s father’s plan, who knows who before that? Only Michie knew how to read it and he must by now have gone to the Elysian Fields. It also acted as a spreader to keep the side frames the right distance apart as thwarts were added. When you’ve seen a builder using a steel square you know what ability is. Michie levelled the three old railway sleepers on the sand. First he scraped the sand surface more or less level which took 3 minutes. He didn’t have a bubble level so I was watching to see how he levelled them. 20 feet back he crouched and eyed the sleeper top edges with the sea horizon miles off Connemara as his guide. The horizon although globally a circle in short sections it is straight and level. Sean his 14 yo son did what Michie told him to adjust the sand under the sleepers. 10 minutes. When the world is your level all things are possible.
See Alan’s photos and drawings as a slideshow.