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behind the scenes

July 23 2016 at 5:40 PM

BP  (Login FTG2)
Forum Member

There is so much work going on behind the scenes it is hard to believe. Not only on work weeks but throughout the entire year. Volunteers drop by when they have the time to pitch in. Small jobs to large jobs are accomplished without much fanfare. Simple jobs like changing bad light bulbs or the never ending painting projects are no sooner finished than another project awaits.

Some jobs require expert skills that the ship would have to spend thousands on to get done are quietly accomplished by our volunteers whose only pay is satisfaction. You probably saw the gigantic job of installing the new ORCA system that took several work weeks. Or, the new marine generator project where the old one had to be removed and the new one put in place. At first you would look at the units sitting on the tank deck and then look at where they had to go and just shake your head and think it could never be done.

Long after work week, volunteers continue to crawl around below decks, under and on top of machinery running plumbing, cables, electrical panels and wiring. Often taking a break long enough to read a manual to try to figure out how in the heck do we do this anyway?
Often it is not the right tool for the right job, but any tool you can find aboard that is close enough to do the job. It does not help when Jonathan takes your tools and hides them somewhere else making you have to go look for them.

We are the example of "jack of all trades, and master of some". A plumber one day, and electrician the next.

Did you know the ship also is a training facility? Student welders come aboard with instructors to learn the fine points of their craft. Did you know they have to learn the difference between working with new steel and old steel? They get on the job training and experience and the ship benefits as well. The ship also utilizes persons doing community service. They can help in many ways and actually look forward to working on the ship. Cadets from Crane Navy Station often come to the ship for their summer camp training and a chance to work on a part of Navy history.

John Engstrom never runs out of projects and if he can't find someone to do a job, he does it himself.

From the outside the ship looks so peaceful alongside the dock while below decks may be a scurry of activity going on.
Many Many thanks to all our volunteers. We could not and can not make it without you.

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