Aurora Restoration Project Part 7
by Christopher Wilson
For those who have not read earlier parts. This stores began in mid 2008 and our timeline within the story is still mid 2008.
My goal was to get to know the ship better and spend more time in the City that she had a possibility of going to. But I also needed to make money in order to survive and pay bills etc... I decided to spend all of my extra time at the ship with Smeagol and his dog. Even if it was only day trips. His dog was a pit bull yearling named Jonah and he was a very playful puppy but loved to tear things to pieces and did abgreat job at spreading his talents all over the ship.
I left Santa Cruz with a friend, I will call her Marie in the future during this story. this time to help out in my cleaning some areas. After a couple of days of working on my regular projects we headed out to the ship making stops of course to buy cleaning supplies, shop vac and lots of garbage bags. I was a little better prepared then my last trip and now had help. Marie was no stranger to helping me with projects. She was excited to be involved and ready for a day of work.
We had arrived at the marina and had Smeagol waiting for us. I gave him his tip and some gas money and headed to the ship. We sat down wind from him during our trip over. That might have been a mistake.
At this point the ship was Smeagol's home. My deal was not yet complete so unfortunately I didn't yet have any say in his presents and involvement with the ship.
We had finally arrived at the ship and We were ready for action. The very first thing I did was to find an old extension cord and see if I couldn't find the circuit to the room I was going to eventually stay in. I was successful. Now if I fired the very small generator on the deck, I had a lighted room. The rest of the ship had not seen lights in many years. Most of the electrical panels were torn apart and missing breakers and covers etc. the ship was very dark.
We spent the better part of the day cleaning years of filth from my chosen suite. It wasn't looking bad. Sure it still had issues but was much better then the rest of the ship by a long shot.
I decided at this point that weI needed to bag what garbage we could and keep it all in an area away from the dog.
We had a few hours left so decided to assess things a bit more. The lower areas of the ship was my main focus.
I took my flashlight and headed to the engine room. Surprisingly the engine room was for the most part complete with all of its wiring intact from what I could see. It was just a mess much like the rest of the ship. The engine room had had some rain water over the years and had rusted bilges but at least it was complete.
This day trip had come to an end. I packed it up and we headed back to Santa Cruz but was anxious to head back to see what else could be fixed. I relied a great deal on friends in order to make things happen at first. I had a couple of close friends that were willing to help out in there free time with my crazy ventures.
The next morning was Friday morning and was a flea market day in Santa Cruz. I had some free time so I headed to the market and bought things that I thought could be used for the ship. I found lots of stuff including a west marine inflatable 2 person kayak for $10. It was used and a little ugly but at least I could park my car across from the ship and Kayak over with minimal supplies and an extra person.
The next morning I packed up the car and brought my best friend Jeff. He was curious what crazy stunt I pulled this time. Jeff and I already had a large crazy project going on in Europe that was much like the ship but in house format. Prior to the finding the ship I spent several months a year working on our joint venture house in Europe. Jeff spent half his time in Europe and half in California at my place working to make money to put back into the house. I guess we were both a little crazy.
We arrived at the ship. Jeff's first reaction was complete disbelief ( f@#kwhat the F@#k did you get yourself into) he said, he was a little amazed that I had found a giant former cruise ship on Craigslist. He loved it.
Jeff was also very handy and had construction skills beyond a regular contractor. We were for the most part equal in our construction abilities. He was also very verbal and animated.
We inflated the kayak and traveled across with tools and food for the weekend.
Smeagol was not around He hadn't paid his phone bill so I couldn't let him know that we were coming. I didn't figure it would be a problem.
Jeff started looking for a cabin to clean up for his stay and we both worked on getting one up and happy. He chose 105. Jeff had that room cleared in an hour and was already working to see if he could figure out the plumbing so he could build a shower. He was on it. Within a few hours he had made that room look like new or as close to new as it could be. I was inspired.
Later that evening Smeagol and his dog arrived back at the ship. He had no idea that we were on the ship at all. We had brought the kayak onboard the ship and Smeagol found it at the entry on the main deck. He was on intruder alert mode now.
He was freaked out and yelling into the ship and was holding a metal bar. He was ready to run or fight. It was dark outside and his flashlight was weak.
More to come.....