Clear Lake Work Weekend – Spring 2023

A group of 20+ people signed up for this year’s larger-than-normal work weekend at Clear Lake, to get the cabin ready for the summer season.

As you all know, the dock got seriously damaged during the winter storms, with a couple of sections deemed unfit for further use. One section in particular was so damaged that it would have been unsafe to let guests use the dock, so this needed replacing.

One damaged dock section. This one is removed for now, but not yet replaced.
Another damaged dock section

YSC vice president Solveig Barnes, Clear Lake cabin master Dave Conroy, and club member Allen Hinkelman planned and organized this massive repair project, and pulled it off with flying colors. There were some snags along the way, but the team was so focused on getting the work done, they innovated solutions on the spot, and we were able to build the new dock section, AND have it towed across the lake in one weekend.

Solveig, Allen, Andrew and Ryan, assembling the new dock section
These guys did an amazing job, and you could often hear singing from the parking lot where they worked.

There were many factors that contributed to this successful work weekend, but most would agree that the main key to the high level of productivity was being well fed. Seti Shay took on the huge responsibility of cooking for us all, making sure we stayed hydrated (Saturday was HOT!) and never got hangry. Every single meal was a treat!

Seti ran a tight ship, planning and organizing all the meals for the crew. Here with the help of Ramesh!
Mediterranean style breakfast eggs

Fred and Lisa Barnes assisted with invaluable help, letting us use their trailer to tow the dock to the launch ramp, and their boat to tow the dock across the lake. And they kept the spirit of the team up by just being pretty darn awesome people!

The Barnes family. We can’t thank them enough for all their help

Saturday was a hot day. While one crew worked on building the new dock, another group started demolishing and disassembling the damaged sections, a job that seemed to give the workers a bit of satisfaction as they got to swing heavy tools to break things.

Club president Jeanette, winning the battle against rotting dock boards and rusty nails.
Rotting boards, and disintegrating flotation tires and buckets were removed.
Saturday was basically ONE, looong workout.

We also had one group focused on staining the deck, which our local caretaker Rick McCann had power-washed before we all got up there. Rick’s diligence in looking after our cabin is truly amazing. He checks in on the cabin almost daily and sends frequent reports and updates if anything happens or needs repairing.

Erde and Rick, enjoying a well-deserved break
Cabin Master Dave, supervising the deck staining
Eric, putting the final touch of stain to the deck, which is now ready for dining and dancing again!

Another group went to work on all the outdoor furniture, power-washing the tables and benches, and then giving them a fresh coat of paint.

Jo was very proud of her stylish Tyvek suit for the paint job. As a true fashion designer, she modified it by removing the sleeves and cutting off the legs.
Ramesh and Lotti, repainting the tables
So many cobwebs to get rid of!
For those of us lucky to be up early, we got to witness a rare sight. A family of benches cautiously emerging from their winter hibernation.
Jo and Lisa, painting furniture

And inside the cabin we had help from electrician Monica Anderson who fixed a lot of malfunctioning wiring. Monica is a new member, and this huge work weekend was her first club event! We hope we didn’t scare her off… 🙂

In the kitchen, Erde went to town on the messy pantry, an area in dire need of cleaning. He spent the ENTIRE weekend throwing away old food, cleaning all the shelves, organizing the remaining items, and also adding labels to the shelves. It’s been decades since the pantry was this clean!

No more expired food items, plus we got labels to tell us what goes where!

We also transformed the cabin from winter use to summer use. In the winter we have beds in the two smaller rooms and the women’s locker room, but in the summer the smaller rooms become storage, especially the cabin master’s room that holds the sound system and speakers, plus numerous boxes of party supplies, the first aid kit etc.

The cabin master’s room. Beds are out, summer supplies are in!

Saturday was also the day of the Celebration of Life for the club’s long-time member Carsten Johansen. As some people were not able to attend it because of the work weekend, at exactly 4pm, we stopped work for a bit, and raised a toast to Carsten. Those who knew him well explained to the others just how much Clear Lake and the club meant to Carsten. One thing that people found particularly endearing was how much he liked people, and that he used to say “the best ship is friendship”. Skål Carsten!

Carsten Hughes, pouring a little Akvavit for everyone to toast Carsten Johansen.
Henrik and Lotti, securing a stray boatport to the dock. After the winter storms, there are way more loose parts on the dock than there should be…
Lunch time. Delicious pesto sandwiched and more!
Carsten, telling Jens, Henrik and Eric about the fish that got away

There is also an old shed at the back of the cabin, that barely anyone, except rodents, has dared venture into. Dave and Jesper bravely masked up and went to work, and cleaned out SO much stuff!

As the old dock parts were removed, the new dock section reached finished stage, and we got to the major task of getting it into water.

Andrew and Ryan
The team, getting ready to lift the entire new dock frame onto the trailer
The frame was then attached to the top of the flotation devices, before being towed away to the other side of the lake, where we could easily lower it into the water
And then towed across the lake back to the cabin
Captain Allen
It’s here, and it floats! Time to celebrate!
“Pop!” goes the cork!

There are still a few minor things to fix, like putting boards on top of the new dock section, and securing it in place. Plus a few clean-up things in and around the cabin. But we got SO much work done this weekend. A huge THANK YOU to Solveig, Allen and Dave for planning and putting this all together, and to Seti for feeding this hungry and rowdy bunch.

And a big heartfelt thank you to all who volunteered their time and energy:

  • Dave
  • Solveig
  • Allen
  • Seti
  • Jo
  • Henrik
  • Jeanette
  • Lotti
  • Erdmann
  • Ramesh
  • Fred
  • Lisa
  • Carsten
  • Jesper
  • Monica
  • Eric
  • Ryan
  • Andrew
  • Annelie
  • Ryan
  • Rick
  • Jens

Seriously, we could not have done it without you! Here’s to a great Clear Lake season!
(And did you all notice how high the water level is now?! The lake is refilled, and clearer than it has been in many years!)

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