Friday, December 16, 2022

Rain Day, Soogey Away.

 The scab fell off my nose today, I am back to being handsome and ready for my closeup. 

       My partner E got ganked off the HQ, poor soul, and was placed somewhere where another guy was missing. He's working hard. Me? Not so much. Short a tankerman, we are temporarily Out of Service here at HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ, which means we are also temporarily a very pleasant place to be for me. 

    E is awesome. We get along great, and are friends besides, now, after living and working together for over two years. Along with B, my partner and counterpart out here for many many years, the HQ 3.0 is by far the most efficient and pleasant of the HQ's I've ever worked on here, and while HQ 2.0 was better in terms of efficiency and layout, it's the crew that makes all the difference, and we've got the best bunch I've every worked with. 

    But with E gone, and us all tied up until we've got bodies to spare again (next week), it's just me, on watchman duties. 

   Yes, I have acquired that rarest of rare birds, a babysitting gig.   It's only for a few days, until Monday, in fact, but I get the whole HQ to myself for a few days and no cargo.  

 Way back when I first run away on ships, rather than on fishing boats, rainy crappy weather days like today meant that barring anything critical, we wouldn't be working outdoors. It's raining and blowing a gale today, which on ships used to mean that it was a day for soogeying. 

     I don't know where the term 'soogie' (pronounced 'soo-jee') comes from, and I don't even know if I am spelling it correctly, as I've never seen it written down. I suspect it might not be a real word, at least in the context that we used to use it in, but it used to mean filling up a bucket with warm water, adding a little bit of pine sol, and wiping down all the internal bulkheads (walls) of the ship's living spaces. An all-day affair for 5-6 men.

  These days, we soogie the HQ too, but the house being what it is, it's a quick task for 1 guy.  Today, with nobody underfoot, I was able to soogie the house, strip and rewax the deck, and do a little extra cleanup than normal. Truth be told we keep the HQ nice- the day before going home, the offgoing tankerman does a pretty deep clean, but pulling out the floor wax and shining it up isn't part of that. Normally we just mop n glo it once a week. 

     In the olden days I'd have gone ashore and gotten a burger and a pint of whiskey, but the olden days are long behind me. Brown-water work, that is to say coastwise and harbor vessels, don't allow alcohol or drinking on our off times, whether ashore or no. That suits older, smarter me well, as I can give my liver a fine workout once I'm home and let it rest here. These days, getting out of control for me means putting an extra tablespoon of dressing on my salad. 


HT said...

Paul don't forget...Murphy's oil soap for the woodwork lol. Enjoy the babysitting!

js said...

When I ran away on ships we'd soogey with spic-n-span before the pay off.

Bob said...

Robert Ruark mentioned soogey in his book The Old Man's Boy Grows Older, although he spells it suji-muji and says it is a mixture of lye and water used to clean whitework. Here's a link to the text, the relevent chapter starts on page 33: