Sunday, May 23, 2010
Maritime Field School Week 1
Week 1 (May 17, 2010 to May 21, 2010)
By Thomas Kirkland
The first week of fieldwork started on Monday with a combined orientation for the Arcadia, Molino, and Nautical students, supervisors, and field directors.
We began to work on the barge on Tuesday. My group took a tour of the EP1 (Emanuel Point 1) ballast pile, while other groups took a tor of the EPII (Emanuel Point II) site.
On Wednesday, dredging operations began to remove the “fluff” or overburden from the stern unit. This was my first time using the dredge equipment, which includes a dredge head and two hoses. I found it to be an interesting process. In the unit we felt the gudgeon, which is a construction component associated with the stern portion of vessels. I just wish I could have seen it. While the visibility was good above the bottom for Pensacola Bay, once we hit the bottom it clouded up quickly.
On Thursday, we split into groups and one group went to the B-Street Schooner site and removed old units and baseline, while the other group stayed on the barge above EPII and did the same for the first part of the morning. Aleks and I worked in the amidships unit on the third rotation with the dredge and began to feel lead sheathing and wood. Lead sheathing was used on the outside of sailing vessels to prevent damage from teredo or ship worms on voyages.
On Friday, we practiced rescue scenarios lead by one of the graduate supervisors, Whitney Anderson. She first instructed us where the life vests and fire extinguishers were located on all of our vessels. Then, she taught us the proper procedure for 'Mayday' calls, in case of an emergency. Finally, we went through three different rescue scenarios: an unconscious, breathing diver; a breathing, conscious individual: a snorkeler, who had gone into anaphylactic shock after being stung by a jellyfish; and finally an unconscious, non-breathing diver.
This is a whole new environment underwater for most of us, but I think we are all adapting quickly and enjoying ourselves. As one of my class mates said “This is what we do all these classes for, sometimes we forget that we are studying something so interesting all the times we sit in class.”