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Hen Lee

May 11, 2016

by Cash
At anchor, Boquerรณn, Puerto Rico

During our very long stay in St. Martin, we hauled out our boat to get her bottom redone.  One of our neighbors on the hard was Hen Lee, a big, beat-up, rusty, red cargo ship.

The very large propeller
Hen Lee is a large steel boat, well past her prime. She was covered in rusty metal, the bootstripe was uneven and the paint was coming off. The crew working on her was doing everything from repainting (the stripe was in a straight line this time - mostly) to welding a new piece of steel to patch a hole in her hull. We met one of the workers, Sam, a young, quiet Dominican man with a ball cap and a friendly manner. He is from Dominica, but he is not overly fond of his country. One thing he says he dislikes is that many Dominicans do not want to work hard. In addition to working on Hen Lee, he is a tour guide and taxi driver in Portsmouth, Dominica. We spent some time talking to him, and he invited us on board for a tour

Hen Lee, originally used to drag for scallops, was built in the 1970s in Mobile, Alabama, and she is now used for transporting mostly fruits and miscellaneous cargo. She stops on the islands of Martinique, St. Martin, St. Kitts, and her home port, Dominica. The boat is manned by eight crew both when she’s being fixed up and when she’s underway.

To get a tour of this big ol’ boat, watch the video: