It has been a couple of months now since we started replacing the dock and I am thrilled to report that this weekend we finally finished it!
We have taken our time, fitting in other jobs and making sure we left time to enjoy the wildlife. Each visit, other than when it rained, we have put down a few boards and gradually worked our way across. Working our way around the tree was challenging and we put in cross bracing because there was no telegraph pole to support the other end. We didn’t put the planks in around the tree because we wanted to use the off-cuts from the long lengths for that and we didn’t cut them to length to begin with. My husband thought it would be quicker to take the circular saw and cut them all at one time, when he had finished laying them. This wasn’t a problem until he got towards the far end of the dock. The middle telegraph pole stops short and there are only two poles supporting the dock at the far end. He ran out of long screws, but carried on laying boards, intending to replace them with longer screws on the next visit. Unfortunately with the long boards hanging over, those screws were not enough. My son took an unexpected dip in the lake when he walked out on them to put the kayak into the lake!
Suddenly leaving the boards overhanging didn’t seem like such a good idea!
There were still some more boards to be laid, but he decided he would cut them now and gave us all orders to keep off the far end of the dock until new screws were installed! I was glad to see them cut. It was looking really odd and with them cut we had a nice usable dock that was almost finished.
Once we had all the lengths in place, except around the tree, we put in an edge piece. We were finding it hard getting in and out of the canoe without it and after getting fingers caught a few times it became more urgent than fitting boards around the tree.
It was so nice to have a functional dock again.
And once we clean up it will even look good from the water too!
Finally this weekend we finished putting the boards around the tree and the dock is finished. We still have some other dock related jobs to do, like adding adjustable dock legs, cleaning up the wood off-cuts and steps going down to it, but the actual dock is finished. We have bought two adjustable dock legs, but we are waiting for some extra manpower to install them. The idea is that if, or should I say, when the telegraph poles sink again, we can stop the dock from tilting too badly with adjustable legs. Right now the telegraph poles are sitting on rocks. The plan is to have these legs attached to the telegraph poles and as things sink we adjust the legs to raise the whole thing up. The legs will gradually sink, but that doesn’t matter if we can adjust them and keep raising the dock up to keep it level. The old dock had quite a tilt on it, but that was after 20 years, so I don’t think we need worry too much about it at the moment. It will be fine for the time being!
My husband and I took some ballroom dancing lessons earlier this year and it has been a bit of a running joke about dancing on the dock. On Saturday evening, just before the sun set we went down to the dock to celebrate finishing it and had a dance on it. We thought we were alone and no one would see us, but as I looked out across the water I saw a boat going past the bay and noticed how slowly it was moving. I mentioned it to my husband and he agreed that it was getting slower. We suddenly felt very self-conscious! The boat had almost stopped and was obviously watching us. We danced to the end of the song and then we retreated to the cottage, falling over ourselves with laughter. I am sure we gave them a good chuckle too!