After more than a month in drydock we are back home at Pier 45, and I am glad of it. The people at the drydock were very friendly, but the pickings were poor in terms of food sitting around. Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf is such a gold mine in terms of stuff to scavenge that nothing else holds a candle to that spot.
When it came time for the ship to leave I was sitting on the rail up near the control room and heard the yellow suit guys talking. They said that they were going to ‘pull the plug’ and flood the dock. I have to tell you I was nervous because I had seen the big holes they cut in the side of the ship and I wasn’t sure it was going to float! This ship is my safety net in terms of food and I am not happy about anything that puts that at risk.
The drydock is a big open kind of ship and it has no front or back or roof and big side walls. It looks old, but it does do the job of getting the ship out of the water.
I went down and took a walk on the deck of the drydock after they said they were going to ‘pull the plug’ and the water was starting to come up. Anxious moments, let me tell you.
When the water line on the side of the ship got to about ‘8’ in the front and ’12’ in the back I could see some movement of the ship and then she just kind of popped up and the water line on the side stopped moving and I realized SHE WAS FLOATING !! HIP, HIP HOORAY !
Editor’s Note: The drydock Eureka at the BAE shipyards at Pier 70 was built in 1943 so it is the same age as the SS Jeremiah O’Brien. The drydock is a floating platform without any power or means of movement other than being towed from place to place. It is about 500 feet long and 70-80 feet wide. The SS Jeremiah O’Brien fits comfortably in the open space without any trouble. Before the O’Brien was brought in there were blocks placed on the bottom to hold the ship in place during the rehabilitation. The drydock was then ‘sunk’ by flooding the bottom. After the ship was positioned the bottom was pumped dry and the ship was up out of the water and ready for work. After the work was done the process was reversed and the bottom was flooded again and the ship pulled out of the drydock. For more information about drydock’s please look into this site, and for more information about the SS Jeremiah O’Brien please visit our web site.