July 1, 2003
We’re speechless with excitment as we enter Day Two of the launching process, so we’ll get right to the pictures. Below is a series showing George Brown placing the I-beams in position with his crane, lowering the lift strap for Cherokee, placing the rollers under the vessel, and lowering her on to the rollers. Isn’t it funny how this very modernized Huckins is going to be pushed to the water in the old fashioned primitive way of beams and log rollers?
I-Beams in Place
Crane Lowering the Big Strap
Jacking Up the Bow
It was important to get the weight of Cherokee just right on the rollers, so no roller would take on too much weight. “If you hear a big crack when I set her down, that’s bad!” smiled George, explaining that a poorly weighted vessel could result in it cracking in two. To help distribute the weight, the crew jacked up the bow and shifted rollers in this strange science of boat moving.
Situating the Rollers
Lower her down, George!
Sitting Pretty and Ready to Roll
Jerry Davis picked out some choice carpet pieces for his bulldozer, and moved it up to Cherokee’s bow. As the crew held its collective breath, Jerry pushed the vessel out a few feet just to see if she’d roll properly. Of course she rolled like a queen on skates! Today (July 2) George and Julian Brown will finish welding the I-beam track together, and tomorrow (Bryan’s birthday!) Cherokee should meet the water again at last! Does this mean the project is over? Hardly. More work will be done on the interior, but by launching the boat now, the crew can test the engines and work out any bugs in the electronic system.
High-Tech Boat Moving Machine, Jerry Davis Gets Ready to Push
Welding I-Beam Tracks to the Water
During a break in the launching process, Julian Brown remarked that the only food he ever turned down was a grilled possum. “It just didn’t look right sitting there on the grill,” he explained. FishDoc said that it was chitlins that sent her running for the hills, whereupon Julian described his brother George’s passion for chitlins and his attempt to clean them years ago. “He and Rhonda were just married. Well George gets a hold of these chitlins (pig intestines for you Yankee readers) and wanted to clean all the you-know-what out before he boiled and fried ’em. My GOD there ain’t nothing he loves better than a big plate of fresh chitlins. So he puts them in Rhonda’s brand new washing machine! Well Buddy, you talk about a nasty mess! The chitlins got all in those little holes on the side of the washer and he had a time trying to get them out.” At that point George walked up and added, “Yeah, Rhonda figured things could only get better from there. Boy was SHE surprised!” Signing off for now, Barbara “Fish Doctor” Blake