N is for New Orleans- #AtoZChallenge

51b8d-n

“N” is for New Orleans, a city like no other. It’s one of my all time favorite places to visit. I first started going to New Orleans back in 1978-79.

I was in the Ocean Marine Technology Program at Brazosport College. It was a 2 year program where I would be able to earn my AB and QMED certificates from the Coast Guard. One of the things we had to do was to take fire-fighting training. We also had to take a ‘Spring Cruise”. We combined them and took a couple of boats up to Delgado Community College in New Orleans to take their fire-fighting course.

That’s me, 2nd from left, back row

I was 17 at the time and the youngest in class. We had a nice and easy trip up, the weather was fine and we all got to practice our celestial navigation skills. We all looked forward to seeing New Orleans and we were not disappointed. We all had a blast and will always remember getting underway bright and early after a late night out on Bourbon Street. 😉

I used to go home to Florida to visit family a couple of times a year and always stopped in New Orleans if I could. I liked to hang around the French Quarter and recharge my batteries for a day. Maybe longer if I met up with some ‘cool’ people. 😉

Years later, when I got older and had to slow down on the partying, I started to enjoy more of the city than Bourbon Street. I’ve gone for conferencesworkshops and training, and layovers for traveling to and from work offshore. I always try to spend a little extra time just to relax and enjoy the city.

It’s so easy. New Orleans has it’s own special vibe. They say it’s got “soul”. Yeah, I agree. It feels sultry, hot and humid most of the time. It almost oozes history. You can see it in the architecture all over the French Quarter. It smells delicious. Chicory coffee, beignets, seafood gumbo, salty oysters, and boozy concoctions around Bourbon Street.

The food is amazing! Classic French, Creole, Cajun and all combinations thereof. Soul food, muffaletas, po-boys, fresh seafood, fine steaks, you can get all that and more. Some of the best cooks in the world call New Orleans home.

New Orleans is a city of music. Jazz, Cajun, Creole, Rock, Soul, Blues, it’s all there. All over the place. I love wandering around the French Quarter, finding musicians playing out in the streets. You can almost always find some around Jackson Square or Royal Street. Then there are the second line parades. It’s always fun to join in the party. Where else can you get that?

New Orleans has so many parades, parties and festivals. I love it! I wonder if I would ever get anything done if I actually lived there? 😉

D is for Death- #AtoZChallenge

There is a curious little museum in New Orleans. Located at 227 Dauphine Street, it’s easy to pass by. Just another unassuming shop front.

I was passing by on a rainy day and noticed the intriguing displays through the front windows. The writing on the door was provocative. I was looking for something interesting to do, and so I went in to take a look around.

The Museum of Death is a small place, but they packed a lot into it. They say it takes about an hour for the self guided tour, but if you take the time to read and absorb the information posted with the displays it will take longer. They didn’t allow photos, so this one of the door is the only one I got. I thought it was expensive at $15, but I suppose for what they’re trying to do, it’s the only way to help pay for it.

It’s a fantastic place to visit if you’re into serial killers, murders, sensational deaths. They had some really great displays on various killers and their victims. I’ve always been interested in what makes a person do something like that. I’ve always been curious about how people think the things they do, and why.

The museum did a pretty thorough job of explaining the whole autopsy process, with tools of the trade and even a video to watch. They had coffins, skulls, shrunken heads and more. If you take the time to read the information posted along with the artifacts, you can learn a lot.

It can get pretty gruesome, lots of blood, guts and gore. It’s definitely not for everyone. I thought it was a pretty cool way to spend a rainy afternoon in New Orleans, but then maybe I’m just weird. 😉

D” is for Death, my post for the #AtoZChallenge.

SoCS: March

For Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, the theme today is: March. Click the link for the rules and join in. 🙂

“March”. It brings to mind music, like the kind you hear in a marching band. John Phillip Sousa, etc. Also, the marchers, marching.

It reminded me of the parade I always try to see in New Orleans. The Krewe of Kringle puts on a great parade every year for Christmas. I’m usually in New Orleans around that time to attend the Workboat Show if I’m not offshore.

New Orleans is always fun. I love going up there to visit. I always see old friends and meet new ones. I always find something new and interesting to do. Last time, I finally got to ride the Steamboat Natchez and go to the WWII Museum.

I’d love to go up there again. This weekend is the New Orleans Bourbon Festival. I would really love to go to that! It sounds like a blast. Not as crazy as Mardi Gras, but I bet it’s still a lot of fun.

I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere for a while tho. I’m still not working. 😦

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Purples New Orleans Style

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to join in on any of Cee’s great challenges. I’ll try to make up with a couple for this week. Here’s my take on her Fun Foto Challenge for this week- purples.

These are all from my trip last week to New Orleans…

purple feathered masque

purple feathered masque

purple eggplant

purple eggplant

purple player

purple player

purple donuts

purple donuts

purple hammocks

purple hammocks

Like it? Feel free to join in, just click the link and see what other things Cee is up to.

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

Dance- New Orleans

Here’s a photo I took in New Orleans. I think it’s a good one for this challenge (Dance) from the Daily Post. I loved watching this couple dance and listen to the band play in the street. New Orleans is really great for this kind of thing. 🙂

The couple was really dancing up a storm (swing, jitterbug, etc.), the musicians were all tapping their toes and swaying to the music and everyone was having a great time.

Ogden

I was in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago for the Workboat Show. I always try to go if I’m not working. It’s interesting and New Orleans is always a blast. 🙂

This year, the schedule was a little off, also I’ve been laid off and no idea when I’ll get any work. It could be months. Years even. I was hoping to find somebody hiring at the job fair. Or, talk up some of the recruiters at their booths. So, I went to the show, but I cut back. I didn’t stay as long as usual. I didn’t spend as much money as usual. I was only there 4 days instead of 5-6, but I still had a good time.

I flew in Wednesday and flew out Saturday. I had hoped to be able to do some tourist stuff on Friday since I had all day free. I wound up spending all day long driving down to Fourchon and back to pick up some paperwork from my last ship.

So Saturday morning I had to return the car. Lucky for me, I saw on the way that they were setting up for the Krewe of Jingle Christmas Parade. I was planning to spend the day in the WWII Museum. I had heard it was really good, especially the movie (Tom Hanks).

Because I really wanted to see the parade, I skipped the WWII Museum (I thought it would be worth more than 1-2 hours) and went to see the Ogden Museum of Southern Art instead.

It’s nice that all those museums are so close together. Almost right across the street from each other. There is also a Civil War museum right there and a contemporary arts museum there too. I’ll have to do those and the WWII Museum next time. 🙂

The Ogden Museum was interesting. They had an exhibit of photographer Bill Yates that was pretty good. They displayed a bunch of black and white photographs from a skating rink (FL in the 70s), reminded me of when I was growing up over there. There was another exhibit of Michael Meads that I really liked. A lot of those were huge drawings/paintings, mostly in black and white but very intricate. (Not allowed to take pictures of those exhibits).

I started from the top (nice view from the balcony) and worked my way down. Four floors, pretty compact. They had painting, photography, pottery, sculpture, glass and more. They had an exhibit by some school kids that I really liked. Made out of garbage (plastic) and painted. Sculptures of fantasy creatures and interesting objects. I thought it was very creative and nice to recycle.

They had some of the more traditional museum type paintings, they also had some strange stuff that really got me thinking about ‘what is art?’.

Some of the things they had I could see really took a lot of effort, a lot of thought, a lot of creativity, a lot of talent. I could see why someone would want to put them in a museum (and probably pay a bunch of money for them).

"Victim of Silence"- Mark Messersmith 2011

“Victim of Silence”- Mark Messersmith 2011

detail

detail

But some of the things they had on display I thought “WTF???”. Why in the world would anybody want THAT hanging around? Much less pay anything for it! Why would anyone consider it ‘art”?

mud & paint on plywood by Jimmy Lee Sudduth

mud & paint on plywood by Jimmy Lee Sudduth

Those items looked to me like anybody could make them. A child could do better. A MONKEY could do better!

Why are these things sitting in a museum? What makes them worth it? What makes them ‘great’? I’m assuming if they’re in a museum, they’re considered to be ‘great art’. Why do the curators pay high dollars for these things when the majority of people who see them think the same way as I do and wouldn’t pay 10 cents for them? What makes them art and your kids refrigerator specials not?

So, what does make art?

And what makes ‘great’ art (worth of a spot in a museum)?

