Photo by Clay Duda.

Knoxville Mercury: Life Aboard the Shantyboat Dotty [SLIDESHOW]

Knoxville Mercury
By Clay Duda

  • Photo by Clay Duda
  • Hazel is a shantyboat dog. She does not like the water. She has her own Instagram account chronicling her dog days: @gooddoghazel. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda
  • Captain Wes Modes checks the map aboard the shantyboat Dotty. Modes, an artist from Santa Cruz, Calif., built the boat with the help of friends. Now, he pilots along American river ways capturing stories and other tales from the fading past. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • First mate and visual artist Lauren "Benzy" Benz takes a plunge into the river. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photos of fish caught on the Tennessee River line the walls of Duncan Boat Dock in Knoxville. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Big Cakes and Benzy read and text on the dock at Duncan Boat Dock. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • A clan of boaters stops to talk with the shantyboat crew, including Hazel, who they asked for by name. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Knoxville locals John Pittenger and Jim Goddard built their own shantyboat as teens, setting sail on Douglas Lake in the summer of 1965. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • The crew of the shantyboat Dotty poses for pictures. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Captain Wes "Big Cakes" Modes blogs about his interview with Ben Duncan, owner of Duncan Boat Dock in Knoxville. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • A working kitchen aboard the shantyboat Dotty. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Homemade plum wine. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Captain Wes "Big Cakes" Modes attempts to radio the Fort Loudoun Dam to navigate through the lock, a necessary step to continue down river. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Blue skies turn to stormy weather on Fort Loudoun Lake. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Photo by Clay Duda.
  • Wes "Big Cakes" Modes and Lauren "Benzy" Benz pose for a portrait inside the lock at Fort Loudoun Dam.
  • Photo by Clay Duda
  • Photo by Clay Duda
  • The shantyboat Dotty docks at the Arp's boat dock in Loudon, Tennessee. Photo by Clay Duda
  • Vaughn Goodson, a former fishing guide, holds up a 10-pound striper he helped land on the Tennessee River. Photo by Clay Duda
  • Photo by Clay Duda
  • Benzy and Hazel enjoy the evening calm at Duncan Boat Dock in Knoxville, Tenn. Photo by Clay Duda
  • Vaughn Goodson cleans a striper bass on a dock at the Tennessee River in Loudon. Photo by Clay Duda.
  • The shantyboat Dotty on the Tennessee River. Photo by Wes Modes.
  • Shantyboat dog Hazel watches as the crew takes a swim in the Tennessee River. Photo by Clay Duda

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