I started by gathering up some tools, the two extra buoyancy buckets, and an empty bucket, and pulled it out of the workshop (remember, it was already sitting on my cart):
I also attached a couple of bungee cords to the cart, to make sure it wouldn’t slide around too much:
I added a couple of eye rings to attach the anchor cord:
Then I dragged it all to the pond, the long way around the veggie garden (as it was too wide to fit down the most direct path). I took a breather halfway there:
Near the edge of the pond:
I then put on my waders, and lowered it — cart and all — down the bank and into the water:
You can also see the anchor cord in that picture, a plastic-wrapped wire with spring clips on the ends (actually a dog tie-out cord, that I bought for this purpose). I also added a short piece of pool noodle to the cord, so it’d float if unhooked, though I later decided it was ugly and removed it; I can re-add it if and when I need to unhook it.
As I got deeper, it floated off the cart:
Floating high out of the water, just as expected:
I then inserted those two extra buoyancy buckets under the island, and used the empty bucket to add some water to the island to test weighing it down a bit.
I moved it over to near the duck house, and hitched the anchor cord to it temporarily:
Then I got out of the waders, and went and got a small wheelbarrow load of dirt:
Then a second larger load of dirt:
It was then floating lower with the weight of the dirt; just about the desired level:
Next, I dug up some of the grasses that grow like weeds next to the pond, and tossed them onto the island, with a larger one in the center:
The island could be a little lower, but I wanted to err on the side of a bit higher, to allow for the dirt to get saturated. I might add more later, once I see how it stabilizes.
Then back into the waders and into the pond, where I poked the grasses into the dirt:
The grasses are pretty dormant at present, and some may not survive the transplant, but hopefully some will. They’re pretty hardy. I can always add more later.
That done, I moved the island to the desired position, near the center of the pond, and anchored it by stringing the anchor wire through a couple of cinderblocks, that are sitting on some spare pond liner (to protect the pond floor):
Here are some more pictures of the island in position:
It’ll probably take the ducks a few days to get used to it there. Hopefully it won’t freak them out as much as the upturned boat did (which I have moved to the pond bank for now). It looks like it fits much more than that did.
My waders seems to have sprung a leak around my knee; I could feel cold water seeping in, and the leg of my work overalls and sock was wet. I guess I need to try to patch it, or buy a new one:
That concludes the duck island project, at least for now. It may get tweaks over time. I hope the ducks like it, once they get used to it being there. It was a fun little project, started almost on a whim, and mostly using materials I already had on hand.