New Challenge: Topic Generator

I just found Jennifer Nichole Well’s latest challenge. It’s a ‘topic generator’ that takes a random phrase and then adds a noun. She has a list of 6 topics (so far). I chose photography. This is what I got when I clicked the button…

experiment with the photo/editing topic Self-Portrait by using or taking a photo of Foot

This is what I came up with. I’m not one for selfies, I don’t really get that whole fad. Actually, I really don’t like having pictures taken of me at all. I did manage to find this shot I took a while back as I was chilling out by the pool on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.


Maritime Monday for June 5th 2017- Singapore Invaded by Giant Sea Urchins!

Sorry I’ve been away from the computer for so long. I finally got a little bit of work. Not nearly enough, but even those short couple of weeks will keep me going for another couple of months! I wish they had decent internet aboard, but can’t be picky about work at this point!

I got in late Saturday night, it’s taken me this long to catch up a little bit and start to interact with the world again. I got my dose of Maritime Monday yesterday and felt like it’s worth passing on. There’s a cool story about Singapore and the latest cool project over there. Be sure to check out the interesting pottery by Florida sculptor Mitchell Grafton. I really like what I’ve seen of his work so far.

As if there weren’t enough to worry about, Singapore is being invaded by giant crocheted sea urchins.  >> via Trevor Corson, author of the books “The Secret Life of Lobsters” and “The Story of Sushi.”  – National Ocean Service – Looking for a getaway for a few minutes during your work day? Check out our […]

Source: Maritime Monday for June 5th, 2017 – gCaptain

Color Your World: 30 Gold

Today’s color for Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge is: gold! At least I know what that looks like. 😉

Here’s a photo of a golden idol I took a while back at the Buddha’s Tooth Temple in Singapore. I sure miss those days of traveling around while working on the ship. We used to stay for quite a while in the shipyard there. I’m not really sure who or what it’s supposed to be since I’m not really up on the Buddhist (or any other) religion. They did have an awful lot of these statues in their temple, this was one of the larger ones.

Color Your World: Burnt Sienna

Another post for Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge. Maybe I’m blind, but I really don’t see much difference between today’s color (burnt sienna) and yesterday’s (vivid tangerine). I think today’s is a little darker hue, but I can’t be sure that’s it.

Here’s my best guess for today…

More of the interesting architecture from Singapore. They’ve really fixed up a lot of these old ‘shop houses’ around the Chinatown area. I really enjoyed wandering around down there when we were able to get off the ship and spend some time in port.

Color Your World: Vivid Tangerine

I found another blog challenge from Jennifer Nicole Wells, she runs the Color Your World Challenge on her blog. I did a few posts last year. It goes on for 4 months, so I didn’t manage to finish the whole thing, or even to post every day.

Jennifer is running the Color Your World challenge again for 2017. I’ll post when I can. Todays color is ‘vivid tangerine‘. Here’s my take.

I took this photo of the traditional ‘shop houses’ in Singapore a few years ago. Back when I was still working and able to travel. We used to spend a lot of time there. I miss the days we’d spend at the Jurong shipyards. The Seaman’s Center took good care of us. Their people haven’t forgotten the importance of the merchant marine. 🙂

Singapore is a fantastic place to hang out. I loved to take the metro downtown and see Chinatown, Clark Quay, and the Durians. The beer was always cold, the food was hot, cheap and plentiful. The people were friendly. I’d go back anytime. 🙂


Today’s color for Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge is: indigo. Here’s my entry.

I took the photo a few years ago when we were working out of Singapore a lot. We spent a lot of time in the shipyard there and so we had a few chances to go ashore and see a little bit of the island city. This picture was taken down by the river at Clarke Quay.


Here’s an entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Purple

I took this a while back at Clarkes Quay in Singapore. I love Singapore and that area along the riverfront is always a great place to hang out at night. There are all kinds of restaurants and bars, live music and street entertainers. This picture is of a ‘dancing’ fountain where you can play in the water jets, the lights are constantly changing colors. I just happened to catch it when they were purple.

I wanted to pick something other than flowers for this challenge (tho I have a bunch of those too).

