We are getting nautical for our fifth entry as we sit down with sailor Joe Martino, who is never shy to get hands on. His work ethic and love for bursting into song is renown around camp.
Ok Joe, you have had a pretty interesting life, can you tell us about it?
Well, I’m from the United States, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is in the mid-west. Central part of the country, surrounded by lakes and it’s usually referred to as ‘fly-over zone’ by anybody from either of the coasts. I grew up there and lived there for many years until I began going to sea as a sailor; I’ve worked on and off for the University of California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography since 2002 as a deck hand on ships, so mainly labor. Previously before that I was working with the University of Washington.
Cool, so how did you come to hear of YPDR?
My boss! My boss was Joseph Ferris who is now the director of YPDR and one of the co-creators. He had requested that I join YPDR back in January but at the time, I was out at sea. You know, I had to do my job. So I worked for several months and then came here two months ago.
What projects have you been involved in at YPDR?
Mostly I’ve been involved in things to do with fish condos. I helped build the raft, which is used to launch the condos from, and for sun tanning, apparently! So I worked on the raft, and now I’m working on the fish condos themselves, helping to build them. Breaking down rocks, making big rocks into little rocks, which is largely limestone then mixed with cement. Limestone is especially conducive for aquatic life to grow on. That’s pretty much it. Also helping to gather lumber for the houses as well. Mostly labor, either picking up things or breaking things!
Haha, ok. So how long do you plan to stay in YPDR?
Well I came here mid May, and I’ll be here in camp until July 23rd. Then I will be on my next rotation with Scripps and I’ll be on there for awhile. But I’ll stay in connection with YPDR. Really it all depends on my employment back home which is what makes things easier. I can fly back and forth between rotations with no problem.
Any memories in YPDR stand out particularly strongly?
Hmmm. Well I especially liked painting the raft. See I was particularly paranoid that the painting style wouldn’t go over so well. I was supposed to make it look like the pre-existing boat that we have, which is blue, white and black camouflage. And I did that… to a certain extent but I mostly got help from some girls who put lots of hearts on it, and other things. So I made do, and made it look more like graffiti than anything else. Unfortunately it’s getting scrapped up quite a bit by the fish condos. You know, large cement and limestone objects, that weigh a lot, scrapping across the deck, tends to take off a lot of paint.
Well not to worry, it still looks great. So Joe, you left sea to come and work building a raft to spend more time at sea. Has the sea always called to you?
Well the raft doesn’t go particularly far out. But no actually, it was pure chance that I ran into the job. I broke up with a girlfriend so it just kind of led to that.
Life has a habit of doing that. Thanks Joe, you’ll be missed when you leave.
Well that’s all from our resident sailor, I’m sure we’ll see more from him in the future. Join us next week for our 6th installment.