What better way to spend a late Autumn afternoon than test-driving the Huckins to see if the new turbo and injector improved engine performance? Yee haw, did it ever! After gliding by some incredibly shallow water (the Huckins only draws about three and a half feet at the bow and eighteen inches at the stern), we headed into the channel and let her rip. Leaving an airborn trail of pine needles and whirlygigs, Cherokee planed at a record (for her) 34.2 knots. A smooth and quiet 34.2 knots - if it wasn't for the seashore tearing by you'd never guess we were moving at that speed.
Speedometer - Registering 33.3 in Upper Left
Leaving the Creekside Shallows
Racing the Straits Toward Harkers Island Bridge
Bryan at the Helm, Tom and Leonard Up Top, Chris Below
Cherokee throws out a nice, flat wake, not even disturbing the pelicans and cormorants bobbing about. She stops on a dime like hitting on the brakes, and turns like a first-prize barrel racing quarterhorse.
Tom Checking out the Waterjets
Zipping on In, Back to the Muddy Creek
Back at the dock, Leonard finished up fiberglassing the interior sections of the stern doggie door leading out to the swim platform, and installed it with stainless hinges.
New Transom Door with Leonard's Handy Fiberglassing and Hinges
Bryan is cutting and applying sound insulation to the engine room. Below left, Bryan's installing a perforated aluminum square panel in which the insulation sits. To the right you can see the three layers - one inch of quilted fiberglass, one quarter inch of talc-loaded tough mat vinyl (heavy!), and finally a three inch layer of fiberglass. We dare a sound wave to penetrate THAT!
Bryan Downing the Sound
Fishdoc found an unlikely companion while walking home from the post office - a cormorant waddling down the middle of the road. Although it had an injured wing and couldn't fly, it hopped into a ditch full of rainwater and shot back and forth like an underwater missile. Fishdoc called Mrs. Fisher, also known as "the bird lady", who lives in the not-on-any-map village of Tusk. She showed up with a long-handled crab net, and in three swoops had the cormorant. She held his neck and beak carefully, explaining that "cormorant is the only bird that will go for your face." She added that cormorants, defined as "gluttonous, greedy, rapacious" creatures in Websters, are one of the most primitive birds alive and have surprisingly little waterproofing considering all the diving, swimming, and fishing they do. Mrs. Fisher has a permit from Fish and Wildlife to handle wild birds, and works closely with a local veterinarian. She determined that his bird was thin, but did not have a broken wing. "I'll take him home and feed him, and he ought to be fine in a couple of days. See, cormorants are migrating right now, and on top of that they're idiots. They sometimes mistake pavement for water!" This bird might have had a hard landing, but he's certainly in good hands.
Signing off for now,
Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake