World’s Smallest Political Quiz

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World’s Smallest Political Quiz.

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Worlds Smallest Political Quiz

Worlds Smallest Political Quiz

New Orleans Was A Trip!

I just got home from New Orleans. What a trip! I got in around midnight last Thursday (after  attending the Nautical Institute seminar). Friday morning the workshop started bright and early 8 AM. I’m not a morning person.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday was spent 8-5 in the travel writing workshop I was there for. Monday addition on ‘Social Media’. My brain was spinning by then and ready for some down time.

Tuesday, I slept in and was able to spend the day around New Orleans gathering information for my planned writing projects. I had researched beforehand and thanks to Mike at Hospitality21 and Christine at the New Orleans CVB, I was comped tickets to a couple of wonderful New Orleans attractions.

Everyone I talked to about the World War II Museum raved about how good it was. I had been wanting to go for a couple of years. I spent all afternoon there and still didn’t get the complete experience (I missed the movie and show- I’ll have to go back for that).

I made it to the Steamboat Natchez just in time for departure. A really nice way to spend the evening. A jazz dinner cruise on the Mississippi River. You could imagine yourself back in the day of Tom Sawyer if you ignored all the people taking ‘selfies’.

I had a late flight out on Wednesday, so spent the morning wandering around the French Quarter: walking down Royal Street, checking out the antique shops, looking at the artists working along Pirates Alley and Jackson Square, breakfast (brunch) at Monty’s, listening to jazz at Latrobe Park, timidly tasting a couple selections at the Pepper Palace, wandering through the French Market, and then taking the Riverfront streetcar back up to Canal Street.

I spent the last couple hours wasting my time (and my money) at Harrah’s Casino and before I knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel to catch my ride to the airport. I guess it’s a good thing they don’t allow smoking anymore, I might have missed my plane if I hadn’t needed a smoke!

More later, as I get my photos uploaded.🙂

Maritime Monday for September 19th 2016: Disjecta membra

Arrrgh, it’s Monday already again. The good thing about it is- it’s officially ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’. Aye, we wait for this all year.😉

Check out Monkey Fist’s post of the week’s interesting maritime stuff. Flotsam and jetsam from all over the world.

Don’t forget to head to Krispy Kreme for your free donuts and Long John Silvers for a free sandwich. Thanks to both for supporting us pirates!🙂

“There were no marks to separate one day from another, no rule whereby to measure …

Source: Maritime Monday for September 19th, 2016: Disjecta membra – gCaptain

Songs of the Sea: Yo Ho Ho

Tomorrow is officially International Talk Like a Pirate Day (don’t forget to stop by your local Krispy Kreme for some free donuts). For this weeks Song of the Sea, I’ll get into the spirit a little bit early with this version of Yo Ho Ho by the Corsairs. So, here’s to yaaarrrgh…..

Yo Ho Ho (and a Bottle of Rum) 

Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil be done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

The mate was fixed by the bos’n’s pike
The bos’n’ brained with a marlin spike
And cookey’s throat was marked belike
It had been gripped by fingers ten and
There they lay all good dead men like
Break o’ day in a boozing ken__
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum !

Fifteen men of a whole ship’s list
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum!
Dead and be d___ed and the rest gone whist!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

The skipper lay with his nob in gore
Where the scullion’s axe his cheek had shore
And the scullion he was stabbed times four
And there he lay while the soggy skies
Dripped all day-long in up-staring eyes
At Murk sunset and a foul sunrise
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of ’em stiff and stark
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Ten of the crew had the murder mark
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

‘Twas a cutlass swipe or and ounce of lead
Or a yawning hole in a battered head
and the scuppers glut with a rotting red
And there they lay aye d___ my eyes
All lookouts clapped on par – a – dise
All souls bound just con – tra – ri – wise
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of ’em good and true
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Every man Jack could ha’ sailed with old Pew
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

There was chest on chest of Spanish gold with a
Ton of plate in the middle hold
And the cabins riot with stuff un told
And there they lay that had took the plum
With a sightless glare and their lips struck dumb
While we shared all by the rule of thumb
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of a dead man’s chest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

(FALTA UM VERSO/////////////)

We wrapped ’em all in a mains'(cel)l tight
with Twice ten turns of a hausers bight
And we heaved ’em over and out of sight
with a Yo heave ho and fare you well
And a sullen plunge in a sullen swell
Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Galatoire’s 33

Looking for a nearby place for lunch today, we wandered into this place after a couple of false starts. One of the ladies from the travel writing workshop was specifically looking for Galatoire’s and so we figured we would go ahead and try it out. It’s right around the corner from our hotel, at 209 Bourbon Street. Only took about 5 minutes to walk.

It’s definitely not my usual kind of place. I’m not one to enjoy spending big bucks on food and drinks. In fact, I much prefer the opposite end of the price scale. My favorite place to eat out at home is Chinatown where the all you can eat buffet is less than $15 including drink and tip!

I figured I might as well go ahead and try it since it really was a super deal. Looking at the normal prices where a ribeye goes for $44 and side of onion rings is $7, the fact that the entire lunch cost only $20 today was enough to convince me to give it a try.

The other ladies I was with both really enjoyed their meals. I’m not much for seafood (or creole/cajun either) so I was pretty much out of luck for the special. I sure wasn’t going to choose anything off the regular menu tho I definitely prefer steak over fish any day! I decided to try the ‘broiled drum casino’ in the spirit of exploration as a travel writer.😉

The appetizer was ‘roasted beet risotto’. It was really very good. Not what I was expecting, but nice. It tasted more cheesy than anything else to me (might have been the truffle oil). I really couldn’t taste any beets at all.

The fish was very well done as well. I really liked the sauce. It was creamy and cheesy also. It tasted smokey and salty from the bacon. Very nice. The drum was cooked just right and tasted nice and fresh. I’m sure if I liked fish better, I would have just loved it. I did enjoy the broccoli.🙂

I chose the Bananas Fosters Cobbler for dessert, it was excellent. Too bad by that time we were in a real rush to get back to the hotel before the next session started.

It’s not my kind of place, but I would recommend it if you’re out to impress. The service was excellent and so was the food. I thought the prices were sky high, but not out of line with similar restaurants.

Back In New Orleans

Whew! It’s been a hectic couple of days. I actually got to work Monday-Tuesday this week. Was supposed to have Wednesday too, but the students finished up early and so no role players were needed. Sucks!! I really could’ve used that extra day of pay.

But, I put the extra time to good use. I’ve been trying hard to get my taxes to the accountant before leaving for this weeklong trip. I managed to get a few things sorted out and dropped off a package for her on the way to Houston this morning.

I made it just in time for the seminar the Nautical Institute was putting on at the WGMA facility (near the ship channel). They had a pretty good turnout. I was happy to see a few old friends there and had a chance to catch up a little bit. Might even turn into a bit more work for me.

They had 5 different presentations. Everything from how the new DP scheme worked to how the new regulations for low sulfur fuel affected ship handling, to a historical perspective re: shipping and refugees, a very interesting slideshow on the newly opened Panama Canal expansion, to testing life saving equipment in the Arctic (I certainly would NOT want to have to try using any of it up there)! It was really very interesting. Especially the part about polar bears and walrus.😉

I left the seminar at 5:00 and of course got stuck in traffic. It wasn’t too bad yet and I made it to Hobby in plenty of time for my flight. Actually, I tried to get an earlier flight. I had plenty of time for it, but they would have charged me 3 times what I already paid to get the earlier flight. WOW!

I did not take the earlier flight. What the hell!? Why in the world do they do that sort of thing? It doesn’t cost them a single damn cent to put somebody on a different flight, but they all want to make like it’s some huge big deal and just gouge the hell out of you! All it does is ruin their customer satisfaction. Anybody out there work for the airlines have another reason for this other than that they do it because they can get away with it?

