Helping The Dirty Hands Gang

Overfalls Lightship

Did you know Lewes has a gang?  We canceled the weekly beach clean up because access was closed on the beaches and quite frankly most of the trash has been swept away or in the dunes.  Don Gansauer asked me to bring some volunteers if possible to help the Dirty Hands Gang.  These folks maintain the Overfalls Lightship in Lewes, Delaware located in Canalfront park..  Today they needed help securing the ship in case we have more issues than expected with Hurricane Florence.  Peggy Ranieri and Lewes McCullough came to help today.  

  The Lewes canal is the best place for a boat in bad weather,  however if the water rises too high it can be a serious issue for the Overfalls Lightship and other boats.  Not just rising water but constant rain that can get into the stacks and air vents.  We covered these up and helped secure extra lines.  

Don Gansauer getting ready to secure a line

Don Gansauer … “Usually all we do is chip and scrap paint, and paint all of the time.  I have been helping these guys for 3 years but some of them here today have been doing this for 20 years.”   Peggy mentioned how much she likes to paint, I hope these boys like purple.  

We got the name Dirty Hands Gang when I came home one day and my wife looked at me and said you have to change in the garage from now on.” a volunteer told me today.  The boys had a lot of stories to tell today it was fun helping and talking to them. By the way those ropes are heavy as hell.  Now I know why the guys I know who work on ships say it is some tough work.  All we did is put up a few lines, but it was some heavy work.  It was also the first time I threw a monkey fist to fix a line to a ship.           

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Overfalls Lightship in tow on the Lewes Canal

 I always look at the Overfalls Lightship and even helped tow her out of the Lewes canal, but I have never been on board.  It is probably the most photographed ship in Lewes.  There is some really cool history on that ship.  I am looking forward to taking a full tour next week after we unsecure her once hurricane Florence effects subside.  If you would like to volunteer to be part of the Dirty Hands Gang just show up Tuesday mornings at 8 to 8:30 AM.  “If we stay long enough they feed us a sandwich” a volunteer told me … “We are always looking for volunteers.” 

We will be helping the Dirty Hands Gang on Tuesdays and I look forward to telling you all about the Overfalls Lightship as I learn more about her and the boy’s stories.  

Fish On!

Rich King 

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