I’m really curious. Come on with your comments…

More Jingle

A few more photos from the Krewe of Jingle Christmas Parade in New Orleans. I always try to go to New Orleans the 1st week of December for the Workboat Show and they have this parade right afterwards. It’s always a lot of fun. 🙂

Krewe of Jingle 2015

 

I went to New Orleans for the Workboat Show again this year. I didn’t stay as long as usual  (due to not working this year), but I still had time to catch the Christmas Parade. 🙂

I had actually forgotten about it. They changed the usual schedule for the Workboat Show, so I was off on my planning. I flew in the morning of the show, made the WISTA tea that afternoon, went to a party that night, spent the next day working the Show. I spent all day Friday tracking down paperwork from my last boat (in Fourchon).

I had to return the car Saturday morning, so got up early. I had planned to go to the WWII Museum right next to the car rental, but I saw them setting up the streets for a parade and it was going to start in only a little over an hour. I wanted to see it for sure!

I decided to spend the time before the parade started in the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. It was interesting and I managed to check out all of it and still have enough time to get a good spot to watch the parade. I even had time to wander around, check out the costumes and take photos before they started marching. 🙂



This is the Krewe of Jingle parade, they’ve been doing it the last few years right around the same time as the Workboat Show (Dec 5 this year). I LOVE this parade! They have such great people, fun costumes, and they’re all having such a great time. It’s contagious. 🙂

I’ve got a lot of great photos from the parade. I’ll share more later, don’t want the blog to get bogged down loading. 😉

Son of a Sea Cook: 2

I’m still trying to post twice so I don’t lose all my old followers who somehow didn’t get automatically transferred to my new site (www.captainjillsjourneys.com). Please follow me over there. I’m not sure how long this situation or this blog will last. 

I was at the Workboat Show in New Orleans last week. I spent most of my time this year talking to recruiters, crewing agencies and training providers. One of the more interesting ones was the Son of a Sea Cook workboat cooking school. It’s a new program of the Sea School based in St. Petersburg, FL.

If things weren’t so totally dead offshore right now, I would heartily recommend it for anyone who wants an ‘in’ to get started working offshore. As things are, I would still say it’s a good idea. It helps if you like to cook, but most small boats require everyone to cook sometimes. It really doesn’t matter if you like it or not.

It’ll be dead offshore til the price of oil goes back up, but there were still plenty of inland companies hiring at the show. It’s still an advantage when you’re looking for work to have a skill like cooking to add to your application. Companies know that a good cook will help keep a happy crew and that’s always good for business.

Knowing how to cook is a good skill to have even for your OWN benefit. It’s sure nice to know how to cook up a good meal instead of living on TV dinners and baloney sandwiches. I know, when I got my 1st apartment, I lived on Campbells cream of tomato soup and baloney sandwiches.

I never learned how to cook til I HAD to, when they took our cooks away the last time the oil price took a dive back in the 80’s. We lived on TV dinners and sandwiches for months. Thank goodness my crew was willing to let me learn to cook! I made them a deal, I would (try) to cook, they could clean up. It took me a while, but I did eventually learn. Now I can cook pretty good, and I even enjoy it.

The Son of a Sea Cook school is a 28 day course, includes free room and board in Bayou La Batre, AL, and will get you set up to find a job as a boat cook. They’ll help you get your US Coast Guard documents if you need them. They have companies that look for graduates of their training programs to hire on. They even have tuition assistance and job placement help.

“Important elements of this training include soup stock, sauce, starch, sauces, roux, salads, menu planning, nutrition, basic food purchasing & production, costing, regional cuisine, cajun cooking, safe meat cutting & poultry handling, galley management, food-service sanitation, storeroom operations and introduction to baking.”

If I had to start all over again, I would seriously consider signing up myself. I’m SURE it would have been much easier for me to get on board as a cook then as any other position (as a female). Once you’re on board, it’s MUCH easier to work your way into another position if you decide you don’t like the galley.

If you’re looking for something fun and interesting to do, give them a call (1-800-237-8663) to find out prices, the website doesn’t list them. You can also check out their other courses if you’re interested in working on a boat (but not as a cook).

Busy Week: 2

Once again, I’m having to post twice since I still haven’t been able to fix the issues with my blog. The original (better- with PICTURES) post is on my new blog www.captainjillsjourneys.com. Please, go and follow me there! I hate it that all my followers got left behind in the move, but I can’t move you myself, you have to go to the new site and sign up again.