I just checked into my hotel. It was a pretty quick ride from the airport. It only took about a half hour. I took the shuttle ($36 round trip). Usually it takes much longer, it seems I’m always the last one they drop off.

I’m too tired to do much tonight. I arrived here after midnight so all I did was check out the room and go out for a cigarette (no smoking hotel). I was hoping for a room with a view, but no such luck. I’m right next to the elevators, convenient but noisy, and I’m looking at a wall about 20 ft away and down into a garage ($42 for parking- wow- gouging again).😦

Looks like I got real lucky to get a room at all. Even in the short time I was down in the lobby, I heard 2 people that had reservations but the hotel had no more rooms. They were pissed (and I don’t blame them one bit)!

I’m so excited to finally be here! Looking forward to starting the travel writing workshop in the morning. It’s going to be a very full weekend. We’ll be in the workshop from 8-5 every day and then (of course) going out to explore at night.

I’ve already missed tonights bourbon tasting set up by a few people on the group Facebook page. That’s probably not something I really needed to do anyway. I’ve got plenty of plans for later, once I get a little sleep.🙂

Maritime Monday for September 12th 2016

Another Monday and it’s time for more cool stuff coming from Monkey Fist by way of gCaptain. As always, it’s an interesting mix of maritime art, history, science and more. It brought back some memories for me this week while reading of the Peking’s planned departure for Hamburg.

I remember clambering around her decks at the South Street Seaport museum when I returned to New York from my time with the Oceanics. I still have some great pictures around here somewhere. I still think man has never made anything as beautiful as a square rigger under full sail.

Inspired by Mariners on 9/11, One Photographer Found a Passion Sunday marks 15 years …

Source: Maritime Monday for September 12th, 2016 – gCaptain

Poor Man’s Melody

Just saw this on last nights Texas Music Scene. I really liked it. Bonnie put on a great performance (it was different from this video).

Poor Man’s Melody 

When the roar of thunder comes

Rolling like a distant drum

And my ship is lost at sea

That’s when you rescue me

 

When I have nowhere left to hide

This world has stripped me of my pride

I come crawlin on my knees

Beggin’ you to carry me

 

Oh my soul

LET THE WATERS WASH ME CLEAN

Sing a poor man’s melody

Blind my eyes until your light is all I see

Until Love is all I need 

 

There’s a new song in my soul

It’s the sound of letting go

Though the tides forever change

I know Love will remain

 

Oh my soul

LET THE WATERS WASH ME CLEAN

Sing a poor man’s melody

Blind my eyes until your light is all I see

Until Love is all I need 

Meet the Adorable “Sea Bunny” Taking Over the Internet

I started a series I was calling ‘Wild Wednesdays’ a while back. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the time to look for any interesting creatures to post about there. This one just popped up in my email one day recently and I thought- how perfect for a Wild Wednesday post! Too bad I’ve been too busy to make the post on Wednesday.

Not actually getting anything done, but busy as hell regardless. So, it’s late but I hope you enjoy it. I think it’s cute. ;-) Despite its cute and cuddly appearance, this little sea creature is actually a kind of slug.

Source: Meet the Adorable “Sea Bunny” Taking Over the Internet

Buzcador Breaks Free!

We finally made it to sea!

It only took us about a day extra to meander our way out through the Louisiana bayous. Instead of heading straight out down the Atchafalaya River like we planned, we had to backtrack to find a way out where we wouldn’t keep running aground.

#AHTS #Buzcador underway in #Atchafalaya River

We headed back up the Atchafalaya, passed through Bayou Chene, took the ICW to the Houma Navigation Canal and made it to the sea buoy at Cat Island Pass around 2200 our second day of the voyage.

We scrambled back aboard the Buzcador at the buoy and thanked our trusty tugs Ms Edmay and Mr Nicolas. We finally got underway under our own power for the first time. It was a beautiful night as we made our way through the offshore oilfields, heading almost due South. The stars were bright, the seas were calm and we were making decent time. Nights like that are why I’m always ready to go sailing again.🙂

The night sky is so awesome far out to sea! There’s really nothing to compare.

