Aurora Restoration Project Part 15
by Christopher Wilson - Published February 24, 2016
Spring 2009 - Finally the Aurora was in her new home. I had a number of days to rest up and I was ready to work. The first thing I needed was more help.
I began by placing an ad on Craigslist. I needed someone who could help and stay aboard as a watchman. Surely there would be someone interested in living onboard.
Over the next days I received lots of interesting emails but one stood out. This person had construction skills and could stay aboard five days a week. Sounded great.
I interviewed this guy and decided he would likely work out. He had a brother who was also interested in coming out to help and both had skills.
Over the next couple of weeks these guys worked out perfect. We removed garbage and debris while they set up cabins for themselves to stay in. These guys were fantastic. Or at least for the moment.
On about the third week true colors started to show and I find them drinking and starting to hang out at the local bars. As it turned out they were massive alcoholics. But that wasn't the worst part. They were stealing from the ship in order to fund their drinking. Tools and scrap copper was their game. Cords and welding leads were turning up missing and simple parts like brass lamps would disappear.
Needless to say I had to put an end to this bad situation. It was unfortunate but I would move forward one way or the other. At least I was able to get a few things done before things went bad. I lost some expensive tools and fixtures but we would recover. No major harm done. Getting rid of these guys however is another short story in itself. One I will tell if this turns into a book someday.
My friend Jeff began spending more time at the Aurora both working on his boat and helping put things in order at the docks and onboard. He was able to get some vital things working. The Aurora had not seen power to her system for maybe twenty years or better. Mostly just generators and light strips. The wiring was a mess. Some stolen by scrapers and some just destroyed by Father Time.
Jeff would slowly began making entire areas function. This was a huge difference. Just to see the decks light up at night and the lounge lights come to life after so many years of being completely dead. It was an amazing experience.
I posted another ad on Craigslist and this time found a guy named Steve. Steve was great. Steve was a hard worker and had good morals. He was not a drinker and did not smoke. He just wanted to be a part of the project. Steve came aboard and began making a difference right away. Steve and Jeff were very inspiring to see such talent at work. Just to see the basic amenities on the Aurora coming back so quickly.
I of course had my own group of projects. My goal was to get a proper shop in order so that things could be repaired and fabricated. The Aurora came with no tools and I started bringing my collection of tools and purchasing things as needed.
Life was good. So good that I posted another ad on Craigslist. This time I found a guy who seemed very nice. He had sailing experience and was willing to clean and help fix things for several days a week. I will call him Rod for this story. We now had two solid workers onboard.
A crew was slowly starting to form. In the coming weeks we found a couple who was willing to help. He was ex navy and she was great at cleaning. Things were looking up. This couples names were Jim and Cathy.
The days were starting to get warmer as we all worked hard to make the Aurora Habitable. The location that we were now at had no utilities what so ever. We had to use battery, solar and a diesel generator to create power. It was not the greatest situation but we had a one year lease so we had to make due.
Over time I learned that two months was about the time period that it took for people to start showing who they really were.
The coming month would bring out the worst in members of our current crew.
Things were about to go bad fast.
More to come..