I was in New Orleans last week for the Workboat Show. I got there Wednesday morning, had enough time to check out the show and then walked over to the WISTA tea at the Windsor Court Hotel.

Some friends invited me to a party held jointly by the Massachusetts and Maine Maritime academies. It was high up on the 23rd floor at the W Hotel with a fantastic view of the Mississippi River. There were more parties to attend afterwards, but I was pooping out. I didn’t think I could stay up partying too much longer so I headed back to my hotel.

On the way I stopped in at Harrah’s casino. I played the nickel video poker machines. I only put in $20, but it was after midnight by the time I thought to make a move. I still had over $10 left.

After breakfast at the hotel (not worth getting up early for), I wandered back over to the show. I talked to friends at all the recruiters (C-Mar, Oceanwide, CLS). I stopped by my old shipmate’s booth to say hi and catch up on news.

I checked out some of the more interesting booths like the one promoting tall ship sailing for everyone. I’ve always loved the tall ships, that’s what made me decide to become a professional mariner. I’ve been trying since my high school sailing trip to recreate that experience.

I was hoping to find someone hiring at the job fair, but no such luck. There were no offshore companies attending this year and so no work available. There were a few inland companies there and they were hiring. Marquette, Kirby, Canal Barge). There were a couple of engineering companies (Downey Engineering, Schottel). The hiring companies were completely outnumbered by the hopefuls looking for a job.

The Show closed down pretty soon after I finished with the job fair. I headed through the Riverwalk Shopping Center and had lunch overlooking the river. It was getting dark and cooling off when I finished so I stopped in again at the Casino and wound up spending another couple of hours there.

I wandered over to the French Quarter and did some window shopping down Royal Street. Lots of interesting art and good music even on the street. I walked back to my hotel down Bourbon Street and wondered at my lack of desire to join in the party.

I was in bed by 11 PM. Up in the morning in time to pick up the rental car I needed to run down to Fourchon to pick up some paperwork from the Mystic Viking. I spent the day driving back and forth and got back too late to return the car.

I got up early enough to return the car. I wanted to go to the WWII museum nearby, but I found out there was a parade starting soon so I changed plans. I went to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art instead. They had a lot of really interesting stuff. Anything from the usual classical paintings you’d imagine belong in a museum, to ‘art’ I bet any monkey could do. I’m always amazed how those sorts of things wind up in a museum or why anyone would pay anything for it.

I left the museum in time to find a good spot to view the parade. It was fun to watch the kids lunge for the candies and beads. The costumes were fun and of course in New Orleans they weren’t what you would expect. Not just the usual cheerleaders and marching bands, but roving bands of Elvi’s and ice cream girls in pink stripes. I’ll write more on the parade later.

PS- I don’t think the pictures are going to stay here. I just copied and pasted them from my new blog. I don’t have enough storage space here to upload the photos twice. Please go to www.captainjillsjourneys.com and follow me. Thanks for sticking with me while I try to work out all these bugs!

 

Workboat Show 2015:B

I’ve got to get up early again tomorrow. I’m heading to New Orleans for the Workboat Show in the morning.

I’ll tell you about it tomorrow night, after I see what’s up and get settled in. In the meantime, you can get a preview here, or here to see what was going on last year. Or just search for ‘Workboat Show’ on the blog here.

 

PS: I add the B to my post titles because these posts are going to my BACKUP blog (my OLD blog)! If you like my blog, please check out my NEW blog. It’s at www.captainjillsjourneys.com. Everything was supposed to automatically be transferred over there, but apparently that is not happening. 😦

One Word Photo Challenge: Foggy

I like to enter these photography challenges when I can. They’re always interesting. I like to see what other people are doing too. This is for Jennifers One Word Photo Challenge: Foggy. I took these one night in New Orleans. I love New Orleans! 🙂

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Motion

Here’s a photo I took in New Orleans. I think it’s a good one for this challenge (Motion) from the Daily Post. I loved watching this couple dance and listen to the band play in the street. New Orleans is really great for this kind of thing. 🙂

It’s not really blurry, but I hope you can get the idea of motion anyway. The couple was really dancing up a storm (swing, jitterbug, etc.), the musicians were all tapping their toes and swaying to the music and everyone was having a great time.