I don’t know why I was expecting to see more traffic. Shipping has been dead– at least in the Gulf of Mexico- where so much shipping is related to oil. Since the price of oil dropped like a rock- from over $100 to mid $20’s- a year ago. Hundreds of Gulf boats have been stacked. It happened too quickly for any reaction but huge layoffs. I’ve heard there’ve been more than a half million people laid off in the oil fields already (and still nothing but bad news).

Even passing through the Yucatan Channel and further South, we saw very few ships. With the opening of the new Panama Canal, I expected to see lots of big container ships passing by. I thought we’d see tons of local freighters and fishing boats once we got past Cuba and into the Caribbean Sea. But I never saw much of anything till the approach to Cartagena. Even then, traffic was very light compared to normal.

#chart showing progress of the #AHTS #Buzcador

We spent a full 10 days underway- more than twice as long as expected. We had some problems with the ship. Nothing really unexpected. The Buzcador had been cold stacked for years before we were brought aboard. Mechanics had been working frantically for weeks to get everything done so we could deliver her to her new owners.

Nothing was done that didn’t ‘need’ to be done. IMHO we were cutting it close, but after 9+ months without a real job, I was ready to take a few chances in order to earn a decent paycheck. Sure, I was happy as hell to get an AB job! A captains license doesn’t mean shit when you can’t find a boat!

Our engines worked fine for the first day or so. After that, we had to baby them a bit. The port shaft bearing was overheating and the starboard generator had problems with the oil pressure. We cut our RPMs down and made about 6 knots (close to half speed). The weather didn’t help much either.

It started kicking up before we reached Cuba and never let up. The mainmast shook so bad when we hit a heavy sea, we wondered when it was going to come crashing through the wheelhouse on us. Part of it had already fallen off when the other AB went up to change the masthead light before we left.

#mainmast of the #AHTS #Buzcador

mainmast with #backscratcher hanging off

We sprung a couple of leaks around the ship and occasionally more pieces would fall off. Most of the outside lights around the house were falling off and full of water. Good thing we didn’t need to turn them on.😉

The AC system for the house leaked. It got so bad that I would scoop up the water with a dust pan every time I went by. A couple of days like that and it got worse all the sudden. The whole room was awash. We were dumping 4-5 5 gallon buckets every couple of hours! Marvin the OS (ordinary seaman) finally got a chance to take a look at it and sent the water somewhere other than inside the AC room.

The pictures don’t look so bad, but we had over 8′ seas for most of the trip, over 10′ for a day or 2. We were bouncing around like a cork (which didn’t help our speed either). The weather was squally most of the way and pretty much overcast after the first couple of days. I never really got to see the stars again once the moon grew full.

sun breaking out behind the clouds on a rough day at sea

It was getting to the point where we were starting to worry about our food, fuel, water supplies. This entire trip was only supposed to take about 6 days (I wound up spending 21 days aboard). We were also worried about catching our flights home.

‘Starvin’ Marvin’ and Noel the mate, had a fishing line out. Marvin cooked us up a couple of nice fish dinners. We had a dorado (dolphin/mahi-mahi) one night, a tuna the next, and a barracuda one day that no one would eat but him.

We actually did just fine. We didn’t run out of much of anything (just laundry soap and jelly -for the PBJ’s). We had plenty of beans and rice every day thanks to Marvin. I helped cook a couple of times and so did the Chief Engineer ‘Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Turtle’. (Captain Todd gave us all nicknames within a couple of days- I was ‘Jilligan’- like from Gilligans Island).🙂

#ships crew, #engineers

Sing-Sing, Chief Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Turtle & Starvin’ Marvin

We were able to increase our speed after a couple of days. The engine crew was sure busy that trip! Chief Engineer (Ninja Turtle), client rep (Colombia) and oiler (Sing-Sing) spent most of their time down in the super hot and noisy engine room, trying to keep us going.

