Everyone arrives at the site between 6 and 7 in the morning. For the workers coming from Mobile that means being on a company van which leaves the office at 6 sharp. First things first, everyone begins to lather up with sunscreen and chap-stick, as well as hydrating with water and Gatorade. We are supposed to take in one bottle of Gatorade for every four bottles of water every couple of hours. Sounds like a lot but you do need it. These are essentials for a days work. At 7 AM, we have our daily safety meeting and go over our jobs for the day. Crews are assigned by 8 AM.
We are usually on the water headed to where we are needed by 8 AM. My boat is the slowest and travel time can be over an hour. No boat travels alone. There are always at least two or more boats together. We work for as long as we can, but try to be back at the site in time for an enjoyable catered lunch at noon. By 2 PM, we are back out on the boats to finish any work or start at a new place.
Everyone attempts to be back by 5 PM to prepare for the next day, which includes refueling and resupplying boats after they have been pulled out of the water. Safety is very important to all of us. Any problems found with the boats, etc. are passed along to the appropriate supervisors or safety officers. Safety is job one. At 6 PM the vans load up and return to Mobile. The Baldwin County folks leave a little later.
That, in a nutshell, is a day of our work. Some days are longer and hotter than others in this summer heat, but we all stay committed to and positive about our job. We have a mission and a purpose and we will continue to fulfill those as long as we are needed.
Marvin Ussery ‘74