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Old 06-17-2013
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What do you have for a cannon?

With the 4th almost here it is time to clean the cannon and get ready to wake them up at the yacht club! Ha! Hoping for thick shore fog so they won't know what the hell is going on.

"Downeast" is an interesting place. In very eastern Maine they talk about deer season as the three weeks of the year when the fine goes off, just to give you an idea. At our Perry, Maine farm we celebrated the 4th by firing a "cannon" at the Loyalists across the St. Croix River in St. Andrews, NB. Just to rub it in! We had many friends there who expected the display and welcomed it in the spirit it was intended.

I still have the "cannon" and will be celebrating this year here on Mt. Desert Island. I called the police and asked about my plan. The chief, in a text message, assured me that if no projectile is involved it will be O.K.. They have never witnessed a firing but seemed to feel a little calcium carbide generating acetylene would be harmless enough.

Well! I expect they will change their minds but not until after I manage to set it off two or three times. Fired out over Seal Harbor it will garner wide attention.

Cannons are common sailboat race starting devices. We have all heard them. Usually a 10 gauge blank. Sharp and loud enough to be heard over the water. Anybody have one?

My cannon is a 10 gallon milk can with a press on lid. A quart of water in the bottom, add a small measure of calcium carbide, gently press on the lid and after waiting for the carbide to generate acetylene touch a flame to a 1/4" drilled hole about 6" from the base. BOOOOOM!!!! Tie a long Amsteel lanyard to the lid and paint it a bright color so you can find and retrieve it for the next shot. It has been compared to a couple of sticks of dynamite if you get the acetylene / air mixture timed just right. We bury it in sand at the beach at a 45 degree angle and aim it away from habitations.

The yacht club party will notice! (I am a member. At least for now!)

How many other cannons out there? I would like to mount it on the boat but haven't come up with a safe design for a mount.

My son has advised me to record ALL reactions on video.

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