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Monday, August 23, 2010

Guns, Dredges, Birds, and Driftwood

We were originally planning to have lunch with our son Jonathan in Longview.  It would be about a 90 minute drive for us, but only 45 minutes for him while on his way back to Shelton.  But the timing really didn’t work well.  We would have been having dinner at 3:30 or so which is just way too early.  So we reluctantly had to cancel those plans and will try to get with him another time to celebrate.

We went on up to the interpretative center which sits above the ruins of one of the old batteries guarding the Columbia River.  Fort Canby was one of three batteries guarding the river mouth from just after the Civil War until just after WWII.

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There are three major gun emplacements in this battery, each having guns of up to 10 inch bores.  They could throw a projectile about 7 mile, easily enough range to protect the area.  Below is one of the gun mounts at the Harvey Allen Battery, one of three in Fort Canby.

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You can also go inside the concrete works under the battery.  Here is one of the powder rooms.  The loader would open the bottom of the gun barrel, then ram in a shell followed by a number of powder bags (depending on the range desired), slam home the breech, and the gunner would aim and fire.  Then the process would start over again.

Too fast and the barrel is ruined from heat, too slow and the enemy knocks out your gun!

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Here is a picture of some of the guns.

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They are almost always on the back of the hill so that they are harder to spot and hit with counter-battery fire.  After touring the battery, we walked up to the interpretative center and looked out across the water.  There is a suction dredge working on the shipping channel and when the boat is loaded with sand, he comes near the jetty and connects the pump to a long pipe and pumps the sand through the pipe to be dumped.  More on this later in this post….

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There was also a rock full of Cormorants.  They just sat there all pretty much facing the dredge.  Maybe they were supervising!

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Carol, who took all these pictures, has this one to show all the driftwood that has piled up on Waikiki Beach.

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After lunch, our blog friends Bruce and Margie, stopped by to visit and brought their granddaughters.  We had a great time talking about many subjects including RV repairs.  They just had their backup camera monitor fixed after about 7 months of waiting for parts. 

After they left, I did some repairs to our rig.  First, one of the outside cabinet doors would randomly open while driving.  I readjusted the throw on the latch and hopefully made it longer and also tried to reposition the door.  Then I stuffed some pipe insulators on top of our washer under the cabinet top to help dampen the vibration.  Carol was able to put in a load to test it and I’d say the vibrations are down by about 75% and the noise by about 90%.  Time will tell for sure.

Then we took a walk on the beach.  While walking south, we came to where they are dumping the dredging sand.  The ship hooks up to the pipe in the water and forces the sand about a mile onto the west facing beach where they are rebuilding it because of all the sand lost over the winter.

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There is a guard here that won’t let you get any closer, but you can see that the tractor is huge.  It and the spreader on the left work 7 days a week with the dredge.  It takes about an hour for the dredge to load up, sail over to the pipe, hook up, and then pump the load through the pipe.  A massive project for sure.

1 comment:

Margie M. said...

Dave, it was a pleasure visiting with you and Carol last weekend. I know we will do it again someday soon.

I loved the pics today. The driftwood beach was just how you explained it. Amazing.