Have you wondered what the bottom of the Harbor looks like? On Monday our crew got to work firsthand with it and it wasn't pretty.
Our job started by loading our class on to the Privateer, which was waiting for us out by one of our Moorings. This was done by using "Diablo," a small wooden boat propelled by a simple outboard engine.
We took three trips to get the whole group on board and quickly got to work. As the temporary crew captain I started assigning jobs. Lisa and Mohammed on the crane whips, port and starboard, Maya on the crane controls, and with Gino and Michael keeping the deck clear of any hazards.
Our job started as we prepped to raise one of our moorings. Lisa and Mohammed would hook on the crane whips as Maya lowered them and then guided the rising mooring and chain as it rose from the water. This is where we got to see what the Harbor was like down below. As the mushroom anchor emerged from the water it carried with it a massive mound of thick black jell-o-like goo from the riverbed. We weren't about to place all that sludge on deck so we began hosing it down to remove the pile of black gunk.
The job was taking a bit of time and one of my instructors thought of an interesting way to speed things up... he told me that we needed to hurry up and that I should use my hands to push the sludge off the anchor. I wasn't quite eager to follow his suggestion, but I still walked to the stern and stuck my hands into the muck.
....Of course then I realized that he had simply wanted to see my face when I touched the gooey mass. Too late! I had already started working on the pile. Though it was gross, this new method was quite effective and I continued till it was clean. It was a messy day, but still fun. By the time we were finished my hands were black with the sludge. Luckily, Michael was standing by with the hose, though I couldn't get the smell out of my nose for hours.