As happens our ferry needed some attention. There was a " groaning " noise coming out of one of the four Guide modules. After three inspections it was decided that the module needed replacing. It had to be done soon as the same chain had twisted. ( this could be seen by the wear on the gypsy wheel ). The twist was between the gypsy wheel and the Island end of the chain and was putting unsustainable strain on the wheel. What Ian did not know was how many twists. It turned out to be two and had to be "unwound " twice by unhooking the chain, straightening it and re hocking. So Ian Lewis had to organise a day he could get all the tradesmen together at the one time . Ian tells us that it takes him more than one day to put the operation together. Organise all the tradies, all the equipment, all the ferry staff for Ugly Betty, the Barge ( In case of emergency ) .Phone calls back and forth all day long Then advise all the media , order signs for both side of the Straits to advise of the outage. As it turned out, the operations ran as smoothly as clock work. Apart form the double twist in the chain all was as expected. The old guide module came out. A roller had not ceased ( a possibility ) but one roller's nylon bush had collapsed so metal was on metal and that caused the " groan ". Ian and the father and son team of Curtis Engineering think that a piece of debris might have found it's way into the nylon bush which caused the bush to wear out.
The people involved in this operation : The diving team: Consists of 3 men.
One diver, one stand by diver who acts as a "gofer" for the team, and one guard who NEVER leaves the motorized unit that supplies air to the diver. He is also in constant radio communication with him. Ian sourced this team from Melbourne. This was a team he had not used before. He did this so he would have a second team with experience if needed sometime in the future.
The " Curtis team "
This father and son team has been looking after aspects of ferry for over 5 years and their experience is invaluable. They do the engineering maintenance and repairs. Max ( the father of the team ) explains that they hold a spare guide module in their workrooms. They recondition the module themselves and personally make all the parts as required. Max explains that pulling the guides apart after they had been " working " under water for some time is hard physical work. This is always the first task before they can even begin to replace or repair parts. They take great pride in their work and it can be seen by comparing the reconditioned modules with the "old" ones.
One Crane and one Grader with their own operators
The barge and one operator.
Ugly Betty team :
Last but not least. Ian has a team of two to assist us crossing the Straits . Ian himself is available if required.