(This blog is about my experiences working and living aboard a 220’ treasure hunting ship, the M/V Sea Hunter)
In the past year 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.
We first became aware of Joseph Francis Xavia Maloney, Jr. because of the constant noise we heard early each and every morning. Tied up to the East Boston dock next to the M/V Sea Hunter, was a boat that Joe worked on. I don’t know exactly what he was doing, but it involved using a tool that made a continuous droning noise. Whenever any of the crew passed by Joe at work, he would always wave hello and ask how things were going. Joe is an easy going type with bright blue eyes and a solid body from years of working out. Throughout the entire spring of 2012, we observed how dedicated Joe was to his work. Even though it wasn’t his boat he gave 100% each and every day.
It was approximately that time last year when Greg decided we needed another captain to run the M/V Son Worshipper (Sub Sea’s 100’ ship) when he wasn’t able to. Knowing Joe held a captain’s license and that his current position wasn’t secure, Capt. Esper considered asking him if he would like to come to work for SSR. We had learned he had years of experience on the water. He had been running boats, ferries, tugs, crew boats and everything in between. Joe told us his specialty is the “unusual”. We all agreed he would be a good fit, so when offered the position we were happy when he accepted. He now had the opportunity to again captain a boat and be part of the Sea Hunter’s crew.
It didn’t take long to realize that Joe was truly a hard worker who did whatever was needed on either ship. He immediately went aboard the Son Worshipper and made a list of things he wanted to improve or accomplish. With list in hand, he and a few others set to work and didn’t stop until he was satisfied. Not only did they repair some mechanical problems but deep cleaned every nook and cranny and eventually repainted the boat. The Son Worshipper was running great and looking her best.
When the time came to head to the Port Nicholson site, Joe and his crew loaded the Son Worshipper and followed behind the Sea Hunter. Once at the site, the plan was to hook up to the buoy and then raft up the Son Worshipper to the starboard side of the Sea Hunter. Unfortunately we hit some rough weather which caused some pretty good size swells. This situation made it unsafe for the Son Worshipper as each wave caused it to bang up against the Sea Hunter. It was decided to unhook and to get a fair distance away from one another. For the next few days we observed Joe’s boat handling skills. He kept the Son Worshipper at a safe distance away while he and his crew were being plummeted with big waves. We spoke often on the ship’s radio and he never once complained, it was always the same response; that things were great, no problems. We definitely learned on that trip that indeed, Joe was an excellent boat handler.
The thing I noticed most about Joe was not only his dedication to work, but in everything he did he gave his full attention. Whether it was his commitment to a specific job he was doing, working out, eating healthy or taking care of his dogs and home, it was done to perfection. His room on the ship is no doubt the cleanest and most organized. Being the one responsible for the cleaning of the common areas, I really appreciated that (and secretly wished the rest of the crew were that way).
After almost a year, it’s nice to see the enthusiasm still there each and every day he shows up for work. Joe loves that each day is different and that keeps him on his toes. When Capt. Esper is not available or needs an extra pair of hands, he can count on Joe to help navigate, position the ship or help with the crew. Though Joe gives it his all each day aboard the ship, he feels the best is yet to come. If he could have his dream come true, it would be to drive a freight train as he loves the sound of their engines. But until that happens, he will continue to enjoy running both the Son Worshipper and the Sea Hunter. After all, the engines on the Sea Hunter sound almost like a freight train.