(This blog is about my experiences working and living aboard a 220’ treasure hunting ship, the M/V Sea Hunter)
In the past year or so we have hired two additional crew members. Though both have different backgrounds, skills and experiences, they have both proven themselves and have become important members aboard the M/V Sea Hunter.
Zachary J Cox (Zach) was standing on the waterfront in Portland, Maine when he looked across the water and spotted an impressive but unfamiliar ship. As he watched the ship slowly make its way to the dock he took note of its name proudly printed on the stern, the M/V Sea Hunter. It was a long shot, but he was determined to learn about it and possibly find a position on board.
As it turned out, we were looking for another deckhand, and after interviewing Zack it was decided to give him a shot. Zach has always loved the ocean and anything to do with it. He attended The Landing School of Boat Building in Kennebunk, ME and also took classes at Southern Maine Community College in Oceanography. He has experience working on lobster boats in Maine.
His responsibilities as deckhand changes depending on whether the ship is docked or at sea. While at dock, Zach helps to maintain both the interior and exterior upkeep of the ship. This includes scraping, painting and organizing tools. He may be asked to help on a project one of the senior crew is working on. When the ship leaves dock his responsibilities shift. Once we arrive at the Port Nicholson site, he along with a few other deckhands head towards the stern of the ship where they proceed to hook up to the mooring buoy. This can sometimes be done on the first try, but mostly it takes a few tries. When the ship is finally in position and the mooring cable is paid out for correct positioning, it is time to deploy the ROV (remote operating vehicle). Zach will assist Cody in zip tying the tether to the down cable on the tugger until it reaches the Port Nicholson with the rov. Then it’s look out and wait time until they are done flying the rov. Zach also takes turn with the rest of the crew doing night watch while others are asleep.
Capt. Gary Esper got to see firsthand some of the boat building skills Zach learned while at school. Gary had purchased an older 17’ boat and kept it on the pier next to the Sea Hunter. On his off time he would be seen working on the engine getting it ready to cruise around the bay. Zach noticed it was in need of some cosmetic work and offered his services. There were holes that had rusted out where metal snaps had been attached. He took his off time and worked on filling and buffing those areas that needed it. When he was through you could barely tell they were ever there, it looked great! He definitely takes pride in his work and personal things. If you walk in to his room on the ship, this is what you will find; bed neatly made, clothes folded in the drawer or hung up and shoes neatly positioned in the corner. From my eyes that is a beautiful site. If only some of the others would take notice, but then again, they all have their strong points. Better to have a few neat freaks than none at all.