First to go was the keel. What a super heavy chunk of cast steel that was! It was very carefully loosened and dropped just a bit. Braces were built underneath to carry the weight, and then the bolts were cut through. Our beautiful building was opened up for the first time of many, and the keel was dragged out and taken to ABCO; ABCO Industries Ltd is a world-class supplier & manufacturer of engineered metal products since 1947 and based right here in Lunenburg. They worked at getting out the bolts for us, and they also cleaned it up a bit. It came back with lovely free, clear holes for the new bolts to go through, and Patricia epoxied and painted her - several coats. It hardly looks like the same piece of ballast, but there she is.
So the ballast was ready for Tosca, but Tosca wasn't ready for the ballast. What to do? It's a large and super heavy piece of cast steel that you can’t just leave laying around. Too heavy to lean against things and if we laid it flat on its side we'd never be able to pick her up again. We could probably sit her top side down inside the Dory Shop (if we could safely get a forklift that far), but then we wouldn't be able to install the new bolts. Well, it's Lunenburg. I'm sure you won't be the least bit surprised to learn that, with our long, long history as a fishing village with a working waterfront and throngs of schooners stopping by for supplies, repairs, and more we have someone for everything. Need new blocks? No problem. Rope, tholepins, oars, boats, nets, sails? We've got you covered. Do you have a unique and extremely heavy piece of ballast that needs to carefully sit somewhere for a month or so while work gets done to your boat? Yup - we have a guy for that too. And so it was that with a good old bloke, some metal and some pretty exact measurements we had a ballast holder built. Mike can still access pretty much every inch of her as needed for things like running through the brand new made-to-order Monel bolts. She's off the ground and with her fresh paint she isn't going to rust anytime soon.
Mike does want to get things lined up again, but we need to wait for a break in the weather. It's winter in Nova Scotia - this waiting five minutes isn't helpful at all, because we need the ground good & solid,
able withstand the weight of that ballast as we bring the whole shebang into the tent. The last few weeks in our yard it has been either snowing; sunny, cold & a skating rink underfoot; raining and miserable; blowing a gale; muddy like quicksand; or a crazy combination of any/all of the above! But Saturday is Groundhog Day. That means spring is coming and so my fingers are crossed we will eventually get Mother Nature to cooperate with us.