Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Great Shrimp Boat Project


One of the earliest entries in this journal was about an abandoned shrimp boat that had sunk in the Wilmington River.  It was near our marina right on the Intracoastal Waterway.  In the original entry, I commented about how sad it was that people could just abandon their boats like this when they are wrecked.  Click here for a link to that original post if you care to read it and see all the early pictures.

To my surprise, something has been done about this and other wrecks in our area.  One enterprising individual decided to contact his local state senator and state representatives to lobby for funding and action to remove theses hazards and eyesores from our waterways.  Here is a link to an article in the Savannah Morning News about this man and his efforts.  $180,000 Proposal


Imagine my delight one January morning as I observed a tug and barge with a crane positioning itself adjacent to the wreck of the “Treasure D.”  I knew immediately what it was there for and was happy that the funds were finally released to remove this wreck.  I also knew it would be interesting to watch this process fromstart to finish.


The wreck was almost a mile away from me, so I had to rely on my telephoto lens to capture what action I could during the removal operations.  In the PIC above, two men have been lifted over to the wreck by the crane and are cutting the boom arms that hold the trawling nets off with torches.  After they are cut into pieces, the crane lifts them up and deposits them on the barge to be hauled away.


After the big metal parts on deck are cut and removed, the scoop bucket on the crane is used to scoop up portions of the wreck from below the surface of the water.  In the above picture, it appears that parts of the engine, drive shaft, and transmission were being lifted with other huge chunks of debris.

Within the space of about ten working days, all that was left was the barge and crane and a pile of debris that was once a sea worthy and working shrimp trawler, plying the waters of our coast.  It was hard to imagine the men that worked this ship and the life of this vessel as I gazed upon this heap of timber and steel.  I had to get a closer look before it was carted off to be dumped in some unknown location, possibly in a landfill, or even far offshore somewhere.  I coaxed a friend at the marina to carry me over in his boat while I took some final shots of this nautical autopsy and the remains of the recently departed.


At one end of the barge I could still make out what used to be the ship’s fuel tanks.


Shooting into the sun, I was still able to make out the ship’s planking that was once her hull and decking.

A working ship is a living, breathing system of engineering and equipment that takes on a life itself.  It serves as a means to make a living and a lifestyle to those who choose to adopt it as their own.  The hundreds of independent mechanisms and systems that work in concert to keep the boat afloat and in motion thrive with a pulse-like rhythm, unique in itself, that can be distinguished from other ships even of the same build.  It has its own personality and traits and is life-like to those who work these ships.

I thought about the life of this ship as I watched the silhouette of this once proud vessel fade in the background.  It was a sad ending, in a poetic kind of way.  But lest we mire ourselves too much in the romantic notions of a time gone by for this ship, it was a good thing that was done here this past, cold January. 

For, as romantic as this last picture is of the wreck that once was, it was a danger to shipping and boating interests in the region.  We can now be assured that this wreck will not capture another hapless vessel in the middle of the night and pull it down with her.  And that is the end of the story of the Wreck of the “Treasure D.”



Just a note to my family and friends and readers:  I know I have been absent from these pages for too long of a time now.  I thank those who have sent Emails and comments checking up to see if all was well.  As it turns out, I have been well, but busy.  Spring always kicks us into high gear as we get ready for the heavy boating season Memorial Day Weekend always brings. 

This year they tore down my dock shack about the same time this tugand barge showed up.  I have pictures and will share them next post.  At any rate, I was moved into a temporary office like you see on construction sites while they built me a new and modern Dock Master’s Office and Ship’s Store.  I only had ten days before the holiday weekend to move into the office and get set up and only five days before the weekend to stock, merchandise, price, and display my wares in the Ship’s Store.  Remember, we never had a Ship’s Store before, so I was starting from scratch.  I even had to design my own inventory sheets and systems of tracking inventory and sales.  No fancy professional sales software or equipment was provided.  I made it, but perhaps I’ll save details for the next post.

I keep this journal because I have come to love it and the people I interact with here in the AOL J-Land community.  I was never one to state a commitment to posting something every day.  I understand those that do try to keep a daily commitment for posting and enjoy that for them and with them.

For me, it was a way to let my Grandson have some sort of sense of who I was while I was here when he gets older and also to have fun with it.  I am still having fun with it, and will continue for the foreseeable future.  But, I have to put all my energies into my family and profession as needed and, from time to time, drift away as life happens.  For those of you who still drop by and read here as I post, my deepest thanks for hanging in there with me.  I still cannot promise a more regular post schedule but I do promise I will return as I can each time and share a little more with you.


ksquester said...

