Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Today was a work day on the boat. We installed a new outdrive (the part behind the boat with the prop that actually goes in the water) on the boat. The last one was probably 10-15 years old and we fixed it up a few weeks back to get by, but it was time to pick up a new one. Now we'll go through the old one and get it ready for storage in case I ever need to pull the new one - hopefully the new one will last me years without glitches, but it's always handy to have a backup that can be changed out quickly. Tomorrow we're hopefully replacing the water pump and then we'll have replaced virtually everything mechanical in the last year. As I was told by an Oceanic dive gear rep when I picked up the boat, "B-O-A-T stands for bust out another thou". It's never ending, we replaced the engine block last fall and the water pump is about the last old part left. This all sounds scarey, but any boat person knows the drill. It's all part of owning a boat. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have a few years before more major work.
About the title of this post, it looks like my primary employee will be heading back to the mainland soon, so I'll be hiring again - I thought I might throw it out there since in never hurts to let people know you're in the market for help. In my case, since I'm a six pack boat with no retail store, I'm looking for someone with a minimum of a DM certification, with preferrably an Instructor certification and Captain's license. I know once I put out an ad in the local paper, I'll get bombarded by calls (OK, 6 or 8 anyway) from the mainland from people who would "love to work on a boat". Unfortunately it doesn't work that way, prospective dive employees need to have at least some professional dive credentials and local knowlege is fairly important. In general I end up hiring someone I already know and have worked with over the years. There's a fair amount of job movement within the local diving community and it's kind of tough for a new person to break in and get steady work, but sometimes a newcomer will find a niche. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming weeks.
The picture above is a close-up of the business end of a Crown of Thorns Starfish. These guys are big green spikey star. Those spikes are not to be messed with. They contain a venom that can be very painful, even to the point of splitting your skin open and leaving a quarter sized wound that can take months to heal. I've met several people who've touched them and said they had spots that took years to clear up. It can be like a very bad spider bite. You don't want to touch the spikes on these guys, even with gloves on as they'll go right through a glove. It's one of the few "dangerous" critters we have here, but injuries are usually the fault of the diver. Look, don't touch, and they're harmless.