Like almost everyone in Erie, Niagara’s winter maintenance crew spends a lot of time moving snow from one inconvenient place to another, only slightly less inconvenient, place. This morning, we cleared all of the weekend’s snow and ice from around the foremast, which is where we’ll be working until the next big snowstorm drives us back inside the rig shop. When we downrigged the ship in early October, we used a crane to lift the foremast up, swing it out over the plaza, and lower it down to the concrete. It’s been waiting there ever since, and now we finally have a chance to start working on it.
Meanwhile, Team Carpentry has been busy with one of their favorite things—deconstruction. Almost all of the deck planking at the bow of the ship, forward of the forepeak, has been removed. Over the next few weeks, the carpenters will be busy putting new deck planks in place. Of course, taking the planks out is straightforward; with saws, hammers, prybars, power tools, and a few determined people, it’s almost easy. Milling and shaping the replacements won’t be so simple. But that’s a problem for another day.
Note: This coming Saturday, December 17, is our last volunteer work party before the shop closes for the holidays. Muster is at 0830, and as usual, the coffee will be plentiful.