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Thread: Pictures Reefing the Monica Lee

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,833

    Default Workday 11

    Sorry I'm late with this post, Workday 11 was before Christmas! My bad.

    Anyway, it was the night before the night before Christmas: December 23 and I met Robert Crum / Sea-r-cy at the Monica Lee at 9:00 a.m.

    Robert brought his torch and his welding equipment because; our plan was to create enough room inside the engine room so that when the Coops arrived, we would be able to get it in the engine room compartment. That meant that we would need to be able to swing it around and to do that safely, we had to get rid of things that would prevent positioning of the coop inside the compartment. The coop will be lowered into the engine room through the exhaust stack that will be removed. This will provide a large open area for divers to penetrate the engine room.

    There was a very large and heavy I-beam attached to the stern hold that was the first thing Robert removed. It was impressive to watch how he so skillfully he accomplished this task.

    Next, he tackled the table that was attached to the wall. This we knew had to go because there was no way we would be able to turn the coop in there with that table in the way.

    Finally, he cut the railings and the water tank out to provide maximum room for us to negotiate safe movement of a CTC.

    Another task that he did was to cut a piece of angle iron to weld to the drive shaft. We have to secure it to make sure the prop doesn't move during the tow. If the prop moves, we could be in BIG trouble so this is a very important job. Today, he cut the metal but welding will have to wait for the next time he comes to the boat.

    Robert also came up with a very good idea for creating an alternate towing device. We found a substantial piece of steel with large holes drilled in it. He is going to cut it in two and weld one piece to either side of the bow and James is going to run large shackles through the holes to attach his rope.

    James came to the boat to evaluate the plan and said he thought it would work just fine.

    I didn't really do anything but take pictures and stand ready with the fire extinguisher. Robert was the hero of the day and I really can't express to you all what a terrific job he did.

    At the end of the day, he even showed me his pig tail. What a hoot!

    Thanks Robert for a job VERY WELL DONE!
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,833

    Default Workday 12

    Workday 12 January 8, 2011

    Hi everyone,
    Just wanted to give you a quick update. The progress on the Monica Lee is really coming along nicely.

    Today, Gregg Valez came with his powerwasher and powerwashed the outside of the boat. It was wonderful to see the decks all cleaned off. After he was finished there, I had him spray down the engine room lightly because some stuff had fallen in due to rain, or maybe the powerwashing up top, or both. My sweeping didn't get it looking clean. Great Job Gregg! I really, really, really appreciate your help!!!

    John Dwyer showed up for a short time...and of course, I put him right to work helping me to re-tape the windows and doors. Gregg also taped up some windows up top. Help is a great thing when you're taping up tarps in the wind. Thanks so much John, I'm glad you showed up today, and I enjoyed having some time to chat while we worked!

    Paul Davis came out in the afternoon and cut a hole in the stern to pour concrete into. Cutting through that deck is quite a job but Paul and his trusty torch made it look easy. Paul knows his way around alot of things, he has proved that over and over on several reef building projects. I hope he knows how much I appreciate his continued support, his tremendous knowledge and his generous spirit. Thanks again Paul, you're one great guy!

    Today, I swept up the stern deck prior to the powerwashing because there was a lot of debris on that deck that I didn't want to go overboard. Then, I got busy cleaning the grease out of the winch, Yuck! It was nasty but it cleaned out a lot faster than the bilge and only my hands got really dirty. I used rubber gloves but the hands still got dirty. My manicurist is going to fire me as a client! After I finished there, I swept up the engine room but some stuff wasn't coming up so, I asked Gregg to hit it with his power washer. The engine room looks good again. Thanks, Gregg! After the guys all left, I cleaned out the water tank and swept the bow...again! Then, I collected up all my electrical cords, tools and cleaning supplies and headed home.

    Today was a very productive day.

    Thanks so much to:
    Gregg Valez
    John Dwyer
    Paul Davis
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  3. Default Raw Video Footage

    Howdy All!

    Here's a link to about 6 minutes of raw video footage of work being completed on the Monica Lee. I'll edit it more when the project is complete and I hope to make a "cradle-to-grave" version in HD and Blu-Ray, but I've compressed it quite a bit now for easy download. The file is about 80 mb in size (I can only upload 10 mb here on the forum.)

    I'd also like to get Candy's narration for the final version to make a nice little documentary. If you have pictures that aren't posted yet, I'd love to have them to include them in the video. I'll give proper creds at the end.

    Can't wait to get the sinking and underwater footage!!

    http://greggvelez.com/files/videos/monicalee.wmv

    Gregg Velez
    Last edited by GreggVelez; 01-10-11 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Link Correction

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,833

    Default

    Gregg,
    Thanks so much for sharing that wonderful video clip that you put together! I wish you could have been there every day!

    We're going to be adding the first load of Concrete tomorrow at 2:00pm tomorrow and I need a few helpers. The concrete truck will dump the concrete into the stern hold so nobody will have to carry concrete! We may need a man to help with a hoe. Nobody will be inside the stern hold while the concrete is being poured or while it's wet.

    Another set of eyes will also be handy.

    If you can help, please reply to this message or contact me at candy@valp.net

    Thanks!
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,833

    Default Workday 13

    Today's date: 1/11/11

    I'm having serious pain and it's all because of Mike, Rick, Charlie and Stewart. Here's what happened:

    Rick and Charlie agreed to drive to Alabama today to pick up the chicken transfer cages donated to ECRA by Mike Lilly, using Charlie's trailer.

