Have You Ever Seen A Mooring Being Placed?

Some of you may think this is a strange title and thing to blog about. I do too but I, as well as everyone else on Ripples II, were fascinated whilst watching 3 men place a 25tonne mooring block. The process is rather interesting and you’ll see why if you read on.

Setting Off - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

Setting Off - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

Like I said, placing a mooring is a fascinating process to watch. It started when we heard an outboard engine at full revs, making a horrendous noise, similar to an empty blender. Upon taking a look we saw a team of 3 locals, one in the boat and 2 on what looked like a wooden raft, which we soon realised was holding the mooring.

The Muscle - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

The Muscle - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

On the raft one of the men looked to be the muscle of the operation and the other looked like a new guy being shown what to do. It took the team about 20 minutes to get out to where they wanted to placed the morning block, engine still sounding like an empty blender. Remember that the block is solid concrete and weighs 25tonnes and they’re towing it with a boat using a 25 horsepower outboard, no easy feat.

Give It Here! - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

Give It Here! - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

When they finally got to the chosen spot the fun started. All of us by now were stood or seated at various viewing points around the boat and other people on other boats were also watching the afternoon’s entertainment. The new guy starting swinging the sledgehammer to try to knock the pin out that hold the block to the raft. He had no luck. I don’t think he even hit the pin once! I’m sure he’ll get better with time. 

Then came the turn of The Muscle. With one fell swoop he hit the pin, but what anyone didn’t expect was the pin to stay in place and the raft to break apart! Not completely but enough to put it out of action for the rest of the day. One more swing and the pin fired out with an almighty clang, the raft shot up as the block dropped from beneath it and almost bucked the men off into the water.

Team Chat - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

Team Chat - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

After the block had been released to it’s final resting place a quick chat ensued between the men, I assume they were organising what to do next. What happened next was rather expected. The Muscle jumped in, collecting his snorkelling gear from the driver and duck dove with a rope to tie to the block to mark it’s position. While this was happening the new boy was sat on the raft waiting, patiently.

Waiting - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

Waiting - Portsmouth, Dominica 15/04/2016

 

After the line was attached and a temporary buoy placed the team retired for the day, dragged the broken raft back to shore to be fixed so work could continue the following day. As they passed us on their way back we all gave them a round of applause, dad threw them a beer each and thanked them for the entertainment.

The whole process took probably between 60 and 90 minutes. Long enough to keep us occupied before our afternoons adventure. But more about that in the next post.

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Have you ever seen a mooring being placed? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob