Outpost Caretakers Week 26 ~ Happy Days Are Here AgainMarch 12, 2012 | 1084 Views
If ever there was a cause for celebration it was Monday March 5th when the barge finally arrived in Port Louis. Ken had been keeping us up to date as to their progress and a possible attempt to come down the coast Monday or Tuesday. On Sunday afternoon we received the email that we have been waiting 6 months to read……..the barge is coming!!!!
An ETA of 10 am to noon on Monday had us up at the crack of dawn, well more like 8 but close enough, to have a couple cups of coffee before we started hauling down the assortment of items that were going on the barge.
It was a beautiful clear morning even if it was chilly and a thin layer of snow had fallen the night before. The sun was out and the bay was calm, couldn’t ask for a better conditions. Manned with hand carts we started wheeling down beer kegs (empty), boxes of fishing gear to be repaired, bags of jackets and pants to be cleaned for the coming season, fishing rods, a safe (yes a safe), a large coffee machine, a dishwasher, 2 ice makers and a paddle board. Try as I might we couldn’t manhandle the heavier items so I’ll have to step aside on that one and ask one of the guys coming in to lend a hand.
As luck would have it we were on an incoming tide and a high one at that. For us that meant the ramp from the barge to the heli pad wouldn’t be as steep as it might have been but we were also experiencing quite a surge and the docks were constantly moving and groaning and emitting all types of strange noises. Have you ever gone into the ‘fun house’ at a carnival? This is what the docks made me think of. You would go to step onto one of the bridges and suddenly it wasn’t exactly where you thought it was. Everything now piled on the dock, we waited, sitting in the sun which had now reached us.
We heard the rumble before we actually saw the barge. I raced back up into the lodge to grab my camera and take some shots of her coming into our little bay.
It’s been 95 days since we’ve seen anyone and that was only for about 15 minutes when the plane came in with the part for the furnace and a load of fresh produce. Once the ramp was down Mike wasted no time on going aboard and greeting the guys. I almost hugged the first person I saw ( but held back) mainly because their arrival meant that we would have fuel and that meant we would have heat and hot water.
After discussing the gorgeous weather, their trip down and how each month they had tried to make it here but the conditions always seemed to kick up just then, it was time to get to work. While Dave, Dave, Jim and Mike headed off to hook up the diesel hose, I stayed back on the float where the sun was.
Now that the fuel was flowing it was time for us to start transferring our pile from the dock up the ramp and into the container on board. With Dave lending a hand we were done in no time at all with the light stuff, the dishwasher and ice maker were a little more taxing.
I think Mike was thoroughly enjoying some male conversation.
In no time at all Jim had the 4 tanks filled to a total of 19690 L of glorious diesel. No chance of running out now! Propane was next on the agenda. Dave had said they were running kinda low in that department but would fill as many as he could, only got as far as 6 but with the 2 we already had we’ll be fine although I won’t be cooking up a storm.
While the propane tanks were being taken care of I had a job of my own to do and that was filling the furnace tank with diesel. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous when Mike went to start up the furnace but there was no need, it fired right up…oh what a wonderful sound.
The wind had started to pick up and the crew were getting anxious to get under way for the 6 hour trip back up to Langara. Paperwork completed, handshakes and wishes of a safe trip back and than 4 hours after they arrived, they were gone.
Did you hear that? What is that noise? It has been so long since the furnace was on that we’d forgotten all the strange noises the ‘beast’ makes. We constantly feel the radiators, their getting warm and turn on taps to feel the water, still just luke warm but heating up. Three hours later we enjoyed long hot showers, than a very large celebratory drink while throughout the evening we took turns looking at the thermometer, watching the mercury climb.
One last word: as I sit here writing this I am wearing A t-shirt and no socks.
Our ‘circle of heat’ is no longer and the average temperature these days is 76 degrees.
Happy days are here again!
Till next week,
Heather & Mike