He salvaged metal and worked dusk to dawn to build a shrimp boat
"I always wanted a steady job. Something I could depend on. And that’s when I started the boat," Harry Bryant told journalist Melody Hunter-Pillion in the summer 2022 issue of Coastwatch magazine.
"While I was unemployed, I’d go by the scrap yard and buy scrap iron and bring it home, because I know that’s going to be on the boat. I built all that stuff out of scrap. If you look halfway up the mast you see two different sizes of pipe… They had about 20 foot of one piece and 20 foot of another piece. So, I married them together and made it as tall as it’s supposed to be.
"And that was during 1971. Every week, whenever I go to sign up for unemployment, I’d stop by and get scrap shackles and iron. Angle iron. And all kinds of stuff.
"And we worked night and day from then for six months building that boat. The Morning Light. That’s what we named it in. The Morning Light."
Read the full story about how Bryant crafted his boat, how he earned a living on it for 32 years -- escaping lightening strikes and waterspouts -- an his thoughts on changes along the North Carolina coast at Coastwatch .
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