Monday, November 19, 2018

West Marsh Water Conveyance: Project Update #9 (Concrete Floor Installed)

Jason's crew included four on the ground, two working the crane and bucket, a mixer driver, and a QAQC technician;
Roy and I took pictures, smiled at the progress, and just tried to stay warm

In spite of periodic sleet, steely skies, and a stiff wind off the bay, last Friday proved to be just good enough to allow the crew to get the channel floor installed. Our "big pour" has been weeks in the making, but all the prep culminated in just 2-3 hours of actual concrete work. It was quite a transformation. The crew was very efficient, and as the photos below depict, very effective in achieving a beautiful finished product -- despite less than ideal working conditions.

13.5 cubic yards of concrete were systematically lowered into the channel
one hopper bucket at a time
The finished product ended up looking better than my garage floor
A good perspective of progress, taken from atop the precast concrete boxes
(facing the bay with my back to the marsh)
A floor-level perspective looking the other direction
(facing the marsh with my back to the bay)
The marsh-side concrete apron, just after the pour was completed
I'm not sure which was more exciting: the view of the first full mixer truck creeping down the muddy path to the project site,
or the second (empty) mixer truck pulling away -- access is always dicey this time of year, so it was great nobody got stuck

Last week marked the first measurable snow falls (several "dustings") and the first time the marsh froze over completely. Skim ice extended to full coverage only briefly though. Temps have remained well below average (highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s), but sustained wind makes any accumulation of ice difficult.

I always say when duck hunters are happy with the weather, everyone else seems to be miserable. That's certainly been the case for much of these last few weeks; plenty of cold, wind, and cloud cover. Unfortunately, there just haven't been too many ducks in the area (not just in the marsh, but more regionally -- on "our side" of Sandusky Bay). Deer activity, by contrast, seems to be on the increase with lots of sign around the property and the rut likely in full swing. We'll see what this holiday week brings. In addition to some of my favorite time of the year with family, I'm hopeful to find some time in the blind and/or in the tree stand.