Monday, January 9, 2012

And We're Back

The BV has been closed since December 29th. That means I haven't been to work since the 28th! Crazy. This morning, I showed up at the shops around 8, dinked around with the boss a bit, then we headed down to the ferry around noon to open it up.

I was pretty amazed at how high the water had risen, and then fallen. My first thought when I pulled up was that the river seemed pretty darn high to me. Remember, it'd been down around 5 or 6 feet for the two weeks preceding closing. During the high water, it rose to almost 21 feet, and has now fallen to around 11 feet. 21 feet! That's totally insane.

Looking at the silt on the ramp, the water rose all the way to the gate. Here's what it looked like today:

The gate is 10 vertical feet higher than the end of the boat. CRAZY.

As the river rose, the boat broke the low water line. To prepare for the closing, they tied the boat to a tree. Which seemed sort of absurd to me, like... tying a lion to a tree with a piece of yarn. It worked though:

I never really thought about how silty the river is. It's really silty. As the river rose and then fell, it deposited a deep layer of silt on the ramps. Even though it's rained a good deal since the water has dropped, the silt was thick enough to not wash away. It's hard to tell from this picture, but the silt here is over three inches deep in spots:

This is a better image. These rings are about 4 inches high. See the one up at the top? Almost totally covered.

Once the bridge crew hooked the low water line back up, I spent the majority of the afternoon using the fire hose and a shovel to get all the silt off both ramps. I'd use the shovel to push the thickest parts of silt off the side of the ramp, then the hose to clean the rest off. As the river drops, more and more silt will appear. Basically the river was making a new riverbed, but that's not cool if it's on the ramp. It makes for a really slippery slope for cars to drive on and off.

The boat opened around 3:15. Between then and 7, I had a whopping total of 9 cars. I was actually surprised, expecting more like 3 cars.

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