P.O. Box 91
Gloucester, North Carolina
Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project
March 19, 2004
As we gladly wave goodbye to an especially dreary, cold winter, Cherokee is enjoying the finishing touches that
will see her emerge into spring a new lady. The folks at Hancock and Grandsons have been installing
the flybridge half-tower. The first stage can be seen below. Under the flybridge, note that the windows are removed, as they
are shoreside receiving the last coats of paint. Bottom left shows the innovative way
portions of the half-tower were delivered to the site. To the right is the half-tower with cross supports
and legs attached. Next the whole business will be welded together, including upper deck handrails so nobody
goes flying off into the wind. Mike Sasser of Coastal Canvas will soon install the vinyl top for a little shade.
Half of a Half-Tower
Transporting Half-Tower Part, View of Unwelded Tower
The wing doors are getting hinged to the wing walls. These doors are curved so when opened, they
lay nicely against the deckbox seats.
Starboard Wing Door
Sharon and her sweet son Aaron sanded the galley floor and applied the last
few coats of varnish. Next they will apply the protective hardcover coat that will protect
against high heels, dogs, cloggers, and soccer players.
Sharon and Son's Shiny Work
Meanwhile Eddie is keeping up with everyday maintenance. Here he is repairing cracks in the beadboard ceiling
that occurred in the dry winter air. Eddie, an accomplished guitar player,
enjoys listening to Widespread Panic while he works.
Eddie Filling Cracks
Is Chris's jaw dropping at the pretty job he's doing laying the teak and holly treads that lead down
to the two aft staterooms? Or is he thinking about the hospital bill coming up as his wife will soon deliver their
third baby? Don't worry Chris, that position you're in doesn't represent a hole of debt, but a stairway
Treads to Aft Staterooms
At the North Carolina Coastal Federation's "Oyster Conference", Senator Pro Tempore Marc
Basnight made a dramatic appearance, standing before a crowd of environmentalists, policymakers, and
concerned citizens who had just heard all about the decline of the native oyster. "There are
early accounts of oyster reefs so high in Pamlico Sound that boats had to navigate between them," said
Basnight, leaning over the podium and looking into each and every eye. "One captain dropped a gold coin
overboard and saw it gleaming several feet below between the crevises of the great reefs on the sandy bottom.
The oysters kept the water that clear! Where have they gone?"
Then, like the scene in King Kong when they pull back the curtain and reveal the great ape to a stunned
audience, Basnight cut to the quick. "We need to introduce the non-native oyster!" To a skeptical
crowd, the Dare County native talked about the losing battle for oysters in the face of rapid coastal
developement and declining water quality. "At my own restaurant I have a few oysters off the dock.
They get about an inch big and die! But the Pacific oyster, my friends, is a fast
and aggressive grower that kicks 'a' double
's'." After the Senator and his entourage left the building, Pacific oyster specialist Dr. Mark Luckenbach was asked
if the non-native oyster would indeed kick 'a' double 's' in North Carolina waters. "It depends on the very specific habitat" he said. "One planting
might do well, and another just a few yards away die off. We're many years away from answering that question for the
mid-Atlantic region." Will the powerful Senator's vision hasten that answer, or will the state proceed with
caution? Only time and politics will tell! Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake
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