Wednesday, July 27
Despite weather reports of 80% rain, Karen headed to Intracoastal City, just on the chance she could get out to headquarters. The best time to work is in the cool of the early morning, and to be there even for Thursday morning, the best bet was to get there as early Wednesday as possible, as the weather usually gets worse as the day grows old. Fortunately, Timmy was able to meet Karen at the public dock at 7:30am and we loaded the Goose in the rain to snorkel our way back to the camp.
Watching radar, we found a break between rainstorms around 11:00am and headed to the dredge site. With all the rain, mosquitoes were horrendous. We pushed our way through them to load the pontoon into the airboat, and then blew them away as we headed to the pond.
All three ropes securing the discharge float had to be loosened, two of them from the airboat and one by pirogue. The big yellow floats were extremely difficult to pull around, and when we finally got them hauled to shore we found out why. Each one had a crack or hole in it, and they were full of mud and water making them much heavier than they should have been. “Float” was a misnomer. We untangled (or cut) all of the ropes and straps holding the assemblage together, and pulled the float sections onshore to drain. The pontoon was hauled out of the airboat, and the discharge hose was transferred to the plywood float that Karen had constructed. The hose was strapped into place using the four handles on the side, and the two ropes were attached to large screw eyes on the corners, with one rope attached to the end of the first section of hose in the pond.
Timmy pulled the pontoon around from the shore while Karen poled the pirogue around in the pond to keep lines free and help avoid the marker poles. The discharge was moved from north to south and placed near delta 1, moving easily on its new float .
The weather was still moving north on either side of us leaving us rainfree and overcast, so we prepped the dredge. Timmy dredged while Karen took the canoe out to observe and take photos of the new setup and how it performed. The weight of the hose tips the pontoon, but the effluent still shoots off the end, spread slightly by the edge of the deck. It bucks when the pump is turned on and off, but stays in place. The water level was just above the bottom mark on the poles, making it about 2 inches above marsh level.
When Karen got back, she dredged while Timmy took the weedeater to shore and cleared the fast growing cane from both the experimental site and our old test site. We shut down around 5:30, leaving the pump in the water primed and ready for tomorrow. We stopped on the way back to headquarters so that Timmy could clear the grass and bushes from one of the weirs. Mosquitoes and fire ants were abundant, so Karen retreated to the boat while he finished.