P.O. Box 91
Gloucester, North Carolina
Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project
November 27, 2001
It's been a fowl time Down East, as every bird known to man seems to be either wintering
over or passing through - rafts of geese, loons, ducks, egrets, and cormorants are bobbing
about Core Sound. Just when Cherokee thought she was safe from getting stripped and exposed,
the crew have removed the sides of her pilot house. "Tom and Lee said they wanted to go for the open look," joked
Bryan. The purpose of this dismantling, which involved taping and removing the windows,
lifting the side panels out, and passing them over the side, is to save labor by faring, fiberglassing,
and painting on the flat.
A Fine View of Cherokee's Forward Trunk Cabin
Jeanette, Tom, and Leonard Walking the Pilot House Wall
What wears panty hose over jeans, blue-tape suspenders with matching garter belt, and scary head
gear? Not Bryan this time, but Stuart Wilde, painting the engine room! A true professional, he dons this practical albeit kinky outfit to prevent lint, stray
eye lashes, and skin cells from getting in the paint. After a careful priming from the whole
crew, the engine room was turned over to Master Blasters Stuart and Bud, and is now at its
shiniest and most pristine state ever.
Engine Room Paint Process
Portrait of Painted Engine Room
Tom and Bryan have been working on the aft cabin shower, as modeled below by Casey. Much
thought went in to the placement of the shower seat, but after being tested
by the tallest and shortest members of the crew, a good height was selected.
Shower and Seat Placement
Leonard and Bill Davis have been prepping the trunk cabin. This includes filling holes, glassing areas
that have not been glassed, sanding and faring, and getting it ready for the painting process.
Leonard Vacuuming Sanding Dust from Trunk Cabin
Forward Trunk Cabin Work
Norm has a habit of expressing his inner mad scientist, most recently with this new
one-man band sanding invention. Below he puts it to use, the spring mechanism allowing
him to fare the round corners with all pulls, no pushes.
Norm and his One Man Stupendous Sanding Solution
Fish Doc paid a visit to Milton Styron the other day, who was mending nets at the
water's edge of Davis Shore. "Mr. Milton" is an old timey fisherman who remembers every
weather event and fish run since before NOAA kept records. "It's a miracle we're still
fishing," he said. "A divine miracle!" He pointed down the shore at an uninhabited
hammock called Davis Ridge. "Did you know freed slaves settled there and their kin lived
there until the storm of '33? It was a time on Davis Shore during that hurricane, but they got the worst
of it - their houses filled with mud and water so they all up and moved to Beaufort."
According to David Cecelski in his new book The Waterman's
Song, Davis Ridge was settled by Sutton Davis, a former slave owned by Nathan Davis,
a planter and
shipbuilder on Davis Island. Sutton, rumored to be Nathan Davis' son, bought four acres at
Davis Ridge in 1865 and later 220 more. This Down East black community was made up of
farmers, fishermen, whalers, boat builders, seafarers, and sharpie captains.
Sutton built the Shamrock and the Mary E. Reeves, menhaden schooners worked
by his sons and loaded with fish that was processed into meal and oil by his daughters.
It's amazing how a windswept piece of marsh and mud can hold so much history and greatness.
Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake
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