THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS FROM AN AMERICAN Merchant Mariner
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Almost like the big boys.
Here we are disconnecting from the barge Massachusetts, after delivering 111,000 barrels on board. As mentioned in the past post, I worked for 5 weeks on that barge, so I know her layout and the crew well. I had to zoom the hell out of my camera to tak this picture through a window... flash photography ain't so good for oil tankers. You can see here that much of the cargo deck area is freshly painted and rust free. Believe me, this is a drastic change from this time last year, when the ship looked pretty damn you-glee.
The Paul T. Moran is a big damn tug. You're looking at 60 feet of her in the barge's notch. It was great to catch up with my former co-workers.
Here's the rest of the tug, minus the upper wheelhouse, which wouldn't fit in the picture.
Side view. Still can't get the whole thing in one frame.
We did very well in our vetting yesterday. No obvious boo-boos, and some helpful-sounding suggestions were on the beef list, according to inside sources who were pretty scanty with the details. In addition, I saw the company's marine superintendent, a former chief mate I had worked with, and he didn't give me shit about my blog, which is a relief. I think that it finally sunk in at the home office that I wouldn't write anything that would a) shoot myself in the foot jobwise or b) make them look bad unfairly.
I am, in the end, all about making people look bad fairly, but mostly I do that with my own self more so than anyone else.
On a Far More Serious Note Just under 1/2 of the unlicensed crew on board has asked me for the number for the HR department of the owners of the ATB we just lightered into. This I find depressing, if understandable. I am discouraging all but a couple of guys, and the only reason I'm doing this is because some of the guys here are passing through. If they don't want to stop here, I understand. It takes a certain type to tolerate the negatives here, regardless of the many good points of this ship and company.
Therefore, I am going to carry out an older threat and publish my first manifesto of the Autumn, entitled, "5 Things shipowners can do to improve crew retention without breaking the bank." Stay tuned.
I am Paul B, and I spend most of my life at sea. Ships, Science, the life of a mariner, biology and (mostly) true stories of life among the best and the worst people in the world, the United States Merchant Marines. You'll find it here, maybe. You'll definitely find rants, raves and discussion on life aboard a merchant ship. Come back and see the Brazilian girls, too, who show up fairly regularly.