Sunday, May 23, 2010

Not your typical day at the office.

Not a typical day at the office.  Some days the suits and heels get a day off too.

 Buzzing the beach while test driving a new boat model sure is a whole lot more fun than sitting at my desk.

For those that believe anything "beach or coastal" is pretty and 
wonderful here is one glimpse into a reality.

Life at the water isn't just about laying around in the sun, collecting shells, dining on seafood, consuming umbrella drinks and stunning views nor, is it about the latest interior designer or home decor.

It's a responsibility 

Those who truly live at the beach
and or, work on the water know this quite well.

For the last two years unsafe boating and swimming
has claimed several lives in our area alone.

In the hope that this summer will be different I made a
a decision to talk a little about what I do.
  My deck shoes are on and I've
climbed on the safety soap box.

My work is the laying out and outfitting the vessels for
Enforcement, Fire and Rescue agencies.

Giving the boat a thumbs up shown above.
(I'm the one in the back seat)

Notice the "seat belt" and arm handles.  You know like 
something found on a ride at an amusement park.
Trust me, I was holding on.

This is a test ride to see how fast it can go.
How well it can jump  waves, wakes, and how tight of a turn it can take;
each time faster then the last. 

For me the ocean and the bay are both part of my daily life.
They are bodies of water not just to admire but, respect.

They can be fiercely dangerous

 as they are beautiful,

or charming

I work with vessels whose primes missions range from patrolling the waters to marine health and rescue.

 There is also the harsher side.
Intercepting criminals
flood evacuations, to recovering drowning victims

It is an amazing feeling for each us every time time a new vessel leaves
the yard. Knowing that it may save a life; human or animal or
bring them to safety is truly taken to heart by us all.

Yes, this is what I do.
It's unusual.  When I left the cherry wood office
to start over doing something I loved; boats.

I was thinking more along the lines of designing yacht interiors
instead, it's thermal imaging cameras, generators, radar,
firearm mounts, shock mitigating seating and flooring....

 I never dreamed this could become one of the most rewarding jobs.

 There is training....

with flattering outfits.

in wicked heat, damp, or cold.
We have all been trained in various aspects of
Tactical boat operations,
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
and CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams)
to name a few.

What we lack in physical facility size we make up with passion.
(We must have a lot, we hit the top of the charts across the U.S. last year.)

Three years and nine month project for the one of a kind vessel shown above.

Yet, it's nothing.
Absolutely nothing 
compared to when we receive photographs of the boats
we placed our passion and effort into
Saving life or bringing it to safety
or locating the dead so a family's wait is over.

Tears have rolled down our faces and 
sometimes we have gotten down on our knees and prayed.

When our work that was relied upon in the most stressful and often 
dangerous situations performed exactly the way it was supposed to 

So, if your are heading to the ocean this summer,
be it to wade in the water, or go boating.

Remember it's about respect.
Respect for the year round residents and enforcement;
one of whom may save your life

Respect for marine life - stash your trash.

Going boating?  File a float plan and wear a PFD
Personal flotation device.
  It's not about fashion; it's about your life
Please be safe this summer!

As for me, It's time to get down from the soap box
and put the suit back on with my brand new strappy wedge sandals.


Unknown said...

What a great job you have and well done for getting on your soapbox! It is a very important issue and alot of people do not realise that as beautiful as the ocean is it is also very dangerous! Have a great week! xx

Julie@beingRUBY said...

What a great post!! and what an interesting and rewarding job you have!! Although it must be heart wrenching at times..

You know it is so true that the sea can be treacherous and should be respected as such ... a thing of wild beauty!! Have you have a great week xx Julie

Privet and Holly said...

Wow! WOW!!!! You are AMAZING. It is my dream to live on water someday, be it ocean, lake, river or pond.... However, I'm one of those people more comfortable LOOKING at the water than BEING on it, probably because I do have a healthy respect for the dangers of the open water. You are really involved in a career that is making a difference. Bravo to you! Love the pictures. xx P&H

the old boathouse said...

Wow...this was a truly amazing post and I so enjoyed reading it and learning so much. Your job is incredible!!! cheers Katherine

Tonia Hobbs said...

What a wonderful job you have! Talk about making a difference. Thank you for sharing, and giving us the inside scoop!

Unknown said...

Wow! What a neat and interesting job you have. And you're crafty too. God, I hate you. :) LOL!

Seawashed said...

That is an awesome job! How in the world did you get into that? I too would rather stay on the shore...and when I boogie board I never go out past my waist. I grew up boating(my Dad was a pro-bass fisherman on his days off from Chief of the FAA)...he taught me and my brother all about water safety...I grew up in a lifevest. The coastal area we spend most our time at is next to the Coastguard son has thought about maybe going to the school. But he knows how intense it is. He may want to go into the FAA like his Papa. I so appreciate all you are doing to keep us safe! Thank you for sharing this with us.

Everything Coastal said...

PS Am posting on our new fb page -

Everything Coastal said...

