Summer 2017 preservation internship - as the interns tell it

You can read about PortSide's goals and MO for the program here


Today we worked on the davits.  We got tools like chipping hammers scarpers and sanders. The other interns and I scraped and sanded until the davit was relatively smooth. Then we moved the boom to flip the davit over so we could scrape and chip the other side. Afterwards we moved the davit out of the way and went to town on the other davit. Once we were done we secured the boom by pulling on the PortSide and releasing tension on the starboard side. [Davits are small cranes on a ship used to suspend lifeboats.]

Today was a day of scavenging. There was a plethora of black tarps under the bleachers left over from the Formula E event. After grabbing what we needed from that area, we went to another area and got more tarps. “Why would you need that many tarps,” I hear you thinking. Well, the ship can get pretty hot, being made mostly of steel, so the tarps act as a shade for the boat deck, cooling off the ships cabin. I liked this because it feels good to sit under when the sun decides to take steroids, which is every day. After getting the starboard side covered, we needed to put one of the davits on the lower deck back onto the pavement. The meant we had to move the boom, pulling towards the starboard side and releasing tension on the portside. After we got the davit onto three dollies, we went up to the Portside and put the other tarp up. 

Today we worked on the davits. We got tools like chipping hammers scarpers and sanders. The other interns and I scraped and sanded until the davit was relatively smooth. Then we moved the boom to flip the davit over so we could scrape and chip the other side. Afterwards we moved the davit out of the way and went to town on the other davit. Once we were done we secured the boom by pulling on the Portside and releasing tension on the starboard side. 

Today the other interns and I had to do work at the front of ship. There was a lot of chipping and scraping to be done on the railings and vents. Afterwards we had to clean buckets with remnants of coal in them so they could be used for other things. We used the hose and a couple of scrub brushes to clean the buckets. This was fun because the water was a great way to cool off. 


Today is my last day here as an intern. The crew and I have done a lot of work here and I am sad to go. I would play on my 3DS during lunch time with my peeps  and go on garbage runs.

I’ve learned a lot this summer and I only like learning if its fun.


My name is Gloriveht Ortiz, and I go to Williamsburg High school for Architecture and Design. I am the only girl intern that works here at PortSide NY, which was surprising because I never thought I was going be the only girl here; but half of these interns I knew, except the new college intern.  Even though I was the only girl here at this internship, they were nice, helpful, friendly, and funny. Throughout this internship, I gained experience from Carolina & Peter who were amazing Mentors (BOSSES) because they helped me improve my professional skills. At the beginning of my internship, we as interns learned how to use heavy duty equipment like the boom that was used for flipping & moving the davits around so we can chip, scrape, and sand the two davits to the point where it was smooth. Throughout the internship, every week, we had lead interns.   My week was at the end of the internship.  We painted, sanded, cleaned, and carried heavy metal braking lights.  My favorite part of this internship was the additional trip activities we went on like going on the sail boat trip, passing through the Statue of Liberty and seeing the wonderful sights through our journey on the boat and learning how to navigate through the water, also going on the fire boat Harvey and actually experiencing how it’s like to be out in the open water and seeing how the hoses shoot water.  I really enjoyed working here at PortSide NY because I learn a lot such as knowing how to use a grinder properly to not get hurt and learning how to communicate with people if we are stuck on something and working our self out of it. Working here at PortSide NY with Peter and Carolina on THE MARY WHALEN boat was a wonderful experience I’ll never forget.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


During this internship year I have learned a lot of new things like how to varnish, sand steel, paint, how to ride a kayak. Also, how to use the grinder with various attachments. My experience here at portside was fun because I got to meet a lot of new people who I actually get along with. In my experience I have never found a job that I could have fun and do hard work at the same time. This summer has been the most fun out of any summer that I had because I did more than stay home and do nothing. During the internship every week we had a lead interns to teach us how to be leaders in the real world. My week as lead intern we mainly sanded and varnished teak windows and teak railings. I had a lot of fun during this internship because we did work and also went on some trips like on the retired fireboat and sailing. During the retired fireboat trip we actually got to see what it is like being out in the water and the experience of the hoses actually shooting out water. On the sailing trip we got on sailing boat and went out to the statue of liberty. During this trip I got to see how it is like sailing and how to navigate through the water like an actual sailor. I really loved being here and it was better than I ever imagined. 


My name is Kenny Singh.  I am an intern for PortSide. It was an amazing experience working on the MARY A. WHALEN oil tanker. I've learned a lot such as varnishing, painting, chipping, sanding and being organized and most importantly working with safe gears. My favorite part of the internship was painting. While I was painting, I understood the process of cutting-in the edges and it being primed first and then applying the coats of paint. It was kind of complicated to do it by yourself; but when all the interns come together as a team, the job gets finished. I realized I can work and communicate with people while working. Finishing painting the upper deck took time because I had to put sand on the steel floor so it holds a grip and then give it a coat of paint over the sand. We had to work smart by doing it by sections and working our way out.

This internship was a great opportunity to meet new friends and get the job done. It was also wonderful to see the amazing view being by the waterside. During the day, the weather gets hot, so hosing off the deck would be a nice way too cool down and release heat. I've also learned how to sand wood correctly and how to varnish, for the first time getting my hands on that I did a good job following instructions. What was also interesting is the additional activities such as going on the sail boat trip on the weekends and seeing the first electric car race which was really nice! We also went kayaking and learned how to paddle. Overall I really enjoyed working at PortSide.  I've learned a lot these past weeks. 


My name is Zunayed Chowdhury, and I go to WHSAD.

Tuesday the 25th, 3rd week blog:
Today we continued to scrape the rails. Taking the paint off. We used a sander, scraping tool and chipping hammer. You had to put a lot of pressure on the scraper to take the painting off. It was good experience learning how to scrape, sand and paint. And then we started to clean the bunker, I found out it used to be a bathroom. I couldn't tell because of how unorganized the place was with the amount of materials in it. After one hour of work, it looked much cleaner and organized.

Wednesday the 25th, 3rd week blog:
Today we painted and cleaned the foredeck.  We were painting the railings and measuring the pipes to see if they needed to be replaced. The materials we used are brushes, a little bucket to hold the paint and the cloth so no paint would drop on the floor. We had to be patient so all the sides could be equal. It was nice because we all focused, and it looked good, comparing it to what it look liked before. We cleaned the boat deck so we can paint the floor. We are going to continue to paint it tomorrow.

Thursday the 27th, 3rd week blog:
Today, the first thing we did was separate the cans from the garbage. We painted the railings on the foredeck white. Then, we painted the vents grey. Then we painted the corners of the boat deck red. We also painted the davit gray after sanding it, then using paint thinner. Then we cleaned up and organized the bunker.

Friday The 28th, 3rd week blog:
Today we painted the davits grey. Then we organized the bunker to make more space.

Overall working with PortSide was great. I had an amazing time working with my classmates. Some of them I didn't know, so it was a chance for me to get closer with them and get to know them even more. I had a great experience because I learned a lot of things that I never knew how to do before. I learned how to sand, varnish and correctly paint.   We also had a chance to be a leader for the week. It was nice because I learned how to be more organized and how this was my first time leading a group of people. I gave them all different tasks, including me, and we all did them quick and finished early. I learned a lot of things about the ship. For example how it used to be an oil tanker. It was nice working with PortSide because I had a lot of fun and I learned many things.


This program was made possible in part by the support of