Saturday, January 05, 2008

Adventures with a log


It's not unusual to have logs the size of the ones above wash into the bay between the buildings. They thump and jar the pilings and then wash into the river again. But around the 5th of January we got a big one.

The big storm at the beginning of December dumped an unusual number of trees into the river, and one found its way here on the tide. Above, you can see how it compares to one of the logs that - before this - we used to consider an incident.

Big logs not only knock the pilings around, but are potentially hazardous to the sewer line.

Our log ebbed and flowed with the tides for a couple of days. Fortunately the waves were small or the buildings could have been horribly battered. Interestingly enough, when the water was calm, I could actually push the log a little way into the river with a 2 x 4, but it was no use. Not only did it jam on the base of the radio tower catwalk, but pilings not seen in these photos created a gauntlet between the bay and the river. It would have been almost impossible for something this big and jagged to drift back out.

Eventually, it got hung up on the building. As there were no storms predicted for another day or two, we just hoped nature would pull it off and send it away. I can't say it wasn't fun to watch it - it was - but nobody wanted the building to come apart when the water got rough, which it would do. The small end stuck out of the water near the river end of the building, but we didn't fathom the real size of this thing until the tide went all the way out. It was about 60 feet long, and even people who had seen a lot of debris would stop by to comment.

The tide came in and went out a few times, which only served to catch the log more firmly onto the pilings. What you do then is call the expert pile buck, Ralph Peitsch, who brough his son Andy, the one doing acrobatics on this moving target, on the slickest of surfaces in rain that was nearly ice. (No thanks, Andy, it's all yours!)

When the Peitsches couldn't budge it with Ralph and the pike pole on the deck and Andy on the log, they tied it off and waited. Below you can see the rope attached to the catwalk. On the right is the old Englund Marine building, where the log rope appeared later.

The water came up with the new tide, and then began to subside again. Apparently the time was deemed right. As evening came on, in the cold and rain, they came back with a chain saw and the episode would soon be over. They cut off the "ears" and any part that could hang it up, then they left again.

We saw the other end of the rope this time attached to the neighboring building (the old Englund Marine), which reaches much further into the river than ours does. In the quiet of the night or early next morning when the water was again high, they must have come back with a boat and towed it away. I have to say, this has been one of the more interesting aspects of my short stay on the river so far, and despite the problems it could have caused (we were lucky) . . . I miss the log.

1 comment:

Halcyon said...

An impressive manouver. I can understand why you would miss it. Those little dramas make life more interesting for awhile. :)