P.O. Box 91
Gloucester, North Carolina
Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project
August 15, 2001 Unlike our mascot Casey, who chooses to
ride out the dog days of August sleeping beneath vehicles and rolling in cool mud, Cherokee
is flourishing under the late summer sun. Much of the plumbing is installed, the rope locker
is primed and painted, and the new bumper is completed. The entire bottom has been successfully sheaved
in Kevlar, the same material used in bullet-proof vests. Not only does this afford
a good amount of puncture-resistance, it should come in handy should the boat fall victim to
Kevlar Sheathing on Bottom
Part of the Kevlar process involved the placement of microballoons on the
bottom. Then the crew sanded the microballoons so as to fill the weave
of cloth, enabling them to avoid sanding away the reinforcing fibers.
Bill Sanding Microballoons, Whatta Crew
Kevlar In Progress
Interior painting continues. Below, Bud uses the purple paint as an index of low and
high areas that need sanding. Level, smooth, and - as they say Down East - slick
ca'm is the goal.
Bud Sanding and Painting
The engine room has been primed and the final coat of paint sprayed. Now it looks
too clean and pretty for engines. Bill Brown has designed and installed two 300 X 400
intakes, which will cut down engine noise considerably.
Engine Room Primed and Sprayed
Bill Brown's Intake Installation
Bill B. has also been busy fabricating the motor mounts for the engine. He made them
at Fred Lindo's machine shop in Morehead City, and had them welded at
Hancock and Grandson's in Straits. Here they wait, next to the engine, like
precious bars of silver. Nice job, Bill.
New Engine Mounts
Although it has been a less-than-spectacular crab season, several weeks of
crabbing remain. "Casa de Jaiba" is what Mexican pickers call crab houses.
Most the the remaining
crab houses in eastern North Carolina rely heavily on Latina women, the majority
of which work here by virtue of H-2 visas. H-2 visas certify that laborers will
work for a single employer at a specified task, without the option of quitting
for alternative work in the U.S. At first, some Latinas complained that this set up
a system of patronage whereby the crab processor controlled living, eating, and
leisure-time arrangements. Now, as more Mexican and Central Americans move into
Eastern Carolina and hold all sorts of jobs, impressive support networks have been
established, allowing the
crab house women more living and quittin' time independence. Meanwhile, they endure
awesome distances between themselves and their loved ones, wiring money home for
their kids, family, and community until rejoining them in the winter. Que bueno!
Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake
Blake Boatworks Archive Page
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