Saturday, June 11, 2016
What the Normal Visitor Does Not See
Week two was spent within the maintenance division of the park service. The group of guys I was with were very welcoming and eager to get me out there and teach me things I didn’t know before this week. Some of the things I learned this week were how to replace the floor when it is rotting away, how to put in a new front and rear door, and how to fix the fiberglass on a boat. They had me helping them wherever I could and if I didn’t know how to do something they made sure teach me the best they could.
My big project of the week was fixing the boat and getting the top of it ready for some new canvas. The boat had sat out of the water for a while and the canvas on top of the boat had worn out and torn off. With the seasonal workers coming back and the need for boats more now than in the past couple months, one of the maintenance guys and I were tasked with taking off the GPS, radar, and all the lights that were on top of the boat for the new canvas to get fitted properly. All of the bolts were corroded due to the salt water so this task was not as easy as expected. After hours and hours of trying to get the bolts loosened up there were then wires you had to either cut (in the case of the lights) or had to find a way to disconnect and get out of the way (in the case of the GPS and the radar). When we finished with this we then had to repair the side of the boat which had been hit up against the dock. The hole in the boat was right under the rub rail and was about a foot long. After taking off the rub rail foam had to be put inside of the hole to fill the area and then we placed a patch with epoxy coated over it on the foam. After this we let it dry for a day and placed the rub rail back onto it.
The maintenance guys are more than just the cleaning crew that keeps the bathrooms nice, during the week they had every type of job from the cleaning to fixing boat motors so that the law enforcement guys could get around. They fixed boardwalks so that the visitors didn’t trip and hurt themselves. They were fixing park housing and replacing walls, doors, and floors so that the new seasonal workers could move in. During all of this they were still helping out visitors when asked questions about the park or they gave out directions when asked where places are. They are a very resourceful group always trying to reuse when they can or fix rather than replace.
Week two was hard work but very rewarding, I am with resource management next week.