Kudos to them for working so hard! It seems there was always something going on down there. I’d make my rounds at night, go down there to check up on them and they were always in the engine room, checking the bilges, checking the bearings, checking the temperatures and pressures. Always having to fix something.

#night sky at #sea, #full moon

I spent most of my time up at night, as lookout. I was night AB (able body seaman). I worked from 1800-0600 every night once we got underway. Sid the Sloth was the day AB, he relieved me in the mornings (below right).

It was actually a nice change. Capt Todd (above left) was on from 1000-2200 and Noel the mate was on from 2200-1000 (tho it seemed he never slept and was always on the bridge). Between rounds I would talk to them about previous ships, ports and people we’d worked with. Telling sea stories is another favorite activity of mine.😉

Since this was just a delivery job, we weren’t really concerned with all the usual things we’d be doing to take care of the ship. For instance, as AB, normally I’d be spending all day chipping and painting, cleaning and greasing, etc. This time, I spent almost all of my time as lookout on the bridge. I tried to help in the galley when I got a chance, cooked a couple of times, and cleaned up the house when it got too bad.

Still, we were glad to reach Colombia. I went to bed before we got the pilot, when I woke up, we were all fast in Cartagena.

More later.

Maritime Monday for September 5th, 2016: Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Another great post from Monkey Fist for Maritime Monday! Can’t get over the one about cafe’s inside the whale’s head! There’s a ‘cute’ video about pirates (language) and interesting history of the Steamboat Arabia. Enjoy!🙂

Chiclet, ship’s cat aboard the historic tanker Mary A Whalen in NY’s Atlantic Basin, now digging in her claws in preparation for Hermine WarHistoryOnline – Much Like the Allies’ later D-Day plans, Operation Sealion was marked by daring and ingenuity In the early Seventies I worked as a lighthouse keeper on three islands off the […]

Source: Maritime Monday for September 5th, 2016: Dem Bones, Dem Bones – gCaptain

Songs of the Sea: Life’s An Ocean

Another for my Songs of the Sea series- Life’s An Ocean by the Verve. It’s kinda bluesy, and I went to the Bikes and Blues fest in Freeport yesterday. I haven’t got the post done for that yet, but here’s one about it from a couple of years ago. Still on a blues kind of kick.🙂

“Life’s An Ocean”

Life’s An Ocean
Too much commotion, too much emotion
Dragging me down
Living for today, don’t have time to pray
Ready for the game
Take a line of fickle flame

Imagine the future
Woke up with a scream
I was buying some feelings
From a vending machine
Say that I will see
Something more than I have
There’s something inside of me
Crying out for something else
And if someone hears my scream
Put it in a letter to me
Slippery slimy road down

Life’s an ocean too much commotion
Not enough emotion to satisfy me
Slippery slidy road down
It’s slippery slidy road down

Hold my hand and we’ll walk down
Dry those eyes and we’ll walk down

Slippery slidy road down
Life’s an ocean, life’s an ocean
Too much commotion, too much emotion

True Tales of the Sea

Time for some funnies. I just watched this (again) on Saturday Night Live. That’s one of the very few shows I’ll turn on the TV for. It’s still funny, so sharing.🙂

Buzcador Barges Through the Bayous

 

It took longer than expected, but we were finally ready to go. The plan was to be towed out from Berwick, down the Atchafalaya River and out through the bay. The Buzcador would depart Berwick as an “unmanned barge”.

Wondering why we had to get towed out? Why we couldn’t stay onboard? Because even though we were light ship, we had no cargo, little ballast and just enough fuel and water to make it- we were still really pushing our luck with our draft. We didn’t want to take any chances with our engines.

The Atchafalaya is not a very deep river. It has a lot of shallow spots. It’s also unique in that it’s actually replenishing the land in it’s delta. Most of the rest of Louisiana is loosing ground to the sea.

 

Our draft was over 12 ft and we knew we would be touching the bottom in at least a couple of places. Also, the intake for our engine cooling water was going to be sucking mud the entire time- not good!

