Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dave and the #17 Meat Locker

Dave, our resident Mad Canadian Artist, welder and self-styled bon vivant, found himself another project. So, like us, he just seems to not have enough to do.

Just down the river a bit past the Knight Street Bridge there's been a semi-submerged steel barge, sitting on shore behind a log boom. It has been there for a few years. Steve Garrity, a local tug operator, turned Dave on to it. Garrity said he'd was going to salvage it but just hadn't gotten around to it, so he had suggested it to Dave.

As is the usual modis-operandi, off in the skiff Greig, Dave and I went, at midnight, to check the thing out. (Wa-hoo...date night!) Yup, it is semi-submerged steel barge, full of water, silt and other crap and it looked like it was in exceptional shape, though listing to one side. At 40' x 30' and square and 10' deep port and starboard sides are anyone's guess. I was amazed that someone wasn't at all interested in it. (Sheesh, if Greig and I had found THIS instead of the Bowie all those years ago...) It must have been sitting here for a few years to be sure. Very cool though.

Easter Sunday was Barge Salvage day. Greig deposited Dave on the barge at 11:30am, with a few other roommates left there to assist and explore. Greig shuttled back and forth equipment, fuel, lights, pumps and they spent the day pumping out the tanks. Most of the water inside was just accumulated rain water and there appears to be only one spot where there is a hole that is bringing in water. All an easy fix for for Dave. It will be cleaning it out that will be the yucky chore.

They figured the skiff was grunty enough to bring back up the short distance up the river when the tide shifted. On the last trip back down, Greig took "our" Steve, (not to be confused with the aforementioned Steve Garrity) for the last shift. It was all very exciting and happened very quickly as Greig started pulling and then the barge began to move. Greig was in the skiff alone and there was too much weight with the barge and so Steve quickly scrambled down into the skiff to add some more weight to the skiff as it otherwise would have dumped with Greig in it.

In what amounted to a "semi-controlled drift", they pulled it into the complex at about 10pm, just as the outboard died. The outboard motor it seemed, had decided it had enough for the day too.

We're all very happy for Dave. It is nice to be able to help someone get into a boat who really wants it and has the chops for it. He is planning on stacking some shipping containers on it. I think that is a fabulous idea. Victoria, BC Archictect Keith Dewey's Zigloo and Container City are great spots of inspiration for this kind of thing.

Saturday Night Injury report:
Me: bruised left arm, left butt cheek, bruised right sitting bone, scraped left knee and bruise left shin. Thank fully, nothing broken. I fell getting out off the skiff. Oops. Dummy.


rob said...

What a great project!

Greg and Jamie said...

Wow! That sounds like a great adventure. After reading it, Greg asked me if he found a barge, could we keep it too? He was shocked when I said yes ~ the caveat being that it must be in as good shape as yours! You are such a goddess! j

bowiechick said...