Silhouette: Singapore Sunset

Here’s another one to illustrate the Weekly Photo Challenge from the Daily Post. This week the subject is “silhouette”.

I took the photo a while ago when I was working on the DB-50 (derrick barge 50) in Singapore. We spent a lot of time at this anchorage while we were working on our list of items to get checked out on sea trials.

We did leave (and come back) a few times. Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world. It’s a great place for any sailor. Both on the water AND on land. 😉

This is one of my favorite photos. I even chose it to be the headliner on my blog.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light- Singapore

Here are some photos I took the last time I was in Singapore. The first 3 are at Clarke Quay. It’s a nice area near the Singapore River with lots of bars and restaurants. The kids love to play in the fountains all lit up in different colors. It’s really quite beautiful at night. The next 2 are from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown. The last one is of the Singapore River near Clarke Quay. I took all these photos with a point and shoot camera. I usually only have a pocket camera with me when I’m working. I had just got off the ship and stayed a few days to sight-see before I had to go home.

These are for the Weekly Photo Challenge, this weeks theme is ‘Light’. I thought some of the other people who posted had some really nice shots. If you want to see them, or enter the Challenge, here’s the link

A Word a Week Challenge- Arch

I finally got off the ship (DB-50) in Singapore and stayed over a couple of weeks. I wandered around and found this art museum. It had a lot of interesting things and the buildings were very interesting in themselves. It used to be a school (if I remember right) 🙂

Arches, Singapore Art Museum

A Word a Week Challenge- Arch

Singapore Art Museum

I finally got off the ship (DB-50) in Singapore and stayed over a couple of weeks. I wandered around and found this art museum. It had a lot of interesting things and the buildings were very interesting in themselves. It used to be a school (if I remember right).

Chinese cockroach farmers are making a bundle selling pulverized bugs for $89 per lb.

Chinese cockroach farmers are making a bundle selling pulverized bugs for $89 per lb. – Quartz.

OK, I have to admit, I REALLY don’t like cockroaches. Especially these big ones. Or the ones we get down South near the water where I live. We call ’em Palmetto bugs. I’ll never forget the night I was just falling asleep. It was a hot muggy night (so no covers) and one of those huge suckers flew across the room and started crawling up my leg. I must have woken up half the block with my screams!

So, the idea of people actually FARMING these things just gives me the creeps. Maybe its just me? The Chinese people seem to think there’s some real good medicine in these things. I just remembered this exhibit I saw at the Chinatown Heritage Center in Singapore last year.

Sign at the Chinatown Heritage Center, Singapore

Sign at the Chinatown Heritage Center, Singapore

I guess if you grind it up and add enough other stuff to it, you might not even notice it going down? I do try and taste different foods when I’m off traveling, but so far, the only bugs I’ve managed to try were some ants -chocolate covered- that helps 😉 – and some kind of grub they had at the ‘tasting kitchen’ at the New Orleans Insectarium ( Those tasted almost exactly like that Honey Nut Crunch cereal. They did have other flavors, but I was OK with just trying that one 🙂

Tasting room at the Insectarium in New Orleans

Tasting room at the Insectarium in New Orleans

Trying out some of the taste 'treats' at the New Orleans Insectarium

Trying out some of the taste ‘treats’ at the New Orleans Insectarium

I do see plenty of people in Thailand and Indonesia snacking on grasshoppers, water beetles, grubs, etc at the bars I go to. I always figured they must just be drunk. I never managed to work up the nerve to try any of those larger samples. Maybe next time…

Learn how to prepare your pests for tasty treats!

Learn how to prepare your pests for tasty treats!

Or maybe not. I did read something recently where the scientists were recommending that we should ALL start eating insects. It would go a long way towards helping to feed all the starving people around the planet. Yeah, they are a great source of protein. Yeah, they cost a lot less to produce, they don’t cause as much damage as cattle, they’re easy to raise… yada, yada, yada. Personally, I would prefer people start using birth control before we’re all reduced to eating bugs for breakfast 😉

U.S. EPA Fines Shell for Arctic Air Pollution Violations

U.S. EPA Fines Shell for Arctic Air Pollution Violations | gCaptain

OK, they got fined $1 million, I don’t think that’s really all that big a deal to them. I am SO glad I didn’t stick with that job!

