Sunday, 3 March 2013

Raising Mossdale - day 2

As I mentioned in my previous posting we’d planned to leave The National Waterways Museum and Ellesmere Port this morning, but decided to stay as I wanted to see how day two went raising the Mersey Flat boat Mossdale.  

By the time we’d reversed out of our mooring, steered around the boats and docks into the locks, waited whilst museum staff moved the trip boat, moored up and filled with water, and then repeated it all again, mostly in reverse, had some lunch, it was 2 o’clock before I managed to get the first pictures of the day!

There were not so many volunteers about today and the activity was not so hectic!











The depth gauge on the bow shows that there is approximately 3 feet of the hull still under water





This morning looks as if time has been spent battening down the green skirt around the hull ...





… and the first tarpaulin has been wrapped around at the stern.




I wondered how they had managed to do that today when it had proved difficult on day one.






She was still low in the water at the front




Viewed from the stern I could see into the small cabin area where water was still lying ...









… causing the front starboard (right) side to be low ...

(Click on any of these photos to see the areas more clearly)







… and one of the pumps had been repositioned to deal with the water.





The divers are back in the filthy water pulling the next tarpaulin from under the boat ...





… and the chap on the boat is tying it off securely.



The bigger picture!






It’s a tight squeeze getting from one side of Mossdale to the other past the huge rudder to check that the tarp is in position ...













… dragging the tarp round the helm and ...







… under the stern ...
















… and passing it up to be secured




Volunteers hold the boat away from the dock wall to give the divers room to move ...



… and that’s the second one in place!

I had still not seen how they had managed to get the tarpaulins under Mossdales hull.






They are using rope and chains from one side to the other under the hull ...



… and the guy in the yellow jacket has hold of the other end of the chain/rope






With help from the divers he keeps the line taut





discussion on what happens next























Meanwhile the next tarp is firmly tied to the rope by the volunteers ...














… and is ready to go!












The divers wait for the tarpaulin to appear on the other side ...






… and here it comes, ready to be tied off on that side of the boat ...



… the volunteers are keeping the tarpaulin taut   ...









… feeding it out slowly







I’m back now at the bow of Mossdale again to see better how little space they have to work in.




They’re having to push the boat moored next to Mossdale away to give room for their shoulders!






The next sheet is being readied …




… and although the divers are really, really cold and tired, they joke with us and each other whilst waiting




… and away it goes - without a hitch





… and through to the other side …























… hauling the tarpaulin up











… back round once more ...




… and fastened off.


A brilliant job done, but wait … the volunteers (BMS - Boat Museum Society) have run out of tarpaulin and one more is needed for the bow. The divers have a spare in their van ...



… which is fetched and lowered into the water - the divers will 'see-saw' this one under the bow as there is more space here



There’s a lot of rubbish and rocks in this corner of the dock which is making their job more difficult to say the least!  This time a piece of down-pipe.





… and then another tyre and an oil drum!



With Steven (volunteer) transferring messages from one diver to the other, the last tarpaulin eventually slides underneath, but they realise that it’s not as long as the previous ones ...



… and will not reach to the top of the gunwhale … but never fear … give that man a hammer and a nail … is he safe with them though ??




They fix the sheet to the wooden batten holding the skirt ...





… struggling a little getting it around ...














… and as close to the bow as they can.




Job finished and what a good job all those involved have done - first class indeed!

Feeling good about my pictures and a bit chilly and tired if I’m honest, it’s time to go home!  




These two pictures were taken the following morning.  Mossdale has settled once again, probably on the silt in the dock, but ready to be pumped out to raise her again in about 8 weeks time and be hoisted out by crane after which the conservation work will start.

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