Thursday, July 22, 2010


Thursday, July 15th, might have been our most intense day yet. We set our alarms super-duper early and brewed a pot of coffee on Wednesday night in preparation. Even more, we actually intended on getting up early to work, a solid departure from our normal ritual. This was the day that we were to float the first batch of logs from the Organic Farm down to the work site on the island, and we needed to be ready by 10:30 AM, the time at which Duff, our towboat driver, was to come around.

Our goal for the morning was to have a the first raft of logs in the water, ready to be attached to Duff's boat, by the time he got there. Duff, who works in the Marine Safety section of the Safety and Security Office, generously volunteered to drive his own boat to tug the logs, leaving the official safety boat available if an emergency came up. His boat has a 200 horsepower motor, and goes very fast when it is not towing logs. We had already set up the logs in three groups, ordered by size (see the not-yet-written entry below about Bobcat day), and we needed to roll the first group into the water, attach them to our homemade triangular frame, and tie the rope from that onto Duff's boat.

Once again, we were surprisingly efficient and were ready for Duff. Kodiak, in a kayak, tied the rope off to Duff's boat and we were on our way. About 100 yards from the farm, however, disaster struck. The logs were attached to the tow rig with eyebolts and carabiners, but two of the carabiners somehow came unclipped. Kodiak, riding the safety boat (piloted by Brian Kunz and Dan Nelson of OPO fame), jumped in the water and did some quick rope magic to tie the logs back on, and everything made it down to the island in one piece. Lucas and Jordan raced to the island as soon as the raft left the farm, and were waiting for us there to catch the logs, tie the raft onto a tree on the island, and start hoisting them up.

View of the first log raft from the safety boat, with the Ledyard Bridge in the background.

Aside from that initial carabiner hang-up, everything went almost as well as it could have. We made some adjustments to the connections in the raft and distributed weight a little differently, so the second trip took much less time and was much easier on Duff's boat. All-in-all, a success. We learned a lot and will be able to do the next log drive very efficiently.

Altogether, this first log drive brought 17 logs to the island, all of which will hopefully be used within the next week or two. This was most likely the first log drive in the past few decades, which is pretty cool. Also, the Valley News was there to report and take pictures of us. We're also on the Dartmouth homepage right now, so we're pretty much famous.

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