Down To The Sea In Ships.

DSC_0001_3.jpgThe S&T Concrete Canoe Team’s 2010 gestation came to a successful conclusion over the weekend under the watchful eye of Rubber Ducky. The little character spent nearly a month floating inside the canoe in water designed to slow the curing process. Keeping him company were several concrete test samples manufactured at the same time the boat was poured. These cubes, which will be used as competition test material, remained floating during their long immersion, proof that the concrete mix is lighter than the water volume it’ll displace.
That’s a good thing, because it means the boat should easily pass the dreaded swamp test at April’s contest in Oklahoma.
DSC_0032B.jpgOnce the Miners drained the boat and (hopefully) cleaned up the mess they made in the shop, it was off to nearby Little Prairie Lake for the maiden voyage, and that’s when the heavy lifting started. This craft weighs well north of 150 pounds so moving it can be quite a challenge. As sturdy as it appears it is brittle so dropping it could be disastrous; neither time nor budget would allow S&T to start from scratch again.
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Once the intrepid engineers slid the boat into the shallows, they ALL breathed a sigh of relief, but then the next step was “OK, who’s gonna get IN this thing?” Since no volunteer offered to take one for the team, Team Leader Arch Creasy was quickly nominated. DSC_5514Arch.jpg Arch had such great confidence in the group’s design, material, and construction that he immediately did three things: demand a life DSC_5530.jpgpreserver, hand his cell phone to someone staying on shore, and wish that he’d worn warmer clothes. He apparently settled down once team mate Rachel Kautz agreed to take the stern, and eventually got over the “leadership jitters”. The two of them did a short loop around the cove, and the team unanimously decided to store the boat back in the trailer and get down to the real reason the went to the lake: grilling burgers.
DSC_0092burgers.jpg There’s still a lot more work to do before the team heads to the regional competition. They have to polish the boat, their paddling techniques and their oral and written presentations, and touch up their flashy Missouri S&T display stands.
Stay tuned, and stay dry.