By Richard E. Noble After a year or two of oystering I began to think of myself as a Commercial Fisherman and my oyster boat as a classic wooden work skiff. I would go over to Wefing's in Apalachicola and pick up a copy of the National Fisherman magazine and Wooden Boats. My oyster skiff was nothing like the Chris Craft, teak and mahogany, wooden cabin cruisers being displayed in Wooden Boats magazine. Nor was my oystering profession much like catching King Crabs off the coast of Alaska. But there were a number of similarities and a kindred spirit. We were all people who made a living off the water and we were all being oppressed by Federal and State governments and many types of environmentalists and environmental disasters of one type or another. It seemed like fisherman from the west coast to the shores of New England were all on the brink of extinction. But for the moment our life was good here in Eastpoint and our 23 foot oyster skiff was fine. Carol and I decided to build our own oyster skiff and fishing boat. We sent away for some plans that we discovered in one of our magazines. We priced everything locally for our boat and found for a comparable sum we could have a local professional build us one - stainless steel screws, marine plywood and all. We had Mr. Hatfield in Eastpoint build our boat. I think it cost us $1500. We chose a flat bottomed boat as opposed to the V type hull. We wanted stability while sitting in the water since my wife was already on a regular diet of Dramamine. That boat lasted us our entire oystering career. We painted the bottom with anti-fouling paint every year and Coppertoxed the inside floors and framing (Copertox is a wood preservative.) We painted the sides black to keep them dry and the decks white to keep our feet cool. We trimmed it in red. We also had a trailer built for it in Panama City so we could get it out of the water when bad weather was coming and in order to travel to other oystering spots. We oystered in Apalachicola, Panacea and Horse Shoe Beach. Before we got our Hatfield boat we had several older boats. They needed many repairs but we didn't find instructions in any magazine. Black-mammy tar, plywood patches and stripping were the cures for most problems. One of our boats got infested with sea worms. The worms got into the bottom because our boat sat on the mud at low tide most winters. We got all kinds of advice on what to do. But we decided to listen to the man we sold most of our oysters to. He told us to pull it out onto the hill, flip it over, coat the whole bottom with black-mammy tar and cover the bottom with a sheet of grade A 1/4in. plywood. We couldn't figure out how that would kill the worms that had infested the bottom. We figured that they would probably just eat through in the opposite direction - but we did it anyway. The boat was a little heavier than it used to be. We had a little trouble getting it up on top (planning out), but it made it. We had some old boats that had as many as three additional bottoms. We sold that particular boat when we got our new Hatfield boat but years later we saw our old, worm-infested boat still out working the bay. I presume that the worms were slow eaters or that they only ate in one direction. Our wooden boats were fun to own. They required maintenance but nothing that the two of us could not do. I was going to convert my oyster boat to a bass boat after we gave up oystering, but we never did. After so many years on the water we were more inclined to fish off a bank or a fishing pier. We do a lot of fishing off the old Eastpoint Bridge these days and we almost always catch fish. It was fun being called “captain” and owning a wooded oyster skiff. I hope someone is still building oyster skiffs around this town. I think that a little smaller version of our flat-bottomed, Hatfield oyster skiff would make a neat bass boat. I bet it would attract a lot of attention out on a lake in Atlanta or North Carolina.
Richard Noble is a freelance writer and has been a resident of Eastpoint for 30 years. He has published 5 books that are all for sale on amazon.com. If you would like to stock his books in your store or business email Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.