THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS FROM AN AMERICAN Merchant Mariner
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
City of Brotherly Love? My ass.
Thought you should know. Many thanks to Bitter End for the chart.
This is my new home away from home. Packed inside this little box is a bedroom, bathroom, office/living room and kitchen...And two human beings in constant battle to prevent mildew.
Abandoned collier dock... that's a coal-loading chute in the background.
At the same site. This skyscraper-sized monster is a coal loading derrick. When we dock under this rusty and rotten-looking bugger, I always wonder about the condition of the cables that hold the loading arm upright. I don't think anyone inspects abandoned collier rigs. For some reason, our bunkhouse is always directly under the loading arm. Kind of feels like I'm sleeping under a fire ax that's been duct-taped to the ceiling.
First off, this last week has seen some great traffic to my blog. Big thanks to everyone who posted a link, commented, and offered their support, prayers and well wishes. See, this is why I believe in God. Now, an unusual number of people have been telling me that they're praying for me, for my family, or, barring that, they're being supportive with all the BS that happened. Now, I believe that God knows that I am not a man who wants charity or any sort of freebie. Here's how my own little wish list got granted. Normally, in this new nearshore job of mine, I would be working 2 weeks on/2 weeks off. When I approached the crewing manager and asked for a little extra work, I knew that I was asking for some punishing hours. So it goes. The economy being what it is, there isn't a lot of extra work to be had in my company's fleet, and my position as the brandiest-newiest Tankerman PIC is a millstone. No seniority. BUT, I got lucky. My stars got aligned. God was looking out for me. My heart Chakra was aligned with... well, you get the idea. Anyhow, rather than going home and spenging money on beer and sundries, I'm working on an elderly barge for the next 2 weeks, until my regular rotation comes up again... my total time at work will be 6 weeks total. That's some long-ass work hours, and I'm sure that I'll be a little buggy when its' done, but it will allow me to close the door completely on the recent disasterous Bank of America debacle. The bad news is that I'm going to miss 3 MORE weeks with my family, and, as I haven't seen them in over a month already, that's a long friggin' time to be away.
Anyhow, my family is still stuck in Brazil, so I'd be home alone for a full week even if I did go home on time. Last time that happened, look at what was in my fridge! I am a total caveman.
Oh, and the title, if you're wondering? I discovered today that in Philadelpia, men's antiperspirant/deodorant comes with an extra sanitary seal. That is to say, there wasn't enough plastic wrap on regular new deodorant to prevent people from cracking open a new stick in the store, using it, and putting it back on the shelf. Ew. What the hell, man?
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.