With limited roadways leading to the numerous shoreline cabin areas in our region, a barge to move building materials would be something that could be used forever. We searched around but there aren’t any barge type vessels worthy of salvage so the only option was to build one. Something none of us have ever done before. The joke on set was this project was well above any of our pay scales. I think finding the 6” sheet foam was what triggered the idea to start by building two pontoons and joining them together with a motor in the center. We weren’t sure how well it would float until we got it in the water. Glad it actually worked.
The idea of finding a real purpose for the barge became clear when we heard the people of Mud Lake needed help just to move out waterlogged fridges, stoves, mattresses, etc, which was a result of a massive spring flood. With no roads into Mud Lake the only way to get there is, to cross the Churchill River from lower Happy Valley, and then up into the channel which leads to the community. The barge was not only useful to bring garbage out but also to bring new building materials in. The only other option is to pull lumber across the river in the winter by snowmobile and komatik. We were all very happy that this particular project was chosen as an episode as we wanted to shed light, not only on the hardships faced by the people of Mud Lake, but all Labrador communities in general. Nakummek! (thank you all for watching)
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