THE sign of spring in Knowlton is when the Marina reopens - with luck this weekend!
But how does the Marina reappear each spring? I asked Gerry Moar if I could help and so I found out. It appears as if by a kind of magic. The work is done as if by a hive of bees. Let me explain.
I arrived at the appointed time - 1.30 last Saturday. Gerry was in the parking space where the pontoons are stored over the winter. "What should I do?" I asked nervously. "Have a beer" was Gerry's reply. No pep talk. No detailed instructions. No pressure about how and when this was going to get done. "Have a beer" was it.
But before you think that this was an orgy, there is more and this is why this is a "Hive".
In the water, in waders, was Jaime Moar and Matt in his swimmers. Gerry's role was to ensure that the pontoons arrived in the right order in the water. Jaimie's was to make sure that the parts were assembled in the right way. Matt got them to the right place. All the work emerged from this order in the core.
The bees found their own place in all of this.
Old men put the nuts on. Each pontoon is bolted onto the next and held together by nuts and bolts.
Young men pounded poles. Each pontoon is held to the lake bottom by long scaffolding poles that are rammed into the mud. This is work that would kill an older man.
Older women screwed. Above each set of nuts there is a board missing that has to be screwed back in place once the nuts had been put on by the old men.
The young women did the paint job - restoring the dayglo green of the marine siding.
Meanwhile, beer, pizza and wings appeared all afternoon. Those too old and too young to do any of the work partied and listened to the wonderful music. Those who worked stopped often to join them.
It was all done in three hours and would have been done quicker if the loader had not broken down a lot.
Of course years ago, it was not like this. But many years of practice have shown Gerry that so long as the pontoons arrive in sequence and get assembled in sequence, the rest just needs beer and pizza. Not a word of instruction was given. No shouting and yelling. Just fun for all.
Now what is your workplace like?
No guesses as to where I will be spending a lot of this summer