Dry dock work begins !

I was relieved to see that the ship finally made it into dry dock at Pier 70 on Tuesday morning.  The first attempt on Monday was a windy day and they couldn’t make it safely.  I was not a happy Gull because I flew all the way down there early in the morning and got nothing to eat out of the adventure.  On Wednesday I went down there again to see how they were doing and was amazed at how much had been done in one day and how many men in yellow suits were scrambling around.  Despite investigating all locations I could not find any food.  I did however find a dock nearby with a promising looking food source.  It appears to be a boat ramp with tables and chairs and people eating.  This could be a goldmine of leftovers if I work it right.  Food is apparently being served on the deck!

The deck at The Ramp Restaurant

I went back to the ship after snatching a few snacks and was surprised to see the paint on the ship being scraped by this funny little machine that was attached like a marine limpet to the side.  This machine seems to be fastened to the ship and moves up and down.  As it moves the paint on the side of the ship disappears!  Underneath the old paint the hull is bright shiny metal and you can see the rivets and everything.  The machine appears to move as if by magic and has a mind of its own.

Robotic paint scraper clinging to the side of the ship. The paint removal apparatus moves about 5-10 feet per minute depending upon the texture of the hull and the thickness of the paint.

Editor’s Note:  The SS Jeremiah O’Brien is currently at the BAE Systems shipyard at Pier 70 for painting and repairs.  The trip to the dry dock was successful on Tuesday, January 24th and the repair and rehabilitation work began almost immediately.  The most visible work is being done on the removal of the old paint from the hull using a robotic machine which is magnetically held on the side of the ship. The movement is controlled by an operator who stands below the device and can control both the direction of travel as well as the speed.  The paint is removed by a high pressure water spray and the old paint and the water are recovered by a suction to prevent the material from being discharged into San Francisco Bay. The areas which cannot be cleaned by the robot will have to be manually scraped.   To see more pictures of the progress in dry dock please visit us at the SS Jeremiah O’Brien website.  At this location you can learn much more about the ship and also join us on our Facebook page.  The progress will be updated frequently and new pictures will be posted as well.

Paint removed from the starboard bow of the ship. Note the seams of the plates on the ship as well as the rivet patterns.

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