Monday, June 30, 2008

Sippa Missi

I mean Mississippi,that's where we ended up.They chased us out of Tampa in a hurry after we received our new fair lead and gear guard,they were tore up from last month's trip.We were given word of a trip to Mexico and then it magically changed to hurry up and head to a job in Mississippi.Not just a job a damn dredge job.Nasty freaking nasty work.I have found out the true meaning of Mississippi mud and I am not to fond of it.Well no worries only a few more days and I am out of here.They brought a few more guys on the boat to help out that's a disaster and I will leave it at that.This is hard work,probably the hardest work I have done since last year.The only thing still tolerable is the food and that's growing old on me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Well Tampa,yup Tampa I'm no longer excited to be here.We got here Thursday and here we sit,idle.They took the crew down to four people,I'm still here so I guess I serve a purpose.All anyone has heard is that there is a job around the area that the office is bidding on.Some trip involving a two barge tow,Tampico,Mexico and equipment we don't have on board.I thought Tampico was a cheap orange drink but I digress.We wake up in the morning,we eat,we paint,we chip,we paint some more,then go to sleep and do it all again.It's ridiculous hot with ugly thunderstorms every afternoon.Only time will tell I suppose.In ten days I'm scheduled to go home so I'm just looking forward to getting the next few days out of the way and starting the countdown.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's Your Life

one of my great friends took a random job with a random company that was great.what was so great about it?he doesn't work where I used to!Now what everyone needs to understand is,you have to start somewhere.On top of that you have to understand that you can always do better.I am always going to try and do better,that's how I was raised.However these guys out here know one thing and one thing only,and that's how to make a living on the water.My friend wrote an article that is now published in the professional mariners magazine,I'm jealous.He wrote down a simple trip between Philly and NYC with fuel barge.He wrote every detail from eating to docking,it's awesome.I'm jealous because this guy has less than an eighth grade education,remembers details better than a first grader and can describe tugboat life better than me.The point here is,it doesn't take a genius to work on a tug,it take a vivid imagination to describe what it's like.We all make a good living out her,yet people don't understand what has ton happen to the random products they take for granted.Everything from fuel to fiber is transported via ship or barge and it doesn't just show up waiting for you.It take hours and days to make it there so you can enjoy the conveniences of life.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Well that was a short unadventurous trip!We did manage to have a slight communication problem coming into the dock.We were given the message either side to the pier.Which means get the barge to dock however the hell you can.After we made up on the port side of the barge it changed of course.Hey what the,no you can't,that won't work yelled the dockworkers.No big deal we swung around on it,almost took out a buoy,a pole barge and a fishing boat or three.That's over with thankfully.As far as we all knew we were to drop the barge at the shipyard a and haul potatoes North.Welcome to tugboats 101 things change,stand by,go get grub,crew change.We got grub and we went from six people on board down to four.Oh no that's no good for me boss,but I can tough it out I always do,it's the nature of the business.All I have been told is the office wants to keep this boat in the South.That's cool,no big deal but yeah could you narrow that down for me.Fifteen days left and it's time for me to go home,enjoy a few cold ones and relax!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Goin to Flow-Rida!

Be gone for a few days, again.It's the nature of my job I suppose.Leaving Buck Kreis shipyard late tonight heading for Tampa.Let me tell everyone something here,fertilizer when wet in mass quantities is some extremely disgusting stuff.While off loading the barge the crane operator decided it would be OK to do a half ass job.In turn we ended up with piles of fertilizer on both the bow and stern of the barge.It would have been fine,I mean they were going to clean the barge today anyway,then the worlds strongest line of thunderstorms moved into the New Orleans area.When I got onto the barge early this morning it was soggy and mildly nasty.After the sun came up you couldn't walk in that area of the barge because of the smell.Now I can deal with stuff pretty good but when a smell best described as a car litter box in a humidor hits you in the face everywhere you go it's time to finish up and get back to the boat.No harm I guess the barge is clean and will be en route to the shipyard in the next few hours.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A "Mule"

So you ask hey dude what's a mule?Well hold on and I will tell you.A mule has effectively taken place of the now antique locomotive.The mules are used to move rail cars over short distances around shipyards,canals,railroad depots.Called a mule for its use,it "carries" things over a certain distance without complaining m,much like a the animal.In the Panama Canal the mules are heavily used by the canal authority to essentially guide ships,tugs and barges through the lochs so as not to bang and beat up the sides of anything.They mainly run on diesel fuel however some newer mules run off of electricity.They are most always on fixed rails and even though very small can tow or control with cables extreme weight.Walking around the shipyard here next to the old Domino Sugar plant I discovered this older style mule at work pulling some of the fertilizer off loaded from our barge down the rail.We are preparing to go down river a few miles to Buck Kreis shipyard to have the barge cleaned aka another midnight maneuver my least favorite of all.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Good Lord Man I See Land!

Well what a long trip it's been.Only a little over eight days but still a bit much when you figure all we did was go from North Carolina to Louisiana.On the other hand we did haul over 15,000 tons of fertilizer behind us.Well we made it,the weather cooperated and we didn't run out of grub or fuel,mission accomplished.I saw some of the most beautiful and amazing sunsets possible,only problem was it was a million degrees outside.During the days at sea much painting,chipping,splicing of lines and general boat maintenance fun was had by yours truly.At the dock just south of New Orleans we will discharge the fertilizer and go down river a few miles to get the barge cleaned.Following that step it's off to Tampa Florida where the barge will under go a dry docking experience and massive overhaul and maintenance.Then who the hell knows where to next!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Moorehead North Cackilacky!

Well after a rather unusual start to my hitch,everything has calmed down.I'm not complaining believe me.Moorehead seems like a nice town surrounded by barrier islands.It's geared towards tourism and isn't used to salty dogs,such as me and the crew,walking around there ultra trendy town.They out up with us but we stick out like a sore thumb.The restaurants are nice the view is spectacular but there are absolutely no women anywhere,damn bible belt.That was a joke,it's a good place to visit just bring your wallet and make sure it's not empty.After they unload the scrap iron we brought from Norfolk Virginia we are getting loaded with fertilizer bound for the Mighty Mississippi.Should be about a ten day offshore trip but that depends on the weather.