An aspiring waterman’s journal. This blog journal will encompass my outdoor ocean experiences for the month of June 2020. I’m a commercial fisherman, spear fisherman, and surfer. These are my stories. Enjoy.
Day 1: Maintenance
May 23rd, 5:45am, Rye Harbor. Today marks the latest start of my summer season that I have ever experienced. The Covid pandemic earlier this May caused the fish market demand to drop. May usually brings a fruitful catch for the F/V Taylor Mae down in Gloucester MA.
It also happens to be my 21st birthday; friends’ seem to wonder why for the last four years why I have chosen to work on this day. I simply reply “Ain’t work if you’re having fun.” I sincerely do, I live for the early mornings, the pursuit of the catch, and the pure feeling of heat/labor exhaustion.
When I pulled up to the harbor the horizon was lighting up. Captain Savage and I set out on a 12ft skiff “the bottom feeder 2” out to the F/V Taylor Mae’s mooring. The tide was ripping out, perfect timing for today’s maintenance job.
Fresh coat on the hull.
Every year commercial vessels do a maintenance cleaning of the ships hull. The hull of a boat is primarily the only part of a ship that is in constant contact with the water. This constant contact breeds sea-life to take advantage. Species such as moss and barnacles secrete themselves and take advantage of the constant water flow that allows them trap nutrients (barnacles), or sunlight (moss weed).
The issue with these hitchhikers is that they slow the speed of a boat a considerable amount, which in turn makes one spend more on gas for daily trips ect. To fix this issue, annual cleanings are required.
We first brought the F/V Taylor Mae along the shoreline of the harbor, across from the pier. Three large Posts reside along his shoreline specifically for caring out the repaint of the hull.
The water was at 3.5ft depth, we secured the boat to the posts and waited for the tide to completely drop. At this point the boat’s completely out of the water resting against those posts. After removing the stones surrounding the edge of the hull the boat’s completely exposed and ready to paint.
Painting the Hull step by Step –
- Power wash
- Paint !
Pictured above is a bow view of the Taylor Mae’s dirty hull prior to a cleaning. The tide had just lowered enough to have it completely exposed.
As mentioned in the list above the process begins by bleaching the entire area of the hull. The bleach removes the majority of moss and begins the process of un-secreting the barnacles.
The Boat is then power washed and the barnacles moss and yes some of the marine paint fly’s off. Tape is then put along the white border pictured above to make sure paint lines stay clean & straight.
After that begins the hard work. Painting every square inch of the hull, and then replacing metal discs that reside on the crop to prevent erosion. No spots can be missed and no lines crossed. Savage prefers marine green color as it makes an appealing reflection effect on a sunny day.
That there above is the finished product at noon just before the high tide at 2:30pm. Solid first day, just another step for getting ready for the season opening June 1st .
Links of concern:
For this week’s link I’ve decided to share with you a video produced by the son of RI commercial fisherman who enlightened his local community about the supply chain problems within the fishing industry that began to arise with the pandemic
Thanks for reading, see you guys later this week for some more interesting stories and content !