So, we got underway about noon. The mighty Miss Edmay would be pulling and the Basin Endeavor would be pushing. The Buzcador would be ‘dead ship’ until we hit the sea buoy.  No engines, no power, no lights, etc. We all scrambled over to ride the Endeavor out.

We did alright until we got to ‘Crewboat Cut’. We ran hard aground! I didn’t expect to have any trouble until much further down the river. The Atchafalaya River is always changing tho. We used to avoid this area by taking a bend in the river called the “Horseshoe”, but that stretch has been discontinued for navigation and the navigation aids removed. No telling what it was like.

Our 2 tugs tried hard to get us off the bottom. They struggled for at least 2-3 hours. Pushing and pulling, twisting and turning. The decision was made to call for another tug. We broke free just as the new tug “Mr Nicolas” arrived on scene.

They made fast and we proceeded on down the Atchafalaya. We made it as far as the ‘Lighthouse” before we were hard aground again. Another couple of hours spent to break us free, while questioning our chances of making it all the way out the river. The Lighthouse was only the 1st of the shallow spots I knew about. We still had at least 3 more to pass for sure.

The decision was made to turn back and try a different route. We cut the Endeavor loose as we turned into Bayou Chene and made our way through the ICW to the Houma Navigation Canal. I had some doubts about whether we would have the same problems there. I’d been through that way before and run aground there too.

Turns out, it was a good decision. We made it all the way out with no problems at all. I slept through most of it since I was going to be up all night on lookout. Nice scenery. I was  up to see Cocodrie, and the last lowland parts of Louisiana as we made our way through Terrebonne Bay and out Cat Island Pass.

We turned the tugs loose at the sea buoy, stumbled around in the dark until the engineers cranked up the engines, and we were off!

More to come!😉

Songs of the Sea: The Storms Are On the Ocean

Here’s another one for my Songs of the Sea series. It was filmed at the HoustonFest last year (2015), with the Church Sisters. It’s a good one for today. It’s been storming all night and most of the day. I just got back from a short delivery job and it was stormy pretty much the whole voyage.

It’s an old bluegrass song. I like bluegrass a lot. My dad used to rent an apartment to a couple (hi Roberta and Eddie), who played around town in a bluegrass band. I used to love hanging out with them, trying to learn how to play guitar and singing along. I really do miss my music. Just somehow never have time to play anymore.😦

“The Storms Are On The Ocean”
 
 

I’m going away to leave you, love
I’m going away for a while
But I’ll return to you some time
If I go 10,000 miles

The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

Oh, who will dress your pretty little feet
Oh, who will glove your hand
Who will kiss your rosy red cheeks
When I’m in the far off land

The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

[Instrumental break]

Oh, papa will dress my pretty little feet
And mama will glove my hand
You can kiss my rosy red cheeks
When you return again

The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

[Instrumental break]

Oh, have you seen those lonesome doves
Flying from pine to pine
A-mourning for their own true loves
Just like I mourn for mine

The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

[Instrumental break]

I’ll never go back on the ocean, love
I’ll never go back on the sea
I’ll never go back on the blue-eyed girl
Till she goes back on me

[Chorus]

Met the Buzcador in Berwick

Sorry to have been out of touch for so long. I got a last minute job offer, and tho it was not what I was hoping for I was happy to get it.

I didn’t have much time to get ready, so I left the house with a lot of stuff unfinished. I meant to leave the house about 6 am, but with all the last minute stuff, and then phone calls all morning, I didn’t get on the road til around 10.

It was probably for the best. That allowed me to miss all the traffic in Houston and all along the way. It took me about 6 hours to drive from my house in Lake Jackson to where the boat was, in Berwick LA.

I had to meet a lady when I got close, to get passport photos taken for my Panama seaman’s book application. That took about an hour. I got to the boat about 5, already pretty tired.

The Buzcador was tied up next to a deck barge at Basin Fleeting, along the Atchafalaya River in Berwick. She was an old ex-Tidewater AHTS (anchor handling tug supply) and looked in pretty rough shape.

I drug my gear up the gangway and one of the crew showed me my room. I was pretty happy with it. It had just one bunk, a couch, 2 portholes where I could check the weather, a desk, plenty of storage space and my own head (bathroom). It also had a TV and DVD player, but I never bothered to turn them on so I don’t know if they worked or not.

I met the Captain, who I had worked with before on another boat. He was the one who pretty much got me this position. He had worked with this company before (I had never heard of them), and had made the winning bid to deliver the Buzcador to Colombia.

I hired on as AB. Of course I was hoping to get a mates position, but since I’ve been out of work for so long I was so happy just to get the AB job! At least it would get me out of the house and onto a boat. We were going on a voyage. Out of the Gulf of Mexico! I’m always excited about the chance to go somewhere new and interesting!

I met the other deckhands and QMED that night. I met the rest of the crew the next day. All together, there would be 8 of us making the trip. Captain Todd, Mate Noel, AB Sid, OS Marvin, QMED Wilson, Chief Engineer Carlos, and client rep Yesid.

We spent the next couple of days at the dock, working furiously to get the boat ready for the voyage. She had been cold stacked (tied to the dock with no crew) for years. Any boat will deteriorate if she’s not run regularly. The rust on deck is the last thing to worry about, it’s the machinery that is always the most concern. We had plenty to deal with in all departments.

While we were still at the dock, we had drills. Good thing, since it took a good, long while to get the fire pumps to work correctly. Electricians were still working on the alarm systems. We had outside mechanics to help too. Deck department was busy with cleaning, securing the ship for sea, preparing paperwork and voyage planning. Engineers definitely had the short end of the stick on this trip!

I’ll post more later, hopefully with more pictures. Like I said yesterday, I’m STILL having problems with my computers/internet!

STILL No Internet!

Amazing! I go to sea for 3 weeks, with no internet. I expected that. It totally sucked, but at least I knew it was coming.

This morning, the internet at my house has disappeared again. No warning. No half measures. Just completely gone and not a damn thing I can do about it.

I did call ATT (again). After telling them I had already done all the recommended proceedures (turn computer off/on, reset button, etc), and it was still dead. They informed me after checking on their end that they would send me (another) new modem. I informed them that I already had FIVE BRAND NEW MODEMS and STILL have the same problem form over 6 months now, I don’t think it has anything to do with the modem any more.

It is telling me right there ON the modem itself that there is NO SERVICE!

What the HELL can I DO? I NEED to have internet access to do anything around the house! As I told the lady on the phone, I can’t spend my entire life at McDonalds!

Sorry, but I won’t be able to catch up with anyone’s comments or make any more posts until I can get the internet back at home again.

I’m Back. Sorta

Hey! I made it!! The trip only took about 3 times longer than expected. I didn’t think I’d be out of touch for nearly so long. I’m so glad to see so many of you stuck around and didn’t jump ship on me.

We brought the ship into Cartagena (Columbia) this morning. It took us a couple of hours to get cleared by customs & immigration and to turn the ship over to it’s new owners.

Then it was off to find a hotel for the night (thanks to the personal generosity of the captain). Since we had no internet onboard, we had no way to look for anything beforehand. We had a recommendation for one from our Columbian client and we went there.

We wound up going to another place. It’s actually an apartment and close to the beach. We were all just happy to be off the ship. First order of duty was dinner and drinks! Cervezas! Margaritias!! The captain treated us to a nice dinner at the place across the street. Everybody came back to the apt and crashed afterward. I went for a walk.

I’ll tell you more of the story over the next few days. It’s after midnight and I’ll be up at 0630 in the morning. We leave here at 0730 for the airport. My flight leaves around 1030 (I still don’t know the exact details).

I heard my flight(s) will arrive into New Orleans around 2300. Then I still have to get back to the dock where I left my truck. It’s about a 6 hour drive from there to get home. I’m not sure I’ll be able to make that drive after being up all day. I’m not so good at staying up past 24 hours anymore.

So I won’t actually be home for another day or two. Look for me to catch up after that.🙂

Good News!

thought I had some really great news today. I got a call about a DPO job! Only for a month, but hey- I’ll do just about anything right now. A month as DPO would help a LOT!

I was actually in Houston for an interview for a different job when I got the call about the DPO. I think the interview went pretty well, but will have to wait and see what happens next week. I’m still not sure exactly what that job is all about.

When I got out of the interview (I had my phone turned off), I had another call about a job. This one was leaving immediately. Only for AB, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers! I still remember how to chip and paint.🙂

The DPO job is not a sure thing, they don’t even know for sure when they’d need me, or IF they’d need me at all. I figure a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush (learned that lesson). I’m leaving early in the morning.

I’ll drive to Louisiana, get on the boat, deliver the boat to Columbia, fly back home. Should take less than 10 days if everything goes as planned (it never does).

I’m looking forward to the adventure.🙂

I’ll be SO glad to be back at sea again. Only problem is- I’ll be incommunicado. They have no internet or phone. I swore I’d never take a job again where I couldn’t stay in touch, but it’s been so long since I’ve had ANY work. I’m just going to have to suck it up and keep hoping things get better offshore soon.

It’s hard to believe how people treat you when they know you’re desperate for work. Hard to believe anyone thinks it’s OK to send people to work totally cut off from the world for weeks at a time. Yes, we were all used to that, back in the day. Back when no one had internet or cel phones, it was bearable. We waited to get snail mail when we reached port. That was decades ago! Hard to believe employers still get away with treating their people like that. We’re not talking 3rd world employers either, these are Americans.😦

Anybody out there from Columbia? I would love to learn more about it. I was there for a short time during high school, not nearly enough time.

Songs of the Sea: Dead Sea

Here’s another one for my Songs of the Sea series. The Lumineers play ‘Dead Sea’. I really love this band. They have a lot of great songs -most have nothing to do with the water.😉

I haven’t been spending as much time as usual listening to music. My mind just hasn’t been in the right place. I listen to the radio (KPFT) when I go to work (which hasn’t been nearly enough lately). At home I just haven’t been ‘in the mood’- for music- or anything else.

I’ve been spending more time on the computer than anything else lately. The last couple of days I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff to do with ‘just do it’. Even the song. Is it the universe trying to tell me to get off my ass and just DO it?

I think it probably is.

“Dead Sea”

I stood alone, upon the platform in vain
The Puerto Ricans they were playing me salsa in the rain
With open doors and manual locks
In fast food parking lots

I headed West, I was a man on the move
New York had lied to me, I needed the truth
Oh, I need somebody, needed someone I could trust
I don’t gamble, but if I did I would bet on us

Like the Dead Sea
You told me I was like the Dead Sea
You’ll never sink when you are with me
Oh, Lord, like the Dead Sea

Whoa, I’m like the Dead Sea
[Video version:] The nicest words you ever said to me
[Album version:] The finest words you ever said to me
Honey can’t you see,
I was born to be, be your Dead Sea

You told me you were good at running away
Domestic life, it never suited you like a suitcase
You left with just the clothes on your back
You took the rest when you took the map

Yes, there are times we live for somebody else
Your father died and you decided to live
It for yourself you felt, you just felt it was time
And I’m glad, cause you with cats, that’s just not right

Like the Dead Sea
You told me I was like the Dead Sea
You’ll never sink when you are with me
Oh, Lord, I’m your Dead Sea

Whoa, I’m like the Dead Sea
The nicest words you ever said to me
Honey can’t you see
I was born to be, be your dead sea

I’ve been down, I’ve been defeated
You’re the message, I will heed it.
Would you stay,
Would you stay the night?

Dead Sea,
You told me I was like the Dead Sea
I never sink when you are with me
Oh, Lord, I’m your Dead Sea

Whoa, I’m like the Dead Sea
The nicest words you ever said to me
Honey can’t you see
I was born to be, be your Dead Sea