The ship mosaic is large enough that it is getting harder to photograph.
I've finished the sails on the ship, worked on the water a bit more and started the map.
This photo shows the map area in the lower right corner the best. If you click on the photo and look at the larger image you can see how I'm working on the rivers and the coastline. The rivers are glass rods cut into short sections (an idea from a discussion with Eric Schandelmeier).
The photo below shows the sails better.You can see where I pulled off the first glass rods that I was using for the ship's rigging. The rods were too close to the brown color of the glass for the wooden parts of the ships - they blended in too much. I ordered an assortment of rods from Delphi glass, but none of them really say "ropes" to me either. There are a couple colors that come close, but I'm not certain I want to use them. I'm going to Chicago this weekend for a smalti workshop at the Chicago Mosaic School. Maybe I'll try to find a glass store in Chicago and look for rods that are a color that will look like ropes. If I don't find a store in Chicago, I'm sure I'll be back in Saint Paul soon and I know of a store there to get the rods.
At this point I have 24 hours of work in this mosaic. I am really noticing a time savings by using the pastry bag for applying the thinset. Much, much faster than dabbing it on with a stick.