Jesse Gilley knows a thing or two about working on the water. But, last Friday, following a small snowfall, Gilley, 29, was behind the wheel of a snowplow, clearing a municipal parking lot. According to Gilley, assisting the town’s highway department during the colder months is listed in the harbormaster’s job description, a role he was recently appointed to by the Board of Selectmen.
Gilley’s experience working on the water includes lobster and scallop fishing, marine construction, boat mate and engineer, as well as oyster farming. Before taking the job in Southwest Harbor, Gilley was working on a scallop fishing boat out of New Bedford, Mass., going out on the water for up to two weeks at a time. “That’s pretty much what I’ve done my whole life,” he said about commercial fishing. “I got to run the boat, a 120-foot vessel.”