Instead, Bloxom can usually be found in the barn on his Carmines Island property, helping a friend with some boat repair or other, building a model of a workboat, restoring an old car to pristine condition, or even constructing a full-size skiff. For the past five years, Bloxom has been oystering regularly, and in his spare time, he likes to go deep-sea fishing. When he has a chance, he intends to go deer hunting once again.
“I’m not killing myself,” said Bloxom, “but I’m working on things I like to do.”
With two projects in the works at the moment, Bloxom, 70, would appear to have plenty of things to do. He is finishing a replica of the “Chesapeake,” a workboat belonging to Ray McElligott of Hayes. He already finished one replica and turned it over to McElligott, but said he likes to have two of each model he builds—one to sell or give away and one to keep. Because of the time it takes for the glue to dry, he said, he can make two models in about the same time it takes him to make one.
A model of a sport fisherman’s boat, the “High Return,” stands next to the “Chesapeake,” waiting for Bloxom to have the time to finish it. That model was built for Captain David Swain of Oregon Inlet. Bloxom has completed over 100 model boats over the years, most of them replicas of full-size boats, and he’s able to rattle off many of their names and the names of their owners off the top of his head.
Bloxom is also restoring a 1970 Chevy El Camino—for the second time. A Gloucester resident since 1988, Bloxom said he had just finished restoring the El Camino after his 2003 retirement, when Hurricane Isabel hit. The heating system under his house was destroyed and he had 30 inches of water in his garage, ruining the restoration job on the car.