Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Winter Repairs: Slow but Steady

Progress on the boat 2/28/11 through 3/12/11
Ten weeks in – slow but steady.
Chris gluing up white oak for new toe rails forward
Detail of glue joint

Steam box
Toe rails need to be steamed to take the bend at bow. Chris built a steam box. Propane fired steam generator is in the white barrel. Steam is fed into a PVC tube and toe rails are inside the tube.
He steamed for 1 ½ hours once temperature was up in the steam box
The inside end of the steam box is inside our tent so the stock can be removed quickly and bent over clamping forms. The wood cools real fast – there’s no time to waste.
Chris and Luke clamping the hot piece in place.
The oak was easy to bend – rubbery. 
There is some anxiety cause by now there is a lot of time invested in these pre-shaped, glued up pieces. If one broke it would be a bad thing.

Success – happy men
Steam bending toe rail on starboard side went well too
Chris in shop
Chris and Luke spent several days repairing small defects and rot patches in the six topside planks we removed earlier.

A couple planks needed new ends scarfed on.
This is aftermost top plank on starboard side.
More rot
We found more rot in plywood inside face of side deck at cockpit, hidden by fiberglass sheathing. We only saw it when we took off the sheer strakes and got to see the back side of the pieces.
Luke milling a step scarf to repair the rot in side deck inside faces

Detail of step scarf

Chris grinding fiberglass sheathing off deck edge forward
after removal of the old toe rails 
We’ll glue down new toe rails and we want a wood to wood joint – not wood to fiberglass.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Water Day: Local Talks

Happy World Water Day to all our online friends!

Today we reflect on the many challenges that people around the globe face in gaining access to, and protecting, their local waterways and drinking water supplies. People say that "water is the oil of the 21st Century" because it's becoming increasingly scarce and therefore valuable. But that grossly understates the case, as we cannot survive without water but we can survive without oil (despite behavior to the contrary, but that's another conversation).

On the local front, we are preparing for our first two water quality presentations of the 2011 season. This winter we've been reviewing our data from the past 5 seasons of sampling and have some findings to share that show trends, hot spots, pristine spots, and more. We'll be coming out with a report on all the findings, but in the meantime, these speaking events provide a sneak preview of what we have learned to date.

Your first chance to be 'in the know on H20' is this coming Sunday at the campus of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Piermont. Our brilliant science partners, Andy Juhl, Ph.D., and Gregory O'Mullan, Ph.D., will be presenting "Hudson River: A Swimmable Future?" from 3pm - 4pm.

Then on Monday the 28th, 7pm - 8pm, I'll be presenting "How's the Water?" at the Warner Library in Tarrytown.

If you come to one of the events please come up and say hi afterwards and let us know that you saw the posting on this blog.

In the meantime, enjoy the water - and protect it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tragedy in Japan

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan as they continue to suffer through the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and the resulting nuclear crisis. It is hard to imagine the stress of the traumatic experiences they have endured, coupled with the ongoing uncertainty of what will happen next.

As all Riverkeeper supporters know, for the past decade we have been working tirelessly to retire the aging nuclear power plant situated on the shores of the Hudson River, Indian Point. There are many components to our campaign to retire Indian Point, the risk of a power failure due to a natural disaster or an accident is just one of them.

However, the events unfolding in Japan, combined with recent studies from Columbia University establishing two active seismic faults under Indian Point, have moved the concerns about a potential earthquake to the forefront.

According to MSNBC’s analysis of data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Indian Point is the most vulnerable among all 104 nuclear reactors in the U.S. to suffer core damage as the result of an earthquake.

Riverkeeper is calling for an immediate, objective and independent analysis of the earthquake risk posed to Indian Point and its implications for plant operation, emergency response, evacuation planning. Until Indian Point can be proven safe, it should be closed.

Riverkeeper is also calling for the spent fuel at Indian Point to be moved out of the poorly-protected pools on site and into safer dry-cask storage.

Please visit the Riverkeeper site for more details on the Indian Point Campaign, and donate what you can to the Indian Point Legal Fund.