Working Thin Waters: Conversations with Captain Lawrence H. Malloy, Jr

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UPNE, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 337 pages
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Oysterman, freight hauler, salvager -- for some seven decades, Captain Larry Malloy, Jr. made his living from the "thin" waters of the Connecticut coast and Long Island Sound, taking on "all manner of work legally available to someone with a boat," as Stephen Jones remarks. Malloy weathered the Depression and the hurricane of '38, the submarines of the Cold War and the yachts of the '80s and '90s, and, a gifted if laconic raconteur, he is able to recall and describe it all with clarity, vividness, and wry humor.

Jones, himself a mariner, offers an affectionate and colorful portrait of Captain Malloy, recounting the cultural and economic changes that shaped his life on the Connecticut coast. Inevitably, Malloy's story is also the story of the boats he has owned, modified, refurbished, sold, traded, and owned again over the years, from The Captain to the Emma Frances, from the Alice to the Anne. Whether shelling the oyster beds, hauling potatoes or coal or manure, carrying scientists on research expeditions, or salvaging buildings and scrap off the islands of the Sound, Larry Malloy has displayed the ingenuity and technical expertise required to keep an oysterboat running and an oyster bed producing, and the versatility and adaptability required to survive in the face of changing times.

Despite his colorful and varied experiences, Malloy himself remains a down-to-earth man who embodies the values and perspective of an earlier era. "What would you call a person who used his boat in all the ways you did?" Jones once asked him. Malloy replied, "I guess I'd call him a damn fool."
 

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Contents

KEDGING
1
Oyster Grounds
3
Aboard Anne
7
Enter Lawrence Malloy Jr
18
The Waterfront Life
23
Yarn Spinning
29
Illustrations
40
UNDER
47
Freighting
152
A Workboatmans Courtship
165
Parking and Shucking
172
A Workboatmans War
178
Desconstructing World War Two
190
Shipmates
196
Race Rock and G2
212
Working on Other Peoples Boats
226

Dead Reckoning
49
Rum Ice Cream and Black Powder
56
New London
70
Oystering
83
An Excursion into the Backwaters
94
Rigor
101
The Glory of the Shallows
106
Master
118
Jibboomer and the Great Storm
125
Salvage
131
Potato Port
136
In Search of a Vanished Sieve
144
Inventions and Other Gadgets
233
Illustrations
244
SWALLOWING THE ANCHOR
255
The Workboatman in Winter
257
The Museum of Working Watercraft
266
Alice R I P
279
In the Tropics
287
Anne Reborn
306
Illustrations
321
Appendix
327
Selected Bibliography with the Odd Annotation
335
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Stephen Jones is owner of West Mystic Wooden Boat Company, which repairs and builds wooden boats of all sorts, and author of eight other books, including Turpin, Drifting, Backwaters, and Harbor of Refuge, recently reissued in paperback. In a long career spent with and on boats, he served in the Coast Guard, worked on lobster boats, and sailed a schooner in the West Indies. For the last 30 years he has been on the University of Connecticut's maritime branch faculty, where he has taught courses on literature, the environment, and aspects of the sea.

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