Sunday, August 7, 2011

The lifting of Theo with photos

Christopher and Toby Poole

Theo being lifted

Theo sitting on her cradle

Protogat (fisheries protection vessel)

Concordia Bay (local supply vessel) carries animals for the abattoir, wool, fuel and general cargo around the settlements in the Falklands.

Start of the lift

The 80 ton crane used to lift Theo out of the water.
It's been a busy week.  Theo is at last out of the water.  She was lifted out last Sunday.  There was snow on the dock.  Shaun was out stevedoring moving squid when at 9 am the call came that the lift was going to happen in the next half hour.  It was a rush to get everything ready.  The tug and trailer had to be taken down onto the floating dock.  We couldn't have it on the dock ready because with the oil exploration it gets pretty busy down there.  We ended up purchasing the tug earlier in the year because it is the only vehicle that fits onto the trailer that the boats cradle is attached too.  The road from the yard where it was being kept was very icy and the vehicle has no four wheel drive but it was a case of doing it because we didn't know how long it would be before another opportunity arose to get Theo out.  I had the job of ringing around friends to get help as Shaun wasn't available.  First I tried my brother but he was leaving for work at MPA.  Then I tried Steven Poole but he was just off to fix his sons heating.  I was wracking my brain thinking who else could I ask when I remembered Shaun Jaffray had offered to give a hand when she was lifted out, he in turn asked Toby Poole to come and help so I managed to cobble together a crew to help with ropes and stropes.  Everything was ready in time but then the digger on the dock belonging to the person lifting the boat out wouldn't start because it was frozen up.  This was needed to clear the snow of the lifting area so that metal sheets could be put down for the feet of the crane.  Apparently if you don't clear the snow first the sheets will aquaplane making it all highly dangerous.  Several hours later the snow was cleared but then the crane had the same problem with frozen filters etc.  Christopher helped get the vehicles running and I think it was about half past four in the afternoon when the boat was finally out of the water and sitting in its cradle.  She then spent the night on the dock because the road up from the dock was just to icy to get her back to the yard.
Theo is looking pretty rough top side but the hull is in good condition and doesn't need sand blasting.  Unfortunately she has a slight bit of damage to the prop.  This we believe probably happened when she drug her temporary moorings last year and ended up on the beach.  Quite unbelievable she went out of the Speedwell Bay one very rough night, missed the island that is situated in the bay, across Eagle Passage and beached herself right next to a wreck that had done the same thing many, many years ago.  I've got to say, I don't know much about boats and moorings but when I saw the temporary anchor he was putting down I did say that wont hold her.  I think my words were I could tow that away myself!!!!  She was too grounded to get off the beach ourselves but we were very lucky that where she went up was sheet rock.  It is very unfortunate that the area has virtually no tidal variance.  In any other circumstance you would wait for the high tide and probably have floated her off but 3 feet makes little or no difference.  We were fortunate that two days later the Concordia Bay was coming up through Eagle Passage  and she pulled her off.  We are now taking advice on whether the dent needs taking out of the propeller.  The consensus seems to be that if we haven't noticed any increased vibration, which we haven't then because it is only slight it would be best to leave it well along because apparently propellers are made in casts and are easily broken when you start hammering them.  We are just waiting for a final opinion from an old friend of Christopher's who has spent his life doing metal work on lathes etc.  If he says it is okay we will leave it if he says it needs straightening we will try and straighten it.  Of course the big deal is if we break it there isn't a replacement one down the road.
Work wise on the boat Shaun has been needling inside the wheel house.  Christopher said he didn't clear the benches first just shoved the stuff aside so it is now all covered in rust and paint chippings.  He has also been needling in the hold.  Theo has cement in the bottom and she was showing a bit of rust at the top of the cement so that is being sorted.  Christopher has been changing pipes in the engine room, this is proving very difficult because the pipe work was put in before the engine.  He knew this but the job needed doing so he will have to find a way around it.  He also has the stack off.  The outer of the stack was knackered when we bought her.  Christopher replaced it then but it is gone again so it has to be done again.  The last couple of weeks have been a bit in limbo because none of the big jobs could be started because she needed to be running to move her around the dock for the lift out.
Well lots more news, Goose Green two nighter, dancing, darts oh and drinking!!   More on Tiphs dissertation and a trip to London for her but I'm fed up writing for now.


  1. Having spent some time around heavy logging equipment with its loading and unloading as well as loading logs, I found you description of lifting your wee craft out of the water interesting. A lot of the work I used to do was in the Winter with temperatures usually around -20C to -30C with 2 or 3 feet of snow on the ground. The cold alway makes simple jobs more complicated.

  2. I love read abot the Falkland because i think beauty & special island. Sorry for my english because speak in spanish or portuguese.

    Kisses from Buenos Aires, AR