Wiggle your toes and rock your heels and soon you will be standing ankle deep or more in the wet sand.
It's a phenomenon of the hydraulics of sand and the water that constantly moves it around.
Likewise, it's the same principle used by the employees at Texas Docks and Decks, the company that is rebuilding the damaged portion of Charlie's Pasture Pier on the ship channel in Port Aransas.
A crew composed of Adam Black, Jason Bursby, Ben Jacoel and designer Shawn Lindial of Texas Docks and Decks were on site by Friday, Oct. 10, to begin repairs to the pier.
Black was in the water, and was in charge of swimming a large pylon from the shore to the first section of the pier to be reinforced and repaired.
After pumping water into a hole in the ship channel bottom to dig a hole adjacent to an existing pylon, the crew of the barge "Bigfoot" used a boom and a rope to pull the pylon into place.
The seawater that was pumped into the hole dug out the sand to allow the pylon to eventually be driven about 8 feet into its final resting place, thus the principle of the heels and toes wiggling on the beach.
Bursby then held onto a rope and climbed to a position where he stood on top of the pylon.
Then, at intervals, he would leap into the air and land with both feet in the middle of the pylon, driving it steadily into the ground to reinforce the pier.
Texas Docks and Decks crews by Monday, Oct. 13, had set eight of the 12 pylons that will reinforce the pier and allow for new decking and railings to be installed.
"This will be about a three-week job," Lindial said. "We hope to be done by the end of October."
Normally, the dock building crew would have pulled out the old pylons and replaced them with the new ones, but doubling up on them should serve to reinforce the popular fishing pier against future wave damage from passing ships.
"We're going back with a sturdier design, which is costing more money," said Port Aransas City Manager Michael Kovacs.
The Corpus Christi-based company bid $19,900 for the labor portion of a contract to rebuild the popular fishing pier that was heavily damaged by a ship's wake on January 16, which caused the pier to be closed to the public with a section of its decking nearest the bulkhead missing. A second wake wave hit it in March, causing more damage.
City hall has since then been inundated with telephone calls about repairing and reopening the pier.
"There is a lot of interest in that pier. Just last week we went through a period where four people within five hours inquired about the pier," Kovacs said.
The city manager will brief the city council on progress on the pier at its regular meeting at 5 p.m. today, Oct. 16.
Kovacs said the city will pay about $11,500 for materials for rebuilding the pier.
"In the future the city will do an up front repair and go after folks later," Kovacs said regarding the wrestling match that ensued after the ships damaged the pier with their excessive wakes.
"Part of the complication was that we also talked to our insurance company, which decided it wouldn't cover the damages," Kovacs said.
"It's been an education in insurance companies, lawyers and maritime law, that's for sure. But we're glad to put it back into service," he said.