I didn’t think to buy a CD from this band, I wish I remembered their name. But I did get one from another one that was playing further up the street. Here’s a post I did about that one. Check it out, the music’s worth a listen. 😉

Twinkle

I just got back from a trip to New Orleans. I was there for the WorkBoat Show. I always try to spend some extra time there if I can. It’s such a great city to just hang out in. There’s so much to see and do and it’s such a creative place.

I saw lots of really beautiful Christmas decorations. Here are a couple of the Christmas trees for the Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle.

New Orleans: Christmas Parade 2014

I went to New Orleans for the WorkBoat Show again this year. I stayed over a couple of days to just chill out and enjoy New Orleans. It’s such a great city to hang out in. 🙂

I did try to check around to see if there was anything especially interesting going on. I checked online and didn’t see anything unusual.  I had thought about going on another walking tour or going to the WWll museum, or the Pharmacy museum. What won out in the end was sleeping late. 😉

I had just got around to wandering out of the hotel and I heard the drums playing. I had to find out what was going on. I’m so glad I did. 🙂

I followed my ears down the street a couple of blocks until I ran into the crowd lined up along St Charles street and the parade marching by.

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It was so neat. I missed out on the beginning of it, but I was still in time to see a few groups of dancers, majorettes, and marching bands. The riding club and their little miniature horses were SO cute! So were the little girls all dressed up in their sparkling outfits, tapping their way down the street.

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Floats carrying bands playing Dixieland jazz and Santa-hatted, bead throwing locals were interspersed among the dance schools and high school marching bands. Santa and his dancing elves brought up the rear.

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And tho I think for some reason the bikers weren’t in the parade (technically), they didn’t let that ruin their fun and they had their own little parade right after the last musical blasting car passed by.

Nowhere like New Orleans for a party! 🙂

WorkBoat Show: Day 2-3

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

 

mini ROV by SeaRay

mini ROV by VideoRay

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. 🙂

 

WorkBoat Show: Day 1

After a VERY late night, I drug myself out of bed to check out the WorkBoat Show.

I didn’t really plan on staying up half the night, but I saw on Facebook that a friend and travel writer was going to be in town for a ‘comp trip’. I had met her at a travel writing workshop in Boston a couple of years ago. After messaging back and forth on Facebook before leaving home, we agreed to meet up here in New Orleans after she finished up her work.

Turns out, when I went to meet her, she was in the middle of dinner with the whole group of writers involved on the comp trip. It was an interesting evening, for true! 🙂

I got back to my hotel about 0200 in the morning, but for some reason I just couldn’t sleep. So it was pretty hard to get up and out. Once I did, I walked over to the Convention center for the WorkBoat Show.

In the same Facebook conversation, I learned there was another writer (and fellow blogger who I met at the same workshop)  coming to town for the show. We planned to meet up too. The first thing we wanted to do was to hear Capt Phillips. He was the Keynote speaker.

Remember the Maersk Alabama, the American flagged ship that got attacked by pirates a couple of years ago? Tom Hanks played him in the movie? Yep, that Capt Phillips. He gave a good presentation and we got to ask questions and afterwards have pictures taken with him (I skipped that but my friend got hers done).

As the presentation was ending, I spotted another friend of mine from Kirby Towing. We stopped to say hi on the way out. That’s what I love about these events. I always wind up meeting so many of my old friends. It’s great to catch up and hear what everybody’s been doing. 🙂

I had a couple of hours before the next presentation. My writer friend was doing an interview with a guy from the Deadliest Catch, so I went to wander around a little bit and ran into some other old friends.

Father Sinclair and Doreen from the Apostleship of the Sea. They always have so many good projects going on to help the sailors and the maritime community. Sinclair still sails, but he somehow finds the time to get involved with all kinds of important stuff.

I went to the presentation on mariner health issues. I picked that one since I have a lot of concerns of my own about how the medical standards are getting harder and harder to meet and are being used to throw a lot of us sailors out of our jobs. It seems a lot of the companies want 50 years of experience in a 20 year old body. 😦

Spent the rest of the afternoon wandering through the convention center and checking out  some of the things there that I’m especially interested in. The latest DP systems from Kongsberg, MT, L3, etc.

I met a few more old friends. Hope to spend some more time with them tomorrow in between all the other events. 🙂