The boat flipping for the Rockfish Runner on Saturday, June 2, 2012 didn’t go exactly as planned but with the help of several batteau engineers such as Ralph Smith, the job eventually got done.
The batteau was on the trailer and the idea was to scoot the boat off onto bales of hay and then have a bunch of people turn it over. When I arrived after going all the way up to the entrance to Wintergreen, past where Brian Robert’s parents live, (I was thinking the event was at their house), I turned around and went back down to the store at the end of the road. Luckily Linda Roberts was there picking up the food so I followed her the short distance to the road where Brian lives. Many other people had similar stories about finding the place, but eventually folks started showing up to help. What was advertised for 12:00 noon ended up being a little later on about river time in the afternoon.
Brian Roberts went to get some big posts to tie to the boat while the rest of us ate the BBQ and fixin’s that Linda Roberts (Brian’s Mom) had spread out for a nice lunch. It was a good time visiting with the batteau folks gathered there. The weather was beautiful with the mountains in the background.
When Brian got back he got all outfitted with his tree climbing gear and after a few minutes had ropes tied to a big tree. After all the rigging and bales of hay were in place the boat was finally flipped over. Soon thereafter boxes of plumbers oakum appeared and the work of caulking began. There were some pretty good size gaps and some bad reverse cupping of some of the boards had happened.
I had to leave so I assume the caulking got done and I await to hear if the boat got flipped back over or not. The riggings were left in the tree for the return flip.
Article and photos by Holt Messerly.