fully-floated dock floated
Monday, July 4 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
Given my pattern for the past several years, I got up late, nearly at 9:00am. That's more on the dogs' schedule, so I was able to get them up so they could join me on my walk down to the lake for a day of attaching floaters to the last section of dock. They were a little slow in getting down there, and they must've been following me by scent, because they took my new diagonal trail instead of the old L-shaped one they're familiar with.
It turned out that the dock framework, even with a few floaters attached, was light enough for me to manipulate with just my hands. I had a few sticks of various lengths to use to prop up corners to make it level, and I could use my concrete block island to raise the floater up out of the water high enough to install it from below with a battery-powered tool I didn't have to submerge (although a waterproof impact driver would be the perfect tool for this task). As I worked, I tried to minimize the disturbance of the nearby nesting patch of a bluegill sunfish. Another bluegill seemed to be starting up a new nesting spot right where I needed to work, but he was going to have to find some other place or wait until I was done.
Installing the other three floaters only took a few hours, and Throckmorton the Loon was hanging out nearby for much of it. Unfortunately, the floaters' dimensions were 47 by 47 inches, which meant that for three of the floaters I could only attach them at two perpendicular edges. To attach a third edge would require sistering a joist, and to attach all four edges would require installing blocking between the joists. But for now, attaching the floaters by only two edges was sufficient. Once I had all four floaters attached, I could raft the whole thing to the end of the dock and install a hinge pin to secure it to the hinged section of dock. The respective float levels of the hardware on the two separate sections ended up being perfect for the connection.
There was still no decking on the fully-floating section of dock, as that would have to wait for me to secure the floaters on more than just two edges. But I could walk out onto it atop the joists or even the floaters and get a sense of how solid it would be. It rocked a little in the waves but would definitely be a good surface for sunbathing or other leisurely activities. I then measured the water depth off the dock's far end and found it to be approximately ten feet. That's about the average depth of Lake St. Clair.
One of the other members of the homeowners association was paddling over with his son on kayaks, and as he approached, I heard him telling his son that a loon is a kind of duck. After we exchanged salutations, he asked for "permission to inspect the dock." "Sure!" I said. The gentleman (whose name I didn't know) remarked that it was quite an elaborate dock, and I agreed, using the suddenly-everywhere observation "Happy wife, happy life!" Neville started barking, so the kind wanted to know what his name was and what kind of dog he is. "He's a pit bull, or a Staffordshire terrier," I said. They continued on their way, and I stood around taking pictures and marveling that I'd actually gotten this last piece in the water all by myself. (I'd been thinking I would have to have some assistance from Gretchen at the minimum.)
At that point someone at Joel's gun range started shooting a very large gun, causing Ramona to bark. I decided that at that point it was best to head back to the cabin.
I baked myself a frozen pizza for lunch and then discovered (to my delight) that one of the take-away boxes contained a bunch of seitan hot wings. I was hungry enough to eat both.
I then turned my attention to cabin-based chores. At the Amsterdam Home Depot I'd bought what I thought was an appropriate rail for the bifold closet doors in the upstairs bathroom. But when I opened it up, I saw that it was really intended for doors to be slid past each other on two separate tracks. I then went hunting in the basement and managed to find a set of tracks for the bifold doors hidden behind some scraps of lumber. Once I had those, I could hang the closet doors, completing another item on my list of tasks. The bathroom still wasn't done; I needed to cut down the door I'd made to fit the plumbing hatch giving access to the pipes and valves behind the tub. Once I'd cut and sanded it until it fit, I added a big rare earth magnet to lock it semi-permanently in place. I may never need to open that hatch again.
In the late afternoon, I returned to the dock mostly just to marvel at it some more. I also took the opportunity to straighten up the grassy wooded spot just uphill from the dock to make it a more inviting introduction to the dock area. With the floaters and dock framework all deployed out in the lake, there was now a nice big flat spot suitable for fully-onshore activities.
I then got in a kayak and paddled out to the outlet bay and back, sipping a beer and trying to take pictures of Throckmorton the Loon.
Back at the cabin, I told the dogs it was time to drive back home, and they excitedly made their way to the car.
I stopped twice on the way home, first at Fulton Street Liquor, a wine shop in Gloversville. It was pretty ghetto, and had no recogizable brand of port in stock. I knew Powerful enjoyed port and wanted to get him a bottle for his birthday. So I got whatever ghetto port they happened to have. I then stopped at Walmart to also get him a birthday gadget. They have a good selection of LED lighting gizmos that can be controlled by phone apps, so I got him one of those. I also got myself some cheap artistic paint brushes and another magnifying glass, since (at my age) you can never have too many of those.
On the rest of the drive home, just as I was getting ready to crack open my past-Catskill road beer, I encountered a patch of slow-moving traffic. It wasn't actually backed up that far, and it wasn't long before I could see the lights of the emergency vehicles responding to an accident. But we were driving so slowly it took awhile to get there. As I passed the accident, I noticed that both lanes were open and the slowdown was mostly due to rubbernecking. There was a chunk of missing bumper from a van and some emergency personnel were deploying a stretcher. I decided not to look in case the accident was a severe one; my mother used to tell me of making the mistake of rubbernecking and seeing an unfortunate person who was missing the top half of his head.
Back in Hurley, Gretchen had made some yummy pasta dish featuring garden greens and chickpeas. I ate a bowl of it with gusto.
Neville (foreground) with Ramona and the floating section of dock with two floaters on it.
Click to enlarge.
The last island I made (shaped like an L) for installing the last floater. The floating section of dock has three floaters on it and is floating freely. This is why I've leashed it with a piece of rope.
Throckmorton the Loon.
View of the complete dock from the tree dock to the south.
Click to enlarge.
Looking down the dock to the new floating section attached to the end.
Click to enlarge.
Ramona and Neville on the dock with the new floating section attached, viewed from atop a large granite boulder to its northwest. As I was taking this picture, someone started shooting at Joel's gun range.
Click to enlarge.
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