Winter works: January & February 2011

So here is the winter’s news scoop. We are working towards our dream, a bit banal perhaps, but a big dream in my little world. 3 years ago we bought a bankrupt fish farm for the materials and it took two years (of winters, remember I am on the boat all summer) to dissemble the monstrosity. It is really a huge mechano set with component steel pieces that we rearranged into a big “U” shaped dock to fit the Columbia III. As well we were proceeding with legal permission to moor the structure in our bay . . . there’s a quick two years of bureaucracy pounding. And finally this winter after saving our seasons earnings for the last 5 seasons we are building a floating shed to house our heritage vessel. This will be like a garage to protect her. We ardently hope and believe this will extend her life and make our annual maintenance time and money be a little less arduous. We live in a very rainy place in the winter and 90 inches of rain over the winter is not uncommon. Water and 55 year old vessels are a labour intensive combination when you are trying to maintain a boat to the standards of the Columbia III. In between eating and sleeping and answering emails from potential guests this has been my whole winter. This is not a mail-order product, we are building this ourselves.

Because the structure is made of steel we have been doing a lot of welding to make the structure and to ensure it is strong enough to support the roof and survive the winter storms. Here our son, Tavish, (also one of our skippers, and guide and cook!) is welding a stub wall in place.

Working on the water has its challenges. We had to acquire a new bigger diesel generator and welder and housed them on my uncle’s herring skiff so the welder could follow us around the building “site”

Then a life long friend came to help out. He arrived complete with tug, barge, crane and pile driver. He delivered decking material and manufactured the galvanized steel stiff-legs that hold the boat shed float securely off the shoreline.

Finally the dock portion is taking shape and the new decking makes it alot easier to walk around!!!

And there is the Columbia III just aching to get out of the rain.

Believe you me, there will be more shots of this as it progresses . . . The most asked question in the summer is, ” what DO you do with your spare time in the winter?”!!

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