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Summer Work #1: Off-beat jobs around the world, close to home for CC students

June 27, 2003
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Ethan Powell ´04, summer cargo ship crewmember

Ethan Powell ´04, summer cargo ship crewmember

Uploading cargo onto oil tankers, tracking birds who nest along powerlines, building a Maine camp, skating on thick ice, and using guerilla tactics to build a telescope. These are just some of the things CC students are up to this summer. Here are their stories:

First in a Series: Ethan Powell ´04, coastline cargo boat crewmember

When he´s not working in the buttoned-down environment of Smith Barney investments in Portland, Maine, Ethan Powell ´04 lets loose on a cargo boat, sidling up to many-stories-high oil tankers in port to deliver them supplies.

"Many of the crew members on these ships can be less than honest and a bit suspect, and there have been attacks on ship chandlers," he says. "At the end of the day, however, I love this job. I love being out on the ocean, and I love meeting people from every corner of the globe."

Powell is working for Brown Ship Chandlery in Portland, where he has spent his school breaks for the past three years, including winter when he has found himself "out on the ocean at 2:30 in the morning in the dead of winter with the wind blowing at 30 knots and the wind chill putting the temperature around minus 30 degrees."

"Between the cold air and the rough seas, it can be a very dangerous job. I was almost crushed by 3,000 pounds of steel once as a result of the tanker´s crane operator not paying attention."

The crew draws the cargo boat alongside the oil tankers and other big vessels that come into the Port of Portland as well as ports at Boston, Providence, Sandwich, Salem, Portsmouth and Searsport. Then they use cargo nets and cranes to send supplies up to the deck towering above them.

The job requires Powell to communicate with non-English-speaking people, which keeps him on his linguistic toes.

He said there is much more to his job he would be happy to relate, but we get the idea.


* * *

Second in the Series: Erik Brzozowski ´04, glacial research down under

Third in the Series: Maggie Gentz ´04 and Matt Frackelton ´04, researching birds "online"

Fourth in the Series: Bobby Brooks ´06, building a Maine camp

Fifth in the Series: Doug Gobeille ´04, cutting edge astronomy

For media inquiries, please contact:
Amy Martin, 860-439-2526, or Deborah MacDonnell (860) 439-2504,