It was a particularly difficult year for piling maintenance at BYC. Warm weather and very unusually high water combined to wreak more mischief than usual on the pilings.
The procedure usually follows a time-honoured routine. First, people auger out holes around the frozen pilings, which always lift over the winter as the water rises. (The newer metal pilings with sliding collars don't do this, but we still have lots of the older wooden ones around.)
With the water drill sluicing out the old piling hole while two people bounce in unison on the piling clamps, which other people are rocking in a rotatory manner, the pile falls back into its hole. Usually it begins to inch down, then might hesitate for a while (held up at a layer or two of "hardpan"), then suddenly it will finish its descent in one swell foop, ending up with the clamps (and the boots of the guys on the clamps) just barely above the surface of the water, as it reseats itself in its old hole.
Cement weights are hung on the pilings just for an hour or so, until the muck settles in around them enough to hold the pilings down.
Then, people come by every day to chisel out whatever ice has re-frozen in the holes around the pilings, and shovel out the ice fragments with a sieve-shovel.
The HarbourMaster or designate tries to time this so that we still have solid ice to work on - it's much more difficult later from the barge - but so that within a week or so the ice has broken up enough that the pilings will thereafter stay put. This is usually mid-March (but not this year: late February!).
I'm pleased to present some photos of the 2006 Pile Driving, and a few others made that same morning.