P.O. Box 91
Gloucester, North Carolina
Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project
November 22, 2000 Since the warm weather finally gave way to serious temperatures, the WebBoat crew is wistfully thinking about the joys of wood stoves and plastic-covered shed siding. The crew, bundled up and easily mistaken for Canadian fur trappers, has grown by two Bills and a James Jr. - Bill Davis has joined Leonard for sanding and painting, and Bill Brown is the on-site diesel mechanic. James Jr. is Bryan's son. The boat undergoes regular metamorphous - the three panel windshield in the pilot house was removed, and in the Down East spirit of not wasting anything, was installed in the new shop extension. This makes way for later installation of the angled windshield.
View from Across the Cut
The removal of paint is revealing beautiful wood in some areas.The wood surrounding the salon windshield is especially nice. The galley walls are stripped, and Jeanette and Robbin are working hard on the aft bunk room, a.k.a. the "children's room" because glowing stars, balls, and a plastic dinosaur were discovered in various nooks and crannies. The paint is soon to be gone from the entire Cherokee interior. But given the chilly temperatures, being inside small rooms with a heat gun is not so bad. Old timey sailors who were forever scrubbing wooden decks with small blocks of sandstone called the stone "Bible" because they were always down on their knees.
Freshly Sanded Bunkroom Door
John and his assistant James Jr. cut and glued several pieces of stem in the anchor locker where the windlass will be placed. A rotten section of the front deck was cut out. This has given John a bit more breathing space and elbow room for the anchor locker restoration.
Gluing Sections of the Stem
Late November at Straits Railway
Yours truly ventured across the cut to photograph Cherokee from Brenda Pigott's yard. Brenda is Lloyd Pigott's Aunt. Her one-hundred year old house is within shouting distance from her nephew's railway. Just a few weeks ago Lloyd hauled out the Bay Rambler, a small trawler owned by Brenda's husband Crawford, who died at the wheel while shrimping in South Carolina three years ago. Now the Bay Rambler is worked by her son James, a man of few words who likes to work alone so as to not get his "ear talked off" by excitable crew. Most small-boat shrimpers work alone, towing in wide circles under the stars, but they keep an eye on each other. On calm nights we land dwellers can fall asleep to the distant sound of humming diesels, and sometimes even catch a little VHF radio chatter moving across the water into our dreams. The shrimpers manage to keep themselves and us company. Who says fishing is a lonely pursuit?
Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake
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