    Considering the size of the trailer, we all believed that they would only be able to bring back 3 and maybe 4 of the 6 coops Mike donated to us.

    When they arrived at the storage lot, they were met by Stewart Walter who said he could load all 6 on the trailer and he proceeded to do just that. He even secured them to the trailer for the guys! That was really nice, he didn't have to do that!

    After the trailer was loaded, Mike called me to tell me that all the coops were loaded, that was this morning and I haven't stopped smiling since then...now, my cheeks are starting to hurt. I can't help it, I am so happy how everything is working out and it's all because of all the wonderful people that have pitched in to help make this project a success.

    Rick and Charlie safely delivered all CTC's to the Boat Yard and soon, they will be welded on her Stern Deck and in the Engine Room. I believe the addition of this additional habitat will make the Monica Lee the most productive vessel reef in our area.

    The hero's of the day were:

    Rick Colquett
    Charlie Saleeby
    Stewart Walter
    and last but not at all least,
    Mike Lilly


    Thanks for the smiles guys, it hurts soooo gooood!


    Attached are pictures I took when I met them at the Boat Yard. Rick Colquett took pictures in Alabama at the coop storage yard and I have attached them to this message. They are the last 6 pictures. Thanks so much Rick, I really appreciate that you took and shared your pictures with us all!
    Last edited by Candy; 01-12-11 at 09:18 AM. Reason: adding pictures sent by Rick Colquett.
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,833

    Default Workday 14

    January 12, 2011

    Today was the day to add concrete ballast. Now, I'm going to be honest with you all, I was a little anxious about today. You only get one chance to get the job done right when you are adding wet concrete to a floating boat.


    The good news is, I had an absolutely fantastic team of helpers today!

    The other good news is that the job was completed and it was a success!

    A great big shout-out and gigantic thanks go to:


    Paul Davis
    James Flores
    John Dyer
    Lou Bolin
    Bobby
    Mr. Tucker
    and, a very nice man I met on the dock named Larry


    I arrived at the boat around 1:30 and John Dyer was already there ready to go to work. Mr. Tucker was there ready to help as well. The first thing he asked was if the boat was grounded. It was. Well, Mr. Tucker moved it about 12' into deeper water yesterday afternoon and it was a good thing because the rudder was stuck in the sand again today even though it was in the deeper water! North Wind sure is good if you want to go fishing but not so good when you want to add concrete to a vessel.

    Fortunately, Mr. Tucker knew what to do. He drove his Kabota tractor down the concrete dock and pulled the Monica Lee Free. James, John and Lou, with help from some people I didn't know, managed pull her around and position her in the lift-slip next to where she's been sitting which is deeper water. They pulled her bow close enough for the concrete slide to reach the hole that Paul cut in the deck last week.

    After they finished pulling the boat into position, Bobby brought the crane over to remove the exhaust stack for us. Unfortunatley, the crane wouldn't extend out far enough to reach. No worries, James knows how to do it.

    Paul showed up just a few minutes after the boat was positioned. Paul assembled the concrete slide, Lou got a shovel to help direct the direction of the concrete as it entered the boat, James and John worked the starboard and port holes in the stern hold inside the engine room with concrete rakes and a very nice long handled hoe that Paul made just for this job.

    I ran back and forth making sure the boat wasn't getting too low in the water and relaying messages to Paul from James. Oh, and I took a few pictures that I'll post later.

    What sounds like a very simple job wasn't simple at all. It took hours to complete the job because we had to stop the flow many times to even out the direction of the concrete and to evaluate the way the boat was riding in the water. Better to stop and be sure than to hurry and be sorry!

    When it was determined we had put as much concrete in the stern as we dared, the men turned the boat around and brought it back and we put some concrete in her bow to level her out because the increase in stern's weight brought the bow too far out of the water which would have made towing difficult.

    The bow is still riding a bit higher than normal but we want the stern heavier so it will sink first. I really appreciate James coming today, it was nice to have the towing expert on hand while we were altering the weight distribution on the boat. Besides that, he is a really good worker.

    After emptying the concrete truck, John stayed behind and re-installed the bilge pump. He then helped me go around the boat and cover up all the holes and secure the doors. The sun was just about to set when we left.

    I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate what you did today. And, I've said numerous "Thank You God" prayers that everyting went so well.

    Now, just one more time and then I'm going to bed:

    Thanks so much for your help today guys, you were all AWESOME!
    Last edited by Candy; 01-14-11 at 04:23 PM.
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  7. #27

    Default

    Candy, look to the right behind the trailer in pictures 8 and 9. Those are grouper hotels they pour and then tie a coop to the top before sinking them. They deploy them for about a thousand if I remember right. That way they attract red snapper and grouper. One of them also suggested that if you welded something under the bottom of a coop to raise it acouple of feet off the sand it would attract grouper under it. They have a 110 ft long deployment boat with a crane, so they can lower the reef slowly to the bottom to make sure it lands upright. It will carry over 120 coops at one time. Those are just a couple of things we learned while over there. They have also poured 1800 cubes with a hole in the middle ( you can see some of them in the background of picture #7 ) to be sunk in the Big Bend area for a research project.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,833

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,833

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,833

    Default

    Last pictures from workday 14

    This day was a great success! Thanks again guys, you were all amazing!
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

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