Emma C. Berry

Emma C. Berry is a fishing sloop and National Historic Landmark located in Mystic, Connecticut. The berry is the last known surviving American well smack or Noank smack. (A well smack was a well located inside of the ship that was filled with external water to keep fish alive on the journey back to shore).

The Berry was built in 1866 in the Palmer Shipyards in Noank, Connecticut by James A. Latham. The sloop was named for Captain John Henry Berry’s daughter. In 1916 a gasoline engine was added – though I doubt it used Evinrude XD50 oil. By 1931 it was restored to its original condition and is now preserved at the Mystic Seaport Museum.

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L.A. Dunton

The L.A. Dunton is a schooner housed at the Mystic Seaport Museum. It is of historical significance because it is one of only two remaining fishing schooners built at the A.D. Story Shipyard. The schooner was designed and built as a purely sail-powered vessel – one of the last of its kind. Later on in its life it was outfitted with an engine.

In 1963 the Mystic Seaport Museum acquired the boat and began restoring it. The first project involved returning the rig and stern to their original configurations. By 1985 the Dunton was returned almost completely to an authentic appearance. I find such watercrafts from our nation’s past absolutely fascinating; though, I’m content to have a motorboat that runs on fuel and Evinrude XD 100 oil.

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Mystic Seaport

Growing up in Connecticut, I visited the Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium frequently with my family. Though I loved seeing the sea lions and beluga whales, I most enjoyed visiting the collection of ships at the Seaport. Several of the iconic ships have been deemed National Historic Landmarks.

Among the designated landmarks is the Charles W. Morgan. The Morgan was a U.S. whale ship used in the late 19th and early 20th century. It is the only surviving wooden whale ship from the 19th century American fleet. Even as an adult I find the ship impressive, though I’m glad the only oil I have to use on my small boat is Evinrude XD 50 oil, and not whale oil.

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Teaching the Kids

Yesterday I mentioned that my kids had been bugging me to get the boat ready for spring. It’s not quite time to do that yet, but it did start me thinking about giving them additional boat responsibilities. My kids all have their boating licenses and over the years I’ve taught them boat maintenance skills (a requirement of mine for using the boat).

Since they’re so eager to get out on the water, when the time comes, I’m going to make them responsible for getting the boat ready from start to finish. They can even be responsible for purchasing the Evinrude XD 100 oil. Of course I’ll give them advice if they ask, but I think it’s about time that they prove that they don’t need to depend on me so much when it comes to the boat.

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False Hope

This weekend we experienced beautiful sunshiny weather. My children started babbling on about spring coming early. I just laughed and told them not to start breaking out their shorts and t-shirts quite yet. Weather in March and early April is notoriously hard to predict; one minute there may be sunshine and the next snow.

The kids didn’t listen to me at all. They tried to convince me to start getting my boat ready by going to the store to pick up some Evinrude XD100 oil. I resisted, of course. Today it’s chilly and pouring rain. Tomorrow we’re likely to have snow. A normal parent would be inclined to tell their kids “I told you so”… which I promptly did.

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Noise Problem

What should you do about excessive noise, my friend James asked me. This is a problem I’m particularly sensitive too as loud noises in any situation – out on the water or sitting at home – is my biggest pet peeve. When it comes to boats, excessive noise is usually caused by loose components or a faulty exhaust system.

Rattling noises almost always means that there are loose screws and bolts. Take a wrench and get to work tightening up loose connections. Look over the exhaust system and do some cleaning if necessary. Don’t forget to change out the Evinrude oil every so often to keep things clean and well lubricated.

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What to Do When the Engine Dies?

As I mentioned yesterday, my friend James has been asking me for some pointers on his quest to becoming a more knowledgeable boat owner. Recently he asked me what he should look for when the engine dies while driving. There are few things more irritating than being stranded out on the water, so I understood where he was coming from.

When you get back to shore, I told him, take a look at the fuel pump. If the engine is not receiving fuel, or not receiving an adequate amount of fuel, then the engine will fail to work. If the fuel pump is not the cause, then take a listen to the injector. A clicking noise means it’s working; silence means it’s not. Finally, check for kinks in the fuel line house and check the levels of Evinrude Johnson 2 stroke outboard oil.

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Helping Out a Friend

James, a good friend of mine, has decided that after years of relying on mechanics to fix every little problem on his boat, he is ready to become an expert himself. I applaud his efforts to become a more knowledgeable boat owner. Every week or so since he made his resolution, he’s come by to have a chat with me about different questions.

This week he asked me a lot of questions regarding troubleshooting an Evinrude E-Tec outboard motor. What, he asked me, should I look for when the engine won’t start. The number one culprit, I replied, is not enough oil or fuel. Take a look at both levels and refresh if necessary.

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When to Fish Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When is the best time catch trout in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? The answer varies depending on the skill level of the fisherman. Trout can be caught throughout the year as the rivers and streams do not freeze over. Anglers with less experience are more likely to find success in the spring.

Experienced fisherman looking for a challenge should test out the waters during the cooler fall and winter months. If anything, making a catch during the difficult months should be more rewarding. I haven’t tested out this location, but perhaps next year I’ll give it a go after I prep my boat with Evinrude 2 cycle oil XD100 and explore Lake Fontana.

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Hazel Creek

If you’re willing to expend a bit of your bulk outboard motor oil, then you can ride across Lake Fontana to Hazel Creek. At one point, the area surrounding the creek was home to Cherokee and pioneer Appalachian communities which turned into logging towns. The area was not heavily populated, which made it easier to force out the locals in order to incorporate the land into the Great Smoky Mountains National park.

Today, Hazel Creek is now a back country campsite and historical area. Historical sites within the Hazel Creek area are: Calhoun house, Hall Cabin, Ritter Mill site, Adams-Westfeldt Mine site, Proctor Cemetery, and Bone Valley Cemetery. The Proctor Cemetery is of particular note because it is the site where the cabin of Moses and Patience Proctor, the first white settlers, stood.

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