Sam, I am so glad to see your post.  Interesting life that you lead.  I wonder the "story" behind the shrimp boat also.  Finding some politician that funded money for the "haul off" is a miracle in itself.  Love your entries.  Keep on, keeping on!   Anne

memes121 said...

And I will always be here to read it my friend. Yours is one of the best. Take care. Tammy

purplehazebarn said...

Dear Sam:  Good to know all is well with you.  I enjoy your entries, but did view a comment here and there on other journals, so thought the season was just keeping you very busy.  Always good to hear from you, when you have the time.  Enjoy your new office, shop, etc.  LaVern

springangel235 said...

I know I am new to your journal...but it is one awesome one...I enjoy it so much...enjoy the your interesting writings...keep them coming...take care...have an awesome week.

pixiedustnme said...

No need to apologize, we know where your heart and your first loves are!  It's always good to hear from you when you get a chance to pop in.  Glad to see they are cleaning up the waters in your neck of the woods.  Cleaning up that wreck must have been quite a sight!  Thanks for sharing pictures :-D

piperacharmed1 said...

Always good to see an entry from you Sam...glad to hear you are doing well.

Take care,

justplainbill said...

Sam, good to see and read you again. Loved the story fo the sunken ship removal.
You certainly showed me how much you respect and love boats.
Thanks for the post and I look forward to more. Bill

ggjack7 said...

Sam I did miss you, but also knew you were busy with the big holiday weekend, hope you will find time to write about the races, this is a very sad story, with a happy ending, done only as your could do it, thanks for sharing. gg/Jackie

salemslot9 said...

no apologies, Sam :)

rollinghillsides said...

We who keep your journal 'on alert' are always pleased when you do find time to say hello, and you never fail to give us an interesting story!  Glad you said hi.  No need to apologize at all.   Judy, CT

slbourgoyne said...

Always good to see you in my inbox.  I understand the time constraints though.  Lynn

nightmaremom said...

Hey I for one and am glad when you find the time.  Your entries are ALWAYS interesting.  Stop by when you can :)

bvaneps834 said...

great pictures--and i do enjoy any and every entry you make---so when you do i will be here to read em!  Barb

ally123130585918 said...

Sam what an interesting entry ~ can imagine how delighted you must have been to see something being done about the wreck of the Shrimp Boat ~ clearing it away and removing a hazard to other boats ~ glad you took pictures of the whole process and shared them with us ~ it was sad to see the Barge filled with debris knowing it was once a proud sailing vessel ~ We know how busy you are but always look forward to your entries whenever you have time to do one ~ I am sure your Grandson will be pleased to be able to read your journal in years to come ~ Ally

jeadie05 said...

Hi Sam I do understand you have a busy life style,so I am always pleased when I see a posting from you ,todays entry was as ever ,very interesting ,and I can remember your entry about the shrimp boat,and whilst its sad that its useful life is over ,its good that it is no longer a danger to other shipping ,Look forward to hearing all about your new office , Jan xx

coloneljan said...

I'll always stop by on a regular basis just to enjoy the ride you share with us.

pharmolo said...

Interesting to read of the removal of that wreck, Sam. I quite agree, a boat has a personality of its own, and it's sad to see it in the state that one was in. Strangely enough, a wreck was removed from the harbour here in Stornoway just this morning.

jlocorriere05 said...

Hi Sam, I love how you talk of boats! They do have a personality of their own don't they? I'm glad your new office is ready, after seeing it in construction I can imagine it now, you have a lot more space to work in! I see the wreck was at Thunderbolt, I have a pic of that big Thunderbolt Marine building which I'm posting hopefully tomorrow when we get our classic pics back. It's so good to see your pics knowing I've been there and seen it all for real! It's always nice to see a post from you, we know your family and job come first, Jeannette xx  

madcobug said...

A very interesting entry Sam. I know you love your new office.
Thanks for sharing your pictures and the story behind them. Helen

lifelistlift said...

Hallo Mr Boatman

Thank you for leaving your comment on my blog.  Each time I look at a new blog..I go "blinking heck" thats some blog!!  Reading your sure does sound you are a busy man.  Is that your job to salvage wrecks?  It seems a very interesting line of work.  Mind you saying that maybe you deal with boat traffic and keep everything at bay!! (no pun intended..actually..I just thought I would throw that in.  Well..I better drop my full stop anchor and say cheerio for now.

chatzeekay said...
i love the pics nice shots.

lilysparadise said...

Wonderful pictures, Sam. Thanks so much for sharing this part of your life with us. You write amazingly well, and it was a pleasure to read your post and be informed about the hazards of those rusty old wrecks. Do take care!

mutualaide said...

