Shoring Up A Foundation

It is amazing how far you can get in only a few days’ time. It is hard to dwindle it down for this post. Since the last update a lot of work has been achieved. We dug deeper into the building to prepare it for rehab. It took a lot of tedious work but we were able to accomplish our goals for our eight day tour. We finished our trenching around the affected areas of the building. My mentors, Duck and Rachel, got to work on removing the concrete on the inside of the building near the broken outer foundation. It was a strenuous process involving hammers and power tools to open up a three inch gap between the outer foundation concrete cast and the inside floor concrete. Also, this took place in an area about a foot and a half wide due to the visitor centers displays. We did this so we could use jacks to push the foundation back into place. We were rather successful in this regard. After I helped remove some of the clay from that interior area, we got to work jacking. It put up a fight but we were about to get the south side back into place and the north side of the break nearly in place. All this time of course we had been also busy chipping the stucco from the building because it was broken and in the way of the necessary repairs. The electric chisel broke almost instantly so it all had to be done by hand. It was tedious and at times painful but we got the job done. The real fun began when we were able to start drilling and placing rebar to shore up the foundation. I got to drill one of the holes on the south side of the building and the bottom slot for the rebar on the west side. With a little epoxy and rebar, the wandering foundation was reunited with the rest of the foundation. Afterward we filled the crack with epoxy and continued chipping away at the failed stucco which wrapped around the south side of the building. 20160626_110519 We continued that until the Wednesday we left. We also replace the bird block ends on the tile roof so the gulls would not disrupt the integrity of the roof. This was a dirty and nasty process due to all of the bird droppings on the roof. I also had a friendly (fearful?) encounter with a black widow spider that ran away when I lifted one of the tiles. Unfortunately, I could not really help put the tiles back as my fear of heights began giving me vertigo. Luckily Rachel was very understanding and put me back on chisel duty. All in all it was a great first experience on the island. I will be ready for the next tour out here and will make better choices about how much food to bring. We departed on Wednesday afternoon for headquarters on the Park Service vessel the Sea Ranger. It felt weird to be around so many people again as I had been living with only three others for eight days. Island life is slower and calmer. The work was almost relaxing surprisingly enough. I have a few days off to recuperate and then we head out again.

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