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P.O. Box 91    Gloucester, North Carolina     (252) 729-8021   blake@blakeboatworks.com

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Weekly Update


Catchin' a Spring Buzz

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.

Or, Quarter Tower!!
Half of a Half-Tower



Truck with Safety Rail Tower Power!
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.

A wing-a-walka, winga-a-walka...
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.

Son, quit coloring on the floor... I can see myself, says pine tree
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.

Master Crack Packer
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 to heaven...

Heeeeeeeeeeelp meeeeee!
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
That's All, Folks!

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