In position…

The previous post showed the bottom of the graving dock in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Today we take a look at the square rigger, Gazela in position over the blocks.

GazelaDockFloat

Gazela in the graving dock at Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Notice the aircraft carrier in the background. Here’s another look at the team positioning the stern over a buoy so they know the keel will land squarely on the blocks.

Crew checks the position of Gazel's stern while as the graving dock is emptied.

Crew checks the position of Gazel’s stern while as the graving dock is emptied.

I hope to get back soon, taking photos of the ship high and dry. It will be interesting to see the hull shape as well as observe the repairs and refit that will be underway.

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Behind the dam…

Well, it’s not exactly a dam, but rather a coffer dam, or a door, or the thing that holds back the Delaware River at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Take a look at this photo:

The coffer dam of a graving dock at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

The coffer dam of a graving dock at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

Click on the photo for a larger version, and count the numbers on the left, indicating feet above the bottom. Then imagine all the water that thing is holding back. If it lets go, you’re going to get deluged by the full force of the river. Thanks to a friend, I was able to check out the laying of keel blocks in this graving dock. More posts to follow, hopefully, showing the vessel on the blocks, which is an amazing thing in its own right.