How stories are made….

Further to the last post regarding recycling fish-pens………

Each intact-square fish-pen weighs in at about 4 tons……give or take.  Maybe more.  When J had finished cutting them into useable chunks (as per his design specs), the cut pieces weighed about a ton each.  And each piece was 30 feet long……..give or take……depending on precisely where he cut.

Each piece also had two floats attached.  Or, more accurately, they would have if the pens were obtained in fully functional shape.  But they were not.  These were ‘salvaged’ pens bought for the scrap metal value and that means that they did not always include the requisite two floats-per-side.  Some side pieces had only one float.  One piece had none.

Where five or six floats will keep a 30/40-foot non-working, square pen afloat, things change radically when you cut the square into four separate lengths.  The missing floats are conspicuous in their absence!

Well, not as conspicuous as you might think since J had two such pens in the constrained killing field and the enveloping sea tended to obscure the count of some ‘sections’ at times…….

When the tide comes in and floats up the pieces with still-attached-and-bouyant floats, it leaves the other ones lying on the bottom.  And it is hard to work on a steel deck when it is under water.  It makes the pieces harder to move around at the very least.

J was undaunted.

I was somewhat daunted.

Sally and J2 just looked bemused, mumbled things about ‘boys’ and shook their heads in a manner all too familiar to both J and me.

It is funny how you sometimes have to re-learn simple truths……here’s one: a pen with floats sits with the steel walk-way lengths on top of the water – just as you’d expect a pen to do.  But a cut-off section with two floats that is only 3 or so feet wide turns turtle when separated from it’s 3 (conjoined) siblings.  Even though it is floating, the damn thing is now completely upside down!

More daunting to me………

But J……God bless his perpetual-motion self………..had that problem already solved…….in his head, anyway.  “No problem.  I’ll just get two of the floating lengths bolted together (presumaby right side up) and then use the newly assembled double deck as a barge with which to float the sunken ones!”

Quick aside: I do not want to give the impression that I am very much involved in this.  I am not.  This is J’s dream and J’s nightmare.  Not mine.  I am just the ‘reporter’.  I would have changed the names but no one is innocent.   

You have to bear in mind, too, that J prefers to do his thing alone.  It’s not that he doesn’t like company (he doesn’t) and it is not like he doesn’t need help (he doesn’t), it is rather that he works at a pace that no one helping can keep up with.  So we (potential so-called helpers) are more of a burden, really.  When J accepts ‘helpers’ it is because he is also bringing lunch and has decided to call it a picnic rather than a work day.

Worse, some of us talk when we are helping.  J doesn’t talk when he works.  He just does.  If he has to talk, he has to stop working and, since he rarely stops working, he has to minimize the talking.  Since I prefer talking to working, we are usually a bit out of synch from the get-go.

He also does his thing without the aid of heavy machinery.  J uses levers, come-alongs, hammers, ropes, axes, sledges, wedges, flotsam, barrels, junk and jury-rigs to do just about anything he has to do.  Trust me, McIver could learn a few things about jury-rigging from J.

And, yes, he has a lot of duct tape in his shop.

Monday night – at the BBQ we had with our other neighbours – J said,  “This is great!  The plan is coming together……………”

But, as you may recall from the previous post, J also has a full-time life back in town. So he left today.  And that is where ‘the plan’ sits right now……pieces…some floating, some half-floating, some laying heavy on the bottom.

Me?  I am going to take some more pictures to satisfy my editor.

This is going to be a saga.  I can just feel it………

2 thoughts on “How stories are made….

  1. Well, yeah. There is a plan. Some of the floats will be used to extend the dock, maybe have a small building on it. Maybe. We’ll see. I have nothing but faith in J so I am pretty sure……but not yet…….


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