Thursday, April 19
The day started out beautifully, but my phone popped off my belt when I was loading the boat, and disappeared between the boat and the wharf. I ran inside to find a net, and Timmy appeared quickly with a net attached to a long pole. A few careful swipes retrieved the phone, and it sparkled to life as I was frantically drying it off. Unfortunately, it sparkled just long enough for a sad goodbye. Nothing I did revived it. <Sigh>
By 9:00, I was at the dredge site and went to the pond. The water level had dropped to +2 ML, and the mud and new deltas in Cell 4 were well-exposed.
As I paddled up to the marsh landing, I could see quite a few shorebirds working the mudflat. The deltas were showing an elevation about +4 ML. The shorebirds left as I got out of the pirogue, but the avocets and black-necked stilts remained until I started moving around too much. I managed to move the pontoon over again to the south by walking across containment 5b.
By 10:00, I was back on the dredge moving mud again. Timmy arrived after mowing grass elsewhere to use the weedeater to knock down the sprouting cane. When he finished, he came to dredge for a while. We stopped to check for clogs and decided to move outfall again. Timmy brought the canoe and I paddled the pirogue. Timmy came with me across the containment and with both of us on the ropes, we managed to pull the outfall pontoon along the south shore to aim it toward the west. I had to walk around the pond, take the pirogue over to another patch of marsh and walk to the other side of containment 4c on the west side of the cell, where Timmy threw the ropes to me. I tugged as much as I could, but by this time, the hose was pulling against too much mud and I was unable to move it any further. I tied both ropes to a pole against the west side of Cell 4, and we both returned to the dredge.
We dredged for 30 minutes, then paused to move the stern over and unclog the pump. We watched one of our resident alligators hunting in the emerging banana lilies along the bank. At 3:00, the winch died with no warning. It was working, and then it wasn’t. We had to leave the pump in the water midway in swing. We have a spare winch motor, but we can’t change it out until we have slack in the cable. Repairs would have to wait until the tide went down.