That was going to be my perfect job. I left Oceaneering after they brought my ship to the Gulf of Mexico. What a HUGE culture shock! I’ve done everything I could do to get the hell back overseas ever since (STILL trying). When I got the offer from Frontier Drilling to go as 2nd mate on the Frontier Discoverer (now Noble Discoverer), I was on that like white on rice 🙂

It was out of the GOM, the pay and benefits were better, the schedule was better and best of all, it was drilling but NOT going to be stuck sitting in one spot for months on end not doing anything. This one was supposed to work in Alaska in the summers and Australia in the winters. I figured, great, I would still get to do some actual navigation. Finally get to go somewhere interesting again!

So, I flew over to meet the ship in Singapore. Whoa, what a surprise I got. I had the idea the ship was ”new”. The ship itself was built in 1966 (but NOT well taken care of- parts of it below decks looked like Swiss cheese- NOT good!). They stuck a new drill rig on it midships. They stuck a new house on it aft. It still had the original engine (that wouldn’t start) and bridge. Not much in the way of modern electronics, no DP systems- it was “turret moored”. They only had a captain, chief mate and 2 second mates for bridge team. I guess we were going to stand watch like a regular ship (12-4, 4-8, 8-12) instead of the usual 12 hour watch like the oilfield. I never did find out since I quit before we left Singapore. They did have a bunch of good ABs at least.

I really wanted to keep that job. It offered everything I wanted. Actual sailing around to interesting places around the world, good crew (international), good schedule, good pay, good insurance, decent quarters.

I hated to leave! But things were getting pretty scary to me. More and more every day. For instance, I would make my way up forward to the bridge for my watch and someone would casually mention to me that the “swimming pool” was full again. WHAT???? Swimming pool??

Yes, some ships do actually have swimming pools but this one was NOT supposed to. So, what were they talking about. Turns out, the swimming pool was a void space, starboard side midships. It went all the way down from the main deck to the bilge. Every other day it would fill up to the top. Then it would drain down. What was going on? No one knew. No one really seemed to care…

I was there only about 3 weeks. We would have fire drills every couple of days. Mostly because we could not conduct a ‘proper’ fire drill to satisfy the authorities. We would start the fire pump, but where was the water??? We could never get any water to the forward part of the ship. Why not??? Yeah, pretty important question…

Turns out that about 50 feet of the fire line had been cut out previously. No one had put a blank on the line. No one had ‘remembered’ about it. So, when we started the fire pump, the water from the fire line would fill up the swimming pool instead of going down the fire line to the forward part of the ship. WOW!

So, OK, that problem solved. Only took 3 weeks I was there and who knows how long before that they had been without any fire fighting capability. Again, no one seemed to care.

They did finally manage to get the main engine started too. I’m not sure why they bothered. The company man assured me they would TOW the ship to Alaska if they couldn’t get it started. They were bound and determined to get it there on schedule!

I almost fell out of my (top) bunk when they finally lit it off! It sounded like a bomb went off the first time it rolled over. Of course, the engine being so old, they don’t service that type anymore, or make parts, so the engineers were having a hell of a time. A great bunch of guys. They all walked off the ship a week before I left. The chief mate left a couple of days before I had enough. The QMEDs left when I did. All that were left was the Captain, the other 2nd mate (who was used to getting shot at while working in Africa) and the (foreign) ABs who were staying til the end since they wouldn’t be allowed to stay once the ship got to the states.

I felt bad leaving like that before my scheduled hitch was over. That was one of only a couple of times in all these years I’ve quit like that. It just wasn’t worth either my license or my life for that job no matter how badly I wanted it. Every time I see this ship in the news I’m reminded of that time in Singapore and glad I made the decision I did. I feel sorry for the people who had to deal with all that crap in Alaska. 😦

Here’s a link to the ships details so you can see what I’m talking about 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Anchorage at sunset in Singapore August 2012

Anchorage at sunset in Singapore August 2012