Enjoying a Job with “A Million Things to Do”

One year ago, Deborah Moran returned to BIOS for her position as marine operations coordinator. Her job is to administer all things related to the Institute’s research vessel Atlantic Explorer. “I like that every day there are a million things to do, and that the days are quite varied. The nature of ships is that there are always unanticipated problems or issues that can arise on any given day,” she said. “I’m never bored as there is always so much that needs to get done, often many things at once.”

Deborah Moran spent years working in Bermuda’s maritime industry, earning her SCUBA certification at age 16, qualifying as a PADI Open Water Instructor at 21, and a year later obtaining a Bermuda pilot’s license. She spent the next 15 years captaining boats and leading dive trips around the island’s reefs and shipwrecks. Working in the tourist diving industry, “it was three dives a day, seven days a week,” Moran said. “I’ve spent thousands of hours on and under the water around Bermuda.”

A year ago, Moran, who lives with her husband, rescue dog, and two cats, joined BIOS for the second time in her career. As the marine operations coordinator, her job is to administer all things related to the Institute’s research vessel, the Atlantic Explorer, which includes coordinating crew rotations, travel arrangements, and reimbursements; managing the replenishment of ship’s provisions and stores; tracking and processing all purchasing for the ship and liaising with the BIOS accounting department; and generally supporting all other ship administration, such as licenses, certificates, inspections, reports, and record keeping.

How did you first come to work at BIOS?
In 2002 I was hired at BIOS as the dive safety officer and small boats supervisor. I stayed until March 2007, then moved to work in the Bermuda Government’s Department of Marine and Ports Services. For eight years I was the marine services officer for the boats and moorings section. I was responsible for the inspection and licensing of charter boats that serve Bermuda, as well as the licensing of moorings and private boats in Bermuda. It was the first time a woman had assumed the role since the inception of the post. I think it was a surprise to some that a female could do it so well. I’m proud of that.

In May 2016 I joined Bermuda Yacht Services based in St. George’s. I had experience with professional yachting, since years ago during the diving off-season I crewed on yachts throughout the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Bermuda Yacht Services was looking for a yacht agent to help them with America’s Cup, as they had won the contract to service all the “super yachts” with full concierge services.  It was a massive undertaking for a very demanding clientele, but we succeeded, providing a tremendous level of service to the captains, crews, owners, and guests during the event.

You came back to BIOS a year ago. What was the appeal?
I knew I enjoyed the working environment at BIOS and the post was a great combination of all the skills and experience that I had acquired at Marine and Ports and then at Bermuda Yacht Services.  I started on November 1 and spent a month learning from the previous marine operations coordinator, Susan Brittner.

It is a job that requires a lot of juggling. What are your responsibilities?
I act as an on-shore purser, of sorts, for the Atlantic Explorer; booking travel, keeping time sheets so everyone gets paid, maintaining all crew personnel records, reconciling all of our purchasing and liaising with the ship users to make sure all paperwork is in order prior to every cruise. There’s a lot of moving parts to every cruise.

I like that everyday there are a million things to do, and that it’s quite varied. The nature of ships is that there are always unanticipated problems or issues that can arise on any given day. I’m never bored as there is always so much that needs to get done, often many things at once. I have to prioritize a lot.