The boat was made for two people (how else was Mary Ann going to get back to Negros?). The whole top of the boat was covered with plywood to lessen the amount of open boat that would be exposed to small waves washing over it. Two holes were left for us to sit in, and if things really got ugly there was just enough room to sink down into the boat and cover the openings with hatches. There were plans for a tent-like arrangement that would cover both of the holes to keep out the sun and rain from small squalls. The boat was painted red and white with the Sharkbait logo on the bow.
Good thing Mary Ann liked to paint. It was a small boat until it came time to paint it. Then it seemed to be just a few feet short of the Queen Mary.
Below is a picture of the boat as we were starting to fit the tarik. You can now see what the flat transom in the back was for; the rudder! This is the last picture of the boat that I have. About a week after this picture was taken we got the tarik fitted well enough for four of us to wrestle the boat down to the water and make some adjustments. I would guess that the boat weighed about 250 pounds. We put it into the water about five-thirty in the afternoon. Everything was perfect. We were going to take it for a quick spin, but it was starting to get dark and bit too breezy. Nothing was permanently attached yet...and nothing ever would be. We didn't want to haul the boat all of the way back into the village, so we looked for a good place to put it for the night. We settled on a place in a small depression in the ground about 20 feet from the shore. We were going to tie it between two coconut trees a few feet further from the beach, but figured where we had the boat would be good enough.
The breeze the previous afternoon was from an approaching typhoon. It was not a small typhoon. It started getting pretty windy by about seven in the morning. We began rearranging and packing all of the stuff in the house to try and save as much as we could at about nine in the morning. Mary Ann, her brother, and I were the last ones in the house. The wind kept getting stronger throughout the morning, and we finally gave up trying to keep the roof from blowing away at about one in the afternoon. The front portion of the house next door was partially made of cinder block bricks, cement, and tin, instead of wood, bamboo, and nipa (palm roofing). We huddled into the 12'x14' room on the front of the house with about 20 other people and waited.
We were finally able to come out of hiding at about eleven o'clock that evening.
The picture below wasn't taken in Ngolos, but in Ulul, Truk. The place was different, but the cause and affect was the same. It was like God came along with a lawnmower and turned the jungle into a golf green. My camera was not treated kindly by the storm.
What happened to Sharkbait? Well at some point in the storm it was either picked up and thrown down to the beach, or was washed down there by the untold inches of rain that fell. The storm surge pulled up just about every seaweed plant in Leyte Gulf and threw it up on shore and filled up the whole boat with it and then some. There was only a small section of sand at that beach. The rest was large rocks. Sharkbait probably bounced around on the rocks for quite some time before it was filled up and buried. Had we left the boat between the two coconut trees it would have been crushed by both of them when they fell. Despite all of the abuse that the boat must have been through there were only a few holes in the plywood on one side, and only a couple of the internal frames were snapped, but that was enough. I didn't want to risk making the trip with a patched boat, so the trip was off. Sharkbait was a good boat. I'm sure that had it been damaged as badly as it was while it had been at sea we still would have been able to have made it back to shore.
DIRECT LINKS TO PAGES:
HOW TO BUILD A SMALL BOAT
I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
FIRST THE RIBS
THEN THE SIDES
THE LAYAG. OOPS.
TARIK AND KATIG
ALL THAT WORK