Well that’s a wrap… literally, for the 2019 season. While our last guests departed over a month ago, along with almost all of our staff, a devoted group of lodge operations people form the Rigdown Crew. They work in small teams to carefully put the various parts of the lodge to bed for the winter. The hospitality and food services teams need about a week to complete the inventory, do a final cleanup and store everything away. The fishing ops group need a bit more time as they have to completely decommission their floating dock operation and move everything to safe storage on land – after all the counting and cleaning.
Once they’re done the property crew can finally start to make the big moves! Disconnecting all the services to the marina – water, power and communications lines – they all need to be pulled ashore. The four separate floats that comprise the marina have to be winterized, boarded and tarped from the weather before they are each towed across the harbour to their winter anchorage; a job that can only be accomplished when the weather and tides are just right.
And the boats! That’s a major project in itself. All of the smaller aluminum boats come ashore where the engines are removed, the rigging is checked and they’re lined up on land. All of the big boats, Gradys and Bridgeviews, are moved to an indoor storage facility down at Sandspit on Moresby Island. So that’s a run to Masset, and a trailer trip down island to the ferry at Skidegate, enroute to storage at Sandspit. It’s a big project but it allows us to work on all of those boats through the winter.
Back on land, most of the buildings have to winterized as they’ll be empty and cold until April. The exceptions are the log buildings which are all heated via central boilers and/or heat recovery systems running off the diesel power plants. Then there’s the exterior protection – the famous tarping of the lodges. Winter weather in Naden Harbour comes primarily from the southeast – that’s pretty much straight onshore for us! That’s a lot of rain and wind coming at the buildings, usually sideways! For protection we’ve developed a system of using tarps and strapping that covers the windward face of the lodges, preventing the driving rain from penetrating. Together with a little central heating we’re able to keep these facilities in really great shape.
So, the Rigdown Crew has been busy! But they’re all done now and all except two have returned south for a well-deserved break! Over the next few months there are always a crew of 2 or 3 onsite, watching over the property and attending to lists and lists of off-season tasks outlined by each manager before they left. There’s a shortlist of available crew who share a stint in Naden Harbour over the winter – an assignment that’s not for everyone but just great for a select few! And, before we know it, it’ll be time to unpack and start it all over again!