WOW! I have lived all of my life on the water too, and have realized its' awesome power many times. What a wonderful career you have chosen! It's funny, yesterday while we drove home on hwy 1 watching a powerful wind storm, I was recounting some very scary boating incidents in the Canadian San Juans - and was very glad to be in the car and NOT on the water.

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Thanks for sharing this, so interesting!! I'm always amazed when I hear these kind of stories of what's out there and what people do. You seem so hands on!!

lynda Howells said...

wow..way to go girl, am proud of youx
To answer your question...l am unaware of more than one large memorial, in London, that pays tribute to the Animals that helped in the war.

La Dolfina said...

You're my hero Rita!!
We are so blessed to have passionate amazing individuals like you doing these jobs. I'm so happy you've given us all a glimpse into the multi-talented woman you are!
You could star in your own show... you are that awesome! Move over Baywatch... Rita to the Rescue:)
You are seriously too cool for school. You know that, right?

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

What a wonderful post! You really have a rewarding job- thanks so much for sharing it with all of us!

Sea Witch said...

Love love love this post.Thank you for sharing and remind everyone that the sea is unforgiving and we must remember to respect her at all costs. Just discovered your blog and really enjoying it. Sea Witch

Ticking and Toile said...

Hi Rita,
Yes indeed ~ quite an amazing post! Your job sounds incredibly rewarding! Hard but rewarding!
Scary too huh? Recovery? yikes....but I love how you say sometimes you all get down on your knees and pray....sometimes there are just miracles huh?

Well thanks so much for coming by today....very sweet of you to leave such a nice comment.

Take care!

Simple Daisy said...

Wow...what a great post!
You truly are a hero....good for you for sharing how important it is to be responsible on the water:)

Lady Grey said...

That's amazing! What an incredible life you are living : )

lisaroy said...

wow! what an absolutely amazing job - so rewarding! you're the coolest person I know! : )

Jules said...

An amazing post! Keep working on those boats!

Little Emma English Home said...

Hi Rita. You do an incredible job! We are lucky to have people who do what you do with so much passion and sense of responsability. I truly admire you.

Hugs xx

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, poignant and powerful. I do live on the water and love it but also have great respect for it. My Mom lived near the ocean when she was little and always says that it ruins everything because of the salt. I would like to find out first hand and have my little beach/ocean cottage. :)

Lindsay said...

Wow! So impressed with everything you do. I grew up on Cape Cod and you're right, living in coastal areas is definitely more than eating seafood and drinking umbrella drinks!

rjerdee said...

Wow! I'm TOTALLY impressed. Awesome, you are...I'll think of you when I'm on the beach. Thanks for your most informative post! said...

Living on the bay I see the beauty and the beast as you do. One day can be amazingly beautiful and the next darn scary.

Arabella said...

Thank you for your soapbox chatter - we live on the Pacific Ocean and throngs of visitors will soon be here...mostly ignoring the safety rules.

The sea is a powerful & beautiful thing which I highly respect...its power can overtake a person in an instant - we've seen it too many times. God bless you and those that do your work.

Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea
"Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle"

S and O said...

Beautiful images of the ocean...I love your blog! :)


Anne Lorys said...

What a wonderful post!

I had a friend killed in a boating accident a couple of years back, so this post hits especially close to home.

Thank you for paying me a visit, it allowed me to discover you and your beautiful blog! :-)


Burlap Luxe said...

Rita about the wood I think your email went into the spam folder and may have been deleted. I do remember one email and I responded that the would be welcomed. I will write you when I leave this post comment.

You job is amazing, I love the beach, my daughter and I do no swim in them, but we do take in the beauty and the peacefulness of what the ocean has to say to you.

Your a powerful lady to care so for the respect of the ocean and the proper care of it. You make your job sound so rewarding I am sure you have many rescues that owe you a big thank you!!
Rita thank you sooo! much for your comments on my blogs, it makes creating and designing that much more fun!
I loved this post, see you soon.

Unknown said...

Amazing post! I have to admit that I am afriad of water and do not enjoy it at all. The last time I was on beach is at the age of 10. I do, hovewer love the smell of the Ocean...
Thank you for your wonderful comment under my Chanel clogs post. Well, I am happy to say that your input in combination with strawberry cheescake worked miracles!:-) Now I can not even imagine how on Earth I could consider spending so much on a pair of shoes. :-)))

Unknown said...

Great post Rita! As the wife of a fisherman I can appreciate all you do. Working on the ocean is one of the most dangerous jobs,years ago watching him pull out of the dock to be gone for 1-2 weeks, knowing the boat is hundreds of miles off shore is beyond nerve racking. Thankfully these days it's day fishing we do, but even then the customer's need to be reminded to respect the ocean, and to respect the captain. When he tells your kids not to jump on the deck in between the waves listen to him, way to many found out why the hardest way imaginable.

Cheers Rita to a Wonderful Season :)
(and I agree with LaDolfina!!!!)

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