Nice entry Sam ... I love your poetic view of the life of a ship and it's death as well.  Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Of course, the next time you post ... and that's whenever it is ... I'd like to see pictures of your new 'shack'!  That must be a real treat for you although adding the store creates more work and responsibility!  :)

Happy Spring and into the summer.  I don't worry about you during the early months of the year ... I just kind of figure the water ways are waking up and you are making their breakfast.

southernmush said...

Hi !!!!!!! You might not know this but I have been visiting your journal quite often. I have enjoyed reading your entries. I wish I was there to visit you at the marina. You have been missed by many. I was also wondering how you were doing. I myself haven't been on a boat in a long long time. My dad used to have a little bass boat but he hasn't had it for a long time. I live in the Clayton County area of Georgia.

I have to say that it is nice to have you here at j-Land. I think that many people such as myself have enjoyed getting to know you through your journal. I have come to know a great number of people here at J-land. I have also come to write letters to different people at J-Land. It is a treasure to have aboard as you would say. Do take care and I hope you are at J-Land for a long time to come.


lifelistlift said...

Hallo Sam

Thank you for leaving your comment on my journal.  Now I am clear as mud!! ha ha. I am in Journal Land and quiet an interesting land it is.  A mixture of great people.  Cheers!! shona

helmswondermom said...

What a great experience to be able to see them bring it up and to get photos of it.

ksgal3133 said...

Those are great pictures and thanks for keeping me up to date on what happened to that boat.
I'm glad that you are okay but understand how busy this time of you is for you.
Hang in there!


jacksj989 said...

Isn't it wonderful to be able to see things removed that no longer have a use and are an eye sore.

Not far off from where I live, there is an old Slag Heap.  (Rubbish that came out of the earth as coal was mined.)

Myself and many people like me have been campaining to have the eye sore land scaped and I am pleased to tell you that, partly due to our small group pressurising and pushing, the heap is due to be land scaped in about three years time.

How pleased I am to know that you too are able to get you views improved.


mrsm711 said...

Being around the water alot and knowing about sunken ships and barges and dredging, this entry was very touching. The silouette was beautiful, but sad when you think of the whole story behind her.  The number of quaint marinas we visit each summer, we have seen and heard our share of the beautiful memories these towns and marinas have.  Love this entry!  :)     Tracy

csandhollow said...

I understand Sam. Same way here.

childebrand1968 said...


All of it.  And you did the Treasure D much justice with your touching tribute.  I'm sure it is bittersweet and maybe someone who stood on her deck will read this someday, too  :)

Beautifully written and detailed in pictures... I was right there with you, as I'm sure we all were.

I'll always read here.  Whether it takes you two months to write, or me two months to read, I'm here for the duration without interference.. lol.

As always...


fowfies said...

Thanks for sharing that...I never knew what happened to old boats like that. Quite a job to take apart I imagine.  Hey, what is that saying...absence makes the heart grow fonder? When you skip a little while it makes you coming back all the better...I have been so busy myself I have not been able to make daily entries either...too much livin' ta do! People visiting, chores are stepped up with all the hatching, not to mention all the mowing, trimming, pen building, repairs, painting the porch, all that...hey...its SUMMERTIME! Lets get outside and enjoy it, there will be plenty of cold winter days to stay inside and worries.

dizarra said...

This was a great entry Sam! The pictures, your story, your interest in it all! Thank goodness they removed the abandoned shrimp boat, like you stated, it's not only an eye sore, but dangerous! I had no idea other ships 'run into' them at night!
makes sense though; love your new shack! LOL It's way more than just shack this time round, it looks great! No need to apologize about the numbers of entry's you
write though, we all understand! I'd rather read sometimes different and interesting every once in a while, instead of daily, boring, same ol' same ol', if
you know what I mean? I mean, I read many journal's about husbands & wives,
pets and kids, [and like them very much] but I'm always searching for Different!
I like photographs-but along with a story, or back story; so thanks for sharing,
and as you can see, you have MANY fans here in J land, awaiting your next entry!

myhairnevermoves said...

I know this is odd, but do you know any more about the wreckage?  Was this The Odyssey by any chance? I went looking for it a few months ago, and it was gone. Apparently my biological father sunk quite a few of his boats. I'd appreciate any info you have, and I'd also like to take a look at other pictures. I don't know how to get back to this page, but my email is

My name is Shannon. My father was Glenn Smith, son of WG Smith,long time owner of Lazaretto Creek and captain of the Agnes Marie...

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