BOURNE – The coastal rituals of the Cape Cod change of seasons sometimes require that somebody get wet and cold. In Bourne, Chip Vaivarins was that body.
At about 1 P.M. on Tuesday, Vaivarins, marina attendant for the town of Bourne, stood on land and described the water at the Monument Beach Marina. “It’s really cold,” he said. “I’ve been doing this since about 7:30 this morning.”
He wore hip-high waders. “They are not insulated,” said Vaivarins. “I got them cheap at the store for twenty bucks.”
In those waders, he had stood in the water for hours as the liaison between a boat pulling more than 80 pieces of floating dock and a front end loader waiting to take the docks out of the water and store them on land for the winter. From one end of the Cape to the other, the annual rituals are repeated.
“There are six of us,” said Lane Gaulin, marina manager for the town of Bourne. “Two of us dis-assembled the docks. Two ran the boat, and Chip stages them for the front end loader, that was operated by one of us.” For the last run, three people got on the boat.
Vaivarins said, “I volunteered, pretty much” to be the one to go in the water.
Gaulin explained the personnel decision this way, “He’s the youngest. He’s my junior man.”
A recent graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Vaivarins has worked at the marina for four years during the summer. “This is a great place to work,” he said. This is his first year working at the marina at the close of the season, and probably his last, he said, before he takes a job in his profession.
According to Gaulin, the marina closed October 31, the water and electricity were shut off on Monday. The docks have been removed, he said, “to prevent ice damage as well as wear and tear of winter winds. We get a lot of freeze up here.”
The docks will get repairs as needed in the off-season before they are reinstalled in the spring, said Gaulin. “They require year-round maintenance. In the summer too. With wave action, weather, and wind, there is constant maintenance.”
— Brian Tarcy