Saturday before last Ron walked down to our dock to see if the baby birds had finally flown from the two bird nests wedged onto one of the pontoons on our boat.
This was mother bird sitting on eggs a few weeks ago.
Click on the picture to enlarge and you'll see the four
babies as they looked two weeks ago.
Because of these feathery fellows, we've not put the boat in the water this year. We're eager to take some boat rides, but we don't want to drown the babies. Alas, both nests and their babies were still there.
Two days later, Ron checked again, but was horrified at what he saw. Our pontoon boat, still in the boat lift, was jammed into the roof of the boathouse. It normally hangs in the position below.
Boat with it's snapped-on winter cover.
Boat jammed into the ceiling of the boathouse.
The ceiling had crushed the bimini top and the metal pieces that support it. The thing is, we hadn't used the boat. When we winterized it last October, the bimini
top and its support pieces were folded up, and the winter cover snapped in place. What had happened?
In the picture below you can see the black steel rod that supports the roof. Just a little to the left and just over the top of the boat cushions is a white control box with the lever to either raise or lower the boat. It normally stays in the horizontal--or off--position.The lever was pushed in the down position to lower the boat. But the boat was at the top of the boathouse.
Enlarge the picture to see the small dark lever just to
the rightof the white control box. We always
keep the lever in the horizontal position.
What happened? How had the lever been pushed down? Had someone tried to steal the boat? Could some animal have been on top of the covered boat and jumped to the lever which lowered the boat? If so, what kind of animal could do that? A cat? A raccoon? And if the lever were down, why was the boat up?
Ron, my smart engineer husband, figured out that when something pushed the lever down, the boat descended until it hit water, then floated. The boat lift continued downward until it ran out of cable, reversed itself and started back up. In the meantime, the boat had floated a little out of position, was crooked, but still got picked up by the boat lift and journeyed upwards until the whole thing blew a fuse in the house and stopped all activity. He managed to get the boat down to hang where it belongs. (I told you he's a smart man.)
On Father's Day we gathered our books, newspaper and camera, and took them down to the dock to relax for the afternoon. You know what? The lever was in the down position again! The good thing is that Ron had cut all power to the boathouse. If not, the boat would have hit the roof again!
This will cost some $$$$ to repair. One of the tubes is damaged, and the bimini top and the supports are totaled. A section in the stern is also damaged. We have insurance, and that will help, but our family may not get to ski, go tubing and knee boarding, go for sunset cruises, feel the wind in our faces and watch grandchildren's faces filled with delight.
Yep, it's a mystery. Any ideas, folks?
Labels: baby birds, boats