Friday... The Casting
The day was beautiful. 80 degrees, mostly sunny, slight breeze. Perfect for the first step of getting Billy Jo to her final resting place.
As we pulled into the lot there was a flatbed trailer with several reef balls on it. The first big one I saw ended up being hers. Hers was front and center :)
A forklift took them off the trailer and placed them on the ground. Then it was time to mix her remains in with some concrete. I went first, pouring about a third of her in the bucket. The kids took turns stirring. Billy Jo's mom poured in the next third, and Jackie poured in the rest. We all took turns mixing her in well with the concrete. At this point they set her aside.
A bit later they poured concrete on the top of the pod. This is where we were able to decorate the reef ball as we wished. Billy Jo's cousin Melisa and Aunt Julie went to Michaels earlier in the week and got tons of stuff. It was awesome. We spent quite some time decorating it.
It was a great experience. I am so so glad we decided to do this.
Here's a slideshow on Smugmug (it will take a bit to load). If you're viewing from a mobile device it likely won't work embedded in this post, therefore click here to go to the gallery directly at SmugMug.
Today they will put a concrete floor on the reef ball and affix the "cone" containing her remains to that floor. Tomorrow is the memorial service and Monday we are at sea.
One of the Eternal Reef employees said there's already about 120 reef balls at this site and that it is THRIVING with life. He said due to using ph neutral concrete and them having a rough service, organisms will attach and begin growing within 6-8 weeks. In a year or two she should be fully coral covered. Fish move in right away :).
I'm also uploading some videos I took but this hotel wifi is slow so I'll link to those in the next post, likely later tonight. We are going to the beach for today's "off" day.