I had hopes of getting a little rest after the first day of the Workboat Show, but that didn’t happen.
I went back to my hotel fairly early Wednesday, but made the mistake of stopping in the lobby and ran into an old friend. I wound up staying there with some new friends from the fishing side of the maritime industry (they don’t usually come to this show- it’s more focused on the oilfield). We hung out til they closed down the bar.
In the morning, I got over to the Workboat Show in time to meet my friend who was there especially to check out the “Military to Maritime” job fair. We had some lunch first and then went to see who showed up at the job fair. They had quite a few booths. A good variety of both inland and offshore boat companies (Kirby, HOS, Chouest, etc) and land based support (Stuart & Stevenson, etc).
I was surprised to see that they weren’t all mobbed all afternoon (but then I left by 1345). With all we hear on the news about the levels of unemployment, I would have thought there would be a much larger crowd. I think they need to advertise the job fair better. It really wasn’t promoted like the Show itself is.
My friend actually got a job while we were there so he had to take off. I stuck around to talk to people and try to figure out how much hiring they were doing and get some specifics. The USCG was giving a talk about how to get started in the maritime industry, (specifically for members of the military), in a room off to the side, so I went in to see what they had to say.
After the presentation, it was just about time for the WISTA tea. I’ve been to a couple of them before as a guest, but I joined WISTA (Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association) as a member this year. I haven’t really done anything with them yet, but they do have some good programs. I love the tea, it’s such a nice atmosphere.
After the tea, the Show was pretty much over for the day, so I wandered over to the French Quarter to see what was happening over there (there’s ALWAYS something). 😉
It was really nice. The fog was just coming in and it made everything look so atmospheric. You could barely see the ships on the river, but you could hear them coming.
Now it was time for the party at the old JAX Brewery (sponsored by some of the companies at the WorkBoat Show). I had missed some good ones the night before, but I was going tonight! I met up with friends from C-Mar and Oceanwide (I worked for both of them in the past).
They had a fabulous (free) buffet and a great band for dancing. They rented out the entire place so we had room to spread out and the balconies if we wanted to smoke. Lots of people were dancing with the band.
We closed that place down and then hit Bourbon Street. We had a great time. I know I actually went home earlier than some others did. I guess I just ‘cain’t hang’ anymore. 😉
I drug myself out of bed again Friday morning and made it over to the Convention Center just in time for the seminar on ‘Training for the Mariner’. There was a panel of speakers representing different training providers and other interested parties (but very obviously NONE representing those MOST affected- the mariners).
I was hoping to hear some regards for the mariners who are the ones being forced into taking all this ‘training’, but nope, that didn’t come up. I was disappointed in the panel, it seems the focus is going to continue to be on more and more ‘training’ (most of which is going to be held on shore, at our expense).
I spent the rest of the day wandering around the show. I hung out with my friends from Oceanwide some more. Saw some other friends from Texas A&M. Stopped by a few more booths to say hi and see what they were doing.
I got to try out all the latest DP systems (that is my main interest now a days since I’m working as a SDPO). I also got to play with a tiny little ROV. That is a lot harder than it looks, but I think it would be a pretty cool deal to work with one of those too.
I was about ready to check out and it was a good thing, since they were taking down the show everywhere around me. 🙂
I hope I can go back again next year! There’s always new stuff to see, more interesting people to meet, and old friends to catch up with. 🙂