15 December, 2009

Full Day Workathon

Today marks the first full day of the bulkhead construction. The guys showed up about 6:15 AM, while I was still out walking the dogs. I had previously given Emir a key for the gates, so their getting in was no problem.

They were in high gear by the time the girls and I got back. Of course, Cindy and Secret think they're being punished for something since I'm keeping them chained up while the work is going on. You ought to see them tear around when the gates are closed for the evening and the workers are all gone. Finally, there's a sand hill worthy of the name so they can play King of the Hill (or whatever they call it).
First Few Bags Being Filled
I went to bed at 6:00 PM this evening after taking two Benadryl capsules for a sting I got this afternoon on our front porch. Dianna and I were talking to Denis, from across the street (where Dan used to live). I used my hand against a porch post I was leaning against and felt a fluttery sensation like my fingers became entangled with some sort of bug.

It wasn't till I had run downtown to pick up a couple of strap wrenches from National Hardware to help with the leak in the pool pump area, that I noticed my finger itching.

Since today was a "Double Top-Up" day for Digicell, I stopped at INK Supplies and bought $50.00 BZD worth of time, giving me $100 BZD worth of time. Just in time too (no pun intended) as I tend to go through a lot of phone time while we're constructioneering. And, it was while at INK that I noticed my whole hand beginning to puff up. So, as soon as I got home, it was Benadryl. Two hours later, it just knocked my out.
Filling Bags With Dry Mix
The way the process works is, they load the mixer (the 'Machine') with sand, gravel, and cement, just as if they were going to make a regular mix of concrete, except there's no water added. they dump that out and shovel the mix into the bags.

The bags, in turn, are barrowed over to the wall site.
Hauling Bags to the Bulkhead Work Area
Once there, the bags are dumped one by one into the water and positioned.
Ready to Drop Another One
Once in place, the worker in the water positions them. At this stage of the game, it depends a lot on feel as to how they're placed.
Dragging and Positioning
With neutral buoyancy as an assist (probably a negligible assist at best) the bags are dragged from the drop site to be positioned where they are needed in the bulkhead.
Hard Work to Position At This Stage
Early on, it took two guys to position each bag. Here, they're working to ensure correct positioning. You can easily see some concrete dust washing out, but really, it's a negligible amount. The theory is that there will be enough to bond between each bag and its neighbor bags.
Pounding in the First of Many Rebar Pieces
Every two rows, rebar is being pounded in straight down through the bags to provide additional stability and strength.
Tromping the Bags
It sounds simple, but it's really a critical step, that is, to tromp the bags. It helps settle and position the bags so they fill gaps and get additional air out of the bags.
Bags Bubble A Long Time After Being Dumped
Once in a while, a heavy-loaded wheel barrow can get away from you. That's what happened here. Two bags went over the side just as they were being delivered to the preferred drop zone.
Retrieving An Errant Bag
It was really a pain for them to retrieve those bags and position them where they were needed. They persevered and were able to finally move and re-position the two bags.

Well, that marks the end of the first full day of bulkhead construction. Dianna and I were planning to go out for some fried chicken this evening, but after the Benadryl, I was tucked in bed by six. You'll probably be able to tell from the posting time, that it's only 4-hours after. We had a sudden rain storm pop up, so I got up to close some windows and to let the girls in. As soon as I post this, it's back to bed for me. Nitey nite.


Julian in SC said...

It's looking good - all except the bug bite! Sorry about the "thorn" in paradise that got you. Any idea what kinda bugger bit you?

bathmate said...

It's looking good - all except the bug bite! Sorry about the "thorn" in paradise that got you. Thanks for your lovely posting. I really enjoyed it.

liz said...

where in corozal do they have good fried chicken? my boyfriend gets sick of the stewed chicken after a while when we come down. thanks too for the review on Hailies burgers.... will definitely have to try those!

Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,
No idea at all. Just pretty sure it was one of the tiny wasps that seem to always hover near the screens.

Bathmate - Thanks for the comment. Feel free to read more too.

Hi Liz,
Without a doubt, the best fry chicken in Corozal is at Chon Kong (the Buddha restaurant downtown) next to the old Cinty's on 4th Avenue.
Lot's of times too you can ask for bake chicken instead of fry chicken with your rice and beans... nice variation.