Friday, January 29, 2010

1/29 - and you think you have a tough job?

I've had the pleasure lately of being the transport boat for a few of the preliminary surveying duties for the rebuilding of the Sister's Creek Bridge on Hecksher Drive. Can ya believe it? The stimulus package has actually trickled down to a fishing guide.....well it's about time!!

Yes, I do just about any "boat for hire, with Captain" duty there is, out there. I do leisurely river tours, burials at sea, I can legally be a tow boat, I've had boy friends propose to their girlfriends on Bird Island in Nassua Sound after taking them there. I've transported survey crews into distant shallow waters, for depth measurements, you name it.  It's why I own the boat I have. A bump into a concrete piling, or crushing some barnacles with the bow of the boat, or pulling up on a rocky shoreline doesn't mean I'm having to run to the fiberglass repair shop. We in the alloy boat world call it, earning a merit badge. And in 3-1/2 years of ownership. I have my share of merit badges so far.

Today, was one of those days under the Sisters Creek bridge. One of many so far. But, today was different.
I had a commercial diver aboard...a couple of them.

When you think your job is a tough, as you sit in the air conditioned office or heated cubical. Think about what this fella did, for a second.

The water temp was 53 on the first of the incoming tide. Yes, the water was moving a decent clip, and the pilings were covered in razor blades that resemble dead barnacles and oysters. I had to hold the boat in one position, as he went over and then down, to survey the piling, all the way to the bottom.....all the while, he had a line connected to him, with Chris the contractor holding it. I'm so surprised how well my boat can just sit in the current and wind without getting all wacky and moving around alot. It has a predictable movement. Holding position under the bridge with a guy on a line...not something I do every day. But it was fun, sort of. In it's own way.
Myself, like many people, I'm sure have not really fished around the Sisters creek bridge much. Yeah, I have float rigged it a few times over on the east end, and even caught a few small trout, many moons ago. But after spending so much time in the last few months under the bridge. With the help of all the guys I've had aboard, plus a diver. I should be fishing it more! The structure and  holes under that 55 year old bridge are, unbelievable. Plus, I now know all the depths and ever drop off, too! 

Even though the diver had a wet suit on, he said, "It's not so cold. At least it doesn't feel that cold anymore after my face went numb!"  

These guys are usually in a dive helmet. With the air pumped into it. Wearing a sort of "diving armor", steel toed boots, and protective gloves, and lots of weight belts. So getting back into the spider-man suit and a mask with a vest full of tanks was so...1990's, for them. But a job had to be done and these guys bid on doing it. They'll be doing much more when construction begins in the spring. 's just not all, "fishing and games!"