Lloyd & Claude Cheatham


Lloyd Cheatham and I have been buddies in and out of the water since we met in Divemaster school. Lloyd had owned a boat, but sold it because he had difficulty finding reliable divers to dive with. I solved that problem. All I need is a proposed departure date, and any less important plans get preempted.

Lloyd designs pipeline valves for OFM, a new division of Daniel Industries. A mechanical engineer by profession, he is at home in the engine room as at the helm. Lloyd has been behind the wheel since he was 8 years old. He has been diving about 15 years and is a PADI Instructor. He lives in Freeport, Texas, on the water.

Lloyd and Claude

Lloyd's father, Claude, owns the Compadre. He is an ex-navy hand with more experience in the Pacific than one might want to have. He is very meticulous in maintaining the Compadre, to the point of scrubbing down the engine room after the recent engine replacement. That attention to detail is probably a prerequisite for successful boat ownership. Claude can spot an oil leak and plan for remedial action before we are a mile out of port.

Those who are fortunate enough to meet him will understand where Lloyd gets his patience and calm demeaner. During the trips I've taken with the Cheatham family, Claude enjoys showing us a good time and goes a little out of the way (up to 120 miles) to find a good dive site for Lloyd and I to enjoy while he fishes, or lounges around the boat. His generosity doesn't go unnoticed, though words of thanks are inadequate for the privilige of feeling right at home in the wheelhouse where we drink our coffee and solve the world's problems.

I asked him once if he had always had a boat since his Navy days. He said he didn't have an interest in boats for a few years after he got back on dry land. I think I can understand that.

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Copyright © 1996 Randall C. Allen
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