3 Nov

Further update on Seeker:
Yesterday was a good day.
A friend and business leader on the Island, Ralph Packer, offered a to trade a 24-inch-thickness planer, for some Cypress that I have left over from the planking. My sawyer, Carlton Sprague, a master woodworker, and another friend, Ken Gillie, post-and-beam expert, and I went to the woodshop of the late Eddy Warsyk, where the planer was stored.
It had been a pong time since I’d been in that shop. Eddy was an old friend. He was a master machinist, having the distinction of making the most accurate sights for bombers in WW2. He was a generous, talented, cantankerous guy, who died about ten years ago. I miss him.
As we cleared machinery, and assorted debris, clearing a path to the door, I reflected on a memory from the early ‘eighties.
Eddy and I were going over the best way of making a jig for beading the inner ceiling of the 1905 English Channel Pilot Cutter, I was rebuilding for Bob Douglas. We were engrossed in the task, when Barry Clifford, the fellow who discovered the pirate ship Whydah, walked in the shop, carrying a dripping- wet-stainless-steel attache case.
Eddy and I were spellbound when he opened it to reveal gold bars, jewel encrusted crucifixes, and other items of inestimable worth.
We laughed and advised him to make sure that he brought the contents of his find to the attention of the state Archeologists. I’m not going to speculate any further.
This is an interesting tale. A few years earlier, Jackie O had approached me, near the Black Dog tavern, and asked if I knew the whereabouts of Barry. I did know, as he was talking up a pretty woman behind a shack on the harbor. I pointed her in the right direction, and then speculated on the possible reason for Jackie O to want anything to do with Barry Clifford.
The only possibility was the Whydah, of which Barry had been expressing a lot of interest.
Shortly thereafter, Barry, knowing that I had spent a lot of time on the waters around Wellfleet and Provinctown, asked me if I knew anything about the Whydah. It turns out that I knew where it was.
Let me explain: The old timers, the Grand Bank Captains who played Pinocle every lunch hour at Flyers Boat Yard, where I apprenticed, had, on many occasions, encouraged me to dive on the Whydah, and make myself rich. I didn’t pay much attention. I figured if there was riches there, why wouldn’t other’s have already done such enriching?
But. I did pay enough attention to pick up the land marks, and knew precisely where she lay.
So, getting back to Barry Clifford, I told him my best information regarding the location.
He then asked me who he ought to be watching out for. I thought that was a good question, and I had an immediate answer. Matt Costa. A patch-over-one-eyed fisherman/businessman/pirate who would destroy something before letting anyone else have it, and a damned powerful adversary.
Turned out that way too. But no one was a match for Barry Clifford. I’m absolutely convinced he was the reincarnation of Sam Bellamy, returned to claim his treasure.
So the rest is history. John Kennedy Jr. (he hated John-John) was part of the crew that raised the treasure, Matt Costa was a constant threat, and the old timers location was spot on.
A funny anecdote after the treasure was discovered: Barry told me that he was in Hyannis, having lunch in a local cafe, when he looked down at his place-mat, a map of Cape Cod. Clearly marked, and accurately placed, was an X marking the location of the Whydah. He said he involuntarily slapped his hand over the map. Before cracking up.
Anyway. No. Barry never offered me a dime, and I didn’t expect he would.
So, Carlton, Kenny and I, managed, using planks and rollers, to roll the machine to a waiting forklift, which, placed the planer in the back of a pickup.
The job a lot more delicate and iffy as described.
Ralph had called his electrician who had been working down the street, who unhooked the planer, a task that could have held us up for days.
Anyway, Ralph, by the way, drove the forklift and the pickup truck. I think he’s 82 years old. Did a masterful job.
So we get the planer to the yard, and Ralph loads it gently in place, and before it hits the deck, the electrician, Steven Borowicz, appears, donating a $50 cord, and all his labor, and hard-wires the planer to the electrical box.
As this was going on, another friend showed up with his truck (Chris and Brant, from Bay State towing) and Carlton loaded the remaining green Cypress on the truck which is at this moment on the way to the kiln where it will exchange it for the dried planking, which will, God willing and the crick don’t rise, arrive later this afternoon. Today, Oakley, another friend, a young guy and gifted millwright, will go over the planer, oiling and greasing it, just in time for the planking.
Another day on the VIneyard.

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