Having a job is something I always wanted, but more importantly I wanted a job I know I would be familiar with so I took a paid internship with my co-teacher, Luis Melendez in the Work Based-Learning program. The benefit of me joining this program is all the work I would be tasked to do, I was already well trained and prepared to execute them properly. Throughout my time working with Luis and 3 fellow classmates of mine, I had one of the best experiences working in my entire life. It was the simple connection and bond I made between me and my co-workers. They went from total strangers that I passed by everyday in school, to people I would vouch for any day of the week. The Work Based-Learning Program is one I would always go back to.
This is a short video of me supervising the bow of the one of Water Taxi’s boats while it is open for tourist so they can take pictures of and with the Statue of Liberty. Before you open up the doors for the bow you have to go out and make sure everything is stowed away properly and there would be no harm to the people. When that is checked you, take a look at the captain and give him a thumbs up and if he gives you a thumbs up as well then you are good to let the people out. While you are out there you have to keep an eye out for people standing on the railings and/or standing on the bits , if so ask them to get down and assure them that it is not safe to do that. While checking for safety hazards, you can help the passengers with pictures and any questions they might have until it is time to head back in. Once everybody is back inside, then take another look at the captain and signal that it is all clear for him to pick up the speed with another thumbs up.
August 11 2017 was the return of SUNY Maritime training ship Empire State. The Empire State went on its annual summer voyage with hundreds of students to receive training. August 11 was also one of the days I came for my internship at the college water front building. Terence and I walked inside the campus and were so surprised. There were so many parents ready to sunrise their child and give them a warm welcome back. Terence and I proceeded inside the water front building. Rob the waterfront director at SUNY maritime immediately offered us breakfast and told us what the plan for today was. On the agenda it was to refuel all the small boats and then go check out the sail boats and make sure they are still on the moorings and not floating away. In addition to that we were told that we would be catching the lines for Empire State.
After we finished our breakfast we did what rob told us to do. As we were coming back in from checking on the sailboats we got a radio call from Rob telling us to come back in immediately come in. Our initial Thoughts were asking each other if we did anything wrong. Webbing thought we did everything fine. We docked the boat and ran up stairs to Rob. Rob informed us that we will be each be taking our own boat with passengers on it to go check out Empire State. Rob told Terence to grab one of the Boston whalers and he told me to grab the red safety boat. We went down stairs and prepared to depart. Rob came down with the passengers who were all parents of students on the training ship. But something was wrong. Rob did not have his personal flotation device on. He told us that he wasn’t coming and this was all up to us. I dropped my lines, Rob gave us a kick off the dock and we were off. We did a quick circle around the ship, took some pictures for about 15 minutes, and we headed back in.
The next part of the day was the best part; catching the ships lines. In order to catch the ships line we needed to have the proper equipment. We needed helmets and gloves. We were told where all the lines would be placed. A couple minutes went by and the time has finally come. The captain on the radio told us our commands and we were ready. They sent us the stern line by throwing a monkey’s fist which we had to pull in to get the eye of the line on the cleat. “Stern line on” was what the guy said on the radio and our job was done.
After the ship tied up we greeted all of the students coming out. One of the students being a Harbor school alumni, Malachi. We gave him a quick round of applause, a handshake, and he left. That was such a great day at SUNY Maritime.
This right here ladies and gentlemen is me (Bri) doing a typical hourly deckhand engine check at New York Water Taxi. Yes, every single hour one of the two deckhands have to go down to the engine room and make sure there are no signs of anything wrong. So after you come down the ladder with gloves on your hands and ear protection on (the picture to the right was a pre-underway engine room check therefore the engine wasn’t running) you take a look around. Do you see anything wrong? Do you smell anything out of the ordinary? Do you hear something weird? After you do that and everything is secured , make sure all the valves are all the right way especially for the manifold system and fire pump set up. If you see something that is alarming and could cause harm then let the captain know right away, if everything is well then still let the captain know the condition and log that into the book.
Where do I start?
Freshman year: I started waterfront , that was the best choice I have ever made in my life so far. We worked on the boats at that time but other times we went on class trips; one trip was to Red hook, Brooklyn. That is where Water Taxi’s Homeport is; that day we were given a chance to go on their small and large boats as well as the Shark boat.
Sophomore year: A select few got a chance to go on one of the Water Taxi boats to talk to the captain, Juana Garcia. That alone was a big opportunity considering she is the first female captain at Water Taxi so I had many questions. After everybody left I was still their talking to Juana and the deckhands, I started to question what I wanted to do in future.
Junior year: As a intern at waterfront, my connections branched out in a lot of different directions. I found myself being involved with Water Taxi more often. The fact that I knew a lot of people that worked there helped tremendously. I knew then that Water Taxi was the perfect place for a stepping stone into the Maritime Industry.
Senior year: Looking back at it now , its mind boggling that I came this far. The summer of becoming a senior, I started actually working for Water Taxi. The vibe there is so family like . They make me feel included with everything and now that I’m checked off, I get to put my own mark on Water Taxi, and hopefully help inspire a young teenager just like I was .
On May 30, the sophomores and juniors of the Vessel Ops program took an interview for a CTE summer internship involving working on the water at the MAST center. This internship would involve working on the docks or underway on a boat. While were underway we will capture more experiences and learn more tools, helping us become more equipped for the future. We get paid $11 or more an hour, 25 hours a week, for 6 weeks. I plan on using the money to save for college tuition in 2 years. I look forward to this internship, learning new methods of functioning on the water, and exploring new waters.
When I first sat down with Internship Coordinator Estefany Carmona, I was very nervous but I felt quiet prepared. I knew I was very hard working and I felt this job was meant to be mine. I gathered all the information nesscessary and I felt as if nothing could go wrong. When I finally met with her, I was asked questions that I never thought were gonna mean something to someone. She asked me about what I do in my classroom and what I took away from it. I wish I had prepared for her questions ahead of time. For example, she asked me what was a strength and a weakness of mine. I felt as if my interview went really well and it couldn’t have gone any better.
April 28th: Journal Entry #3
May 5th: Journal Entry #4
Last Monday, when we had no school, all the vessel ops students were invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Citywide Ferry Service. You might be wondering what Citywide Ferry Service is; it is a new ferry service that will provide a new mode of transportation for New Yorkers starting the Summer of 2017. The cost for riding the Ferry will be the same as a metro card swipe. It’ll open up our waterfront for anyone in the city, simultaneously raising awareness for the environment.
The New York Harbor School was invited to attend the ceremony. Students from the sophomore, junior, and senior years came to this important ceremony. Many Harbor alumni who are still involved in the waterfront attended as well. By this time next year, we will have harbor kids in internships on those ferries.