1 October 2000
1 October 2000 As the crescent moon sets over the still Straits waters, the big shed is in place at the Webboat site – come hurricane or high water, all is sturdy and secure around Cherokee. Autumn is prime boat building weather, where the smell of sawdust and the buzzing of saws blend with crisp air and swaying pines.
This week has been a time of heavy grinding, stripping, clearing, and making way for the new. Jeanette and Robbin have been concentrating their efforts in the fo’c’sle. Centuries ago the fo’c’sle was an above-deck castle housing archers ready for battle. Menhaden fishermen had to sleep there fifty years ago, fishy water dripping on them all night long. This boat? Dry and comfy – there will be no need for suits of armor or foul weather gear while sleeping.
As a first step in designing the interior space, Bryan and John are building “mock ups” in the master stateroom of the bunks, sink and vanity, staircases, closets, and head wall. The mock-ups lend a visual and spatial sense of what the “real thing” will feel like. They also afford the opportunity to make changes.
In a small town like Gloucester, everybody knows or wants to know what you’re up to. The Huckins project has attracted the attention of fishermen pulling their boats out at Straits Railway, neighbors, dogs, friends, and boat enthusiasts. Van Sellers sailed a twenty year old Blake-built gaff-rig work skiff into the cut this week. He took John, Bryan, Barbara and Casey for a quick sunset cruise out around Marshallberg. It was a cool, purple fall evening, and we found ourselves in the midst of rolling black dolphins. It was a nice reminder why boats are worth it. The busted tiller held together with duct-tape was a reminder that boats are a pain in the *!#* and will never let you get too complacent. Signing off for now, Barbara “Fish Doctor” Blake