My father was a shipwright and fisherman who supported our family and a mortgage. I have been both surprised and sad to read opinions that maritime work lacks security and doesn’t produce family wages. I know that it does.
So many of us in the marine trades fully provide for our families and own homes. I bought 20 acres when I was 28 from working in the boatyard.
Marine tradespeople are some of the most family-oriented, skilled and hardworking folks I know. Eighteen years ago, my first job was working for my dad. Many people in the port work alongside their children. The marine trades is one of the few places that a person can make a good living wage upon arrival. With determination, focus and drive, it is not difficult to succeed here, and live comfortably. It’s a place where people can be creative, build friendships, produce quality work and have the ability to do things like travel or buy or build a home.
One of the lifelines of this area is our maritime heritage and there is no reason this legacy should be lost. It is incongruous and alarming to praise and celebrate our historic identity while simultaneously disregarding one of the very things that supports this identity. Not supporting the port now is detrimental to all of the yard workers, marina workers and boat workers providing for themselves, their families and this community. I grew up and live in the county and once a week my mother drives into town. We would always visit my father in the boatyard. It is my second home, as it is for many others. Supporting the port is supporting families, the working class and our community.