Thursday, July 31, 2008
I apologize for the delay.Last Friday we were given the boot from the supply dock we had been tied up to for almost two weeks.The reason behind it,some wahoo decided he wanted to cut off a ship in the Mississippi River dumping fuel oil forty five miles up the river.Now an oil spill of any kind is terrible but in the Mississippi River where the current runs like a man just released from prison it's catastrophic.So the river was closed and all the inbound ships and tugs were held up in the anchorage.They had to be re-routed to smaller ports not used to handling major ship traffic like Mobile and Pascagoula.So the dock space was needed and away we went.Around Florida up the East Coast and to Maryland to the boat yard to do some work on the boat.It has been a ridiculously calm trip and I am not complaining.Well we got inside the Chesapeake Bay and I'm feeling a little closer to home.We should be at our destination tomorrow morning and then it's dirty work time.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Not much going on just hanging in Mississippi.We are tied up at a fuel dock next to let's just say an extremely large Chevron plant.Quite a few oil rig supply boats come in at all times of day to re-supply and head back out.One of the interesting things I have learned in the last few days is the more than complex supply and demand for oil we have in the glorious United States.Now everyone knows about gas and oil prices and how they keep rising with no end in sight.Everyone also knows that the United States isn't the most expensive or the cheapest place to fill up your grocery getter.So we all know that nobody has a quick fix the this crisis that is among us.A few ideas have been heard around the fuel dock during my normal hotter than a thousand suns work day.The main idea seems to be if the United States knows they have oil offshore why can't we go get it and be self sufficient.Sounds great I myself love the idea,however like most ideas they have holes in them.This idea has so many holes it's not even feasible.Here we go try and stick with me.Number one it's been over thirty years since a comprehensive survey of offshore oil has been done.On top of that it would take years to complete one.Problem number two with the strict rules and laws that apply to the oil industry it seems nearly impossible to see any new oil being drilled offshore.Number three if and only if new offshore drilling took place then it would take five to ten years to actually get that oil from offshore to a refinery.The reason behind that is the construction of oil platforms along with crewing problems,shortages and everything couples with problems one and two.Now the last major problem that I see is the one that relates to me and was mentioned above,crew shortages.The maritime industry in this country has done a lack luster job recruiting young men and women for the opportunity to work offshore of this great country.That being said if we go constructing new oil rigs and doing comprehensive surveys and decided it was time to drill there is no possible way that the United States could crew that endeavor.So guess what would happen,that's right every ones favorite topic of discussion out sourcing.It would seem a bit ridiculous to go through all that trouble to drill our own oil only to have to hire a foreign country to pump and deliver it to our shore.That's what gets me is that many people don't recognize that the maritime industry is under crewed as we speak.No I don't have a solution I'm just trying to see the avalanche before ti happens.That way when it does I'm out of the way and I can sit back and say I told you so.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Well got down to Pascagoula,Mississippi Saturday afternoon and found out I must really love my job.The boat has been sitting idle at a dock since last Thursday awaiting orders.It's now Tuesday and guess what we are doing,awaiting orders.That's OK though it gives the crew a chance to catch up on much needed painting,chipping etc.It's also easy to fall into the six hours on and six hours off schedule that we work when you don't have to worry about getting up every time the boat makes up or breaks down from a barge.Well I took a few pictures but it's just the bayou so it isn't that interesting.I'm ready to get orders and leave the state of Mississippi in my past.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Well it was fun while it lasted.Fishing and boating in excess of what normal people would ever want to do.However it si back to work for the tugboatdude.I ship out tomorrow in the morning headed for my least favotite place on earth,Mississippi.The nasty dredge job is done down there however the boat is layed up at the dock awaiting orders.Now look I love my job,but the one thing I can't stand is sitting at a dock.I need to be moving,going somewhwere,making something happen.I'm just not a sit around and wait kind of dude.I guess I have no choice in the matter seeing as I am the employee not the employer.Well let's see what's going to keepe motivated this hitch.......When I get back I have to get my wisdom teeth yanked out of my skull,that's no fun.........There it is when I get back My brother and I will start scouting for the upcoming duck season,that is fun.Well I leave you with the last nature pictures I will be able to take for the next thirty days.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I don't know what the problem with Verizon is but damn come on.I pay to much for wireless Internet and I can't get online at my house.Anyway I have been trying to put up some pictures of the Maryland excursion and it just wasn't happening.However today is a new day so let's see what happened.Also today I took the smaller of the Jon boats up to the chickahominy river to do some bass fishing.The scenery was great but the fishing was not so much.Any way you look at it I'm not at work and fishing in general makes for a good time.I have some cool pictures from that excursion as well but let me get caught up first.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Well I