Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This is Going to be a Long Night

Well it took a month but the boys got the tug up and running. Many hours were spent cleaning it out, ( a mountain of stuff was found in the hold, surrounded by mud and guck), the engines got fixed, parts ordered and replaced and finally the engines turned over. It purrs like a Mercedes and runs very smooth. The last two days were spent transfering fuel from the Lightship holds to the tugs fuel tanks. There were some issues with that process when David discovered that tons of water had leaked into the Lightships tanks and were now being pumped into the tug. The water had to be drained off and the other fuel tanks checked. A bad leak on the Lightship was discovered which will have to be repaired soon.

They decided they had enough fuel for the moment to start doing some work with the tug. Greig had been wheelwashing the shoreline beside Tana to try and remove enough mud so she could stay afloat during low tide. The tug he was using was not that powerful and after three days had still not cleared enough for her to float clear. That tug developed some problems and was taken out of service. This afternoon Greig got our tug in beside Tana and proceeded to dig a massive hole. We had a super low tide tonight and he had to stop as he was sitting on the bottom .There is all kinds of stuff visible in the mud now, large logs, an old water heater, tons of cables running in all directions,the bare remains of a sucken rowboat. As the tide continued to recede, the tug listed right over. It is 1 am now and she is completely out of the water, lying almost right on her side.

David is out and about gathering gear to right the boat as the tide comes back in . He needs pumps and firehose to bail the tug if neccesary, a come-along to to provide torque on the topside, and all the electrical gear has to be removed so it doesn't get damaged if water gets in. He has a couple of hours before the tide turns , then a long night of waiting for it to rise while keeping the tug above water.

This was a good opportunity to see the underside of the tug. The topside is in somewhat rough condition and there was some concerns as to what the hull and prop looked like. The wheel had been wobbling yesterday and we were concerned that something was caught in it. Tonight we were able to get a good look at the whole boat and it looks great. Nothing a good cleaning couldnt fix. Got my fingers and toes crossed that all goes well tonight. I hate to see boys cry.

My life hsnt been any near as exciting. Ive been working nonstop for weeks now. I went to a meeting at a clinic that Im doing a locum at and found out two of the staff are moving way at the end of the year. Its a nice place, very busy and the rent is reasonable. After seven years of being way from clinic work, I think Im ready to go bck to it again. The regular hours appeal to me after years of working on call. A steady paycheck wont hurt my feelings either, I just hope my body holds out. My tendinitis is giving me no mercy these days. If I can swing it, I would love a quick holiday somewhere warm in January before taking on a full schedule.

After a week of hunting down info and various fuels, I finally tried out my kerosene stove. It was a disaster. One burner sputtered off and on, the other wouldnt light at all and the oven was a flamethrower shooting flames everywhere. And it stank! I would have lost my appetite before I could have eaten anything cooked on that stove. It was quite a process to light the thing. You have to use Methyl Hydrate and squirt it carefully into a hard to reach small dish below the burner. You light that(watching your eyebrows in the process), when it has almost burned out , you turn on the kerosene burner and pray that it lights.( if it doesnt you have to wait for it all to cool down before you try the whole process again) The stove is connected to a tank of kerosene that has to have the pressure increased to between 2 and 7 degrees with a bicycle pump. The pressure drops as you cook and you have to keep pumping it up again. Quite a hassle if you just want to boil water for coffee! Needless to say, I returned the stove and am back to using my coleman 2 burner propane stove for now. I still want an oven at some point, Im craving roast chicken.

I still don't have the water heater hooked up. Mike had some family issues and couldnt do the job after all. I finally got the heater back from him but its back to square one again. In the meantime, I finished repainting the bathroom. I redid the walls in white and painted the beams in a burgendy colour. I did the outside of the bathtub in the same colour as well and quite like the finished result. I bought a circular shower curtain rod but of course it doesnt fit in my funny shaped bathroom so will have to modify it sometime soon.

We got our first bit of snow tonight. We went downtown earlier to try and get my boat and the tug registered but found out there were other forms to be filled out and we would have to come back. While we down there I finally got around to taking my passport renewal in. It sounds like I should have it before the end of the year. Im surprised because I have been reading about the extremely long waits. All Canadians are now required to have a passport to travel to the States, so they have tons more applications then normal. On our way home we got stuck in a bad traffic jam on the Knight Street bridge. It took us 45 minutes to go about 2 blocks. As we sat there, the rain turned to snow. Its stopped now, but Im ready. I went to the house earlier today and grabbed my winter emergency gear: a large snow shovel, a bag of salt, lock de-icer and some traction thingys. I learned my lesson last year when I got snowed in for a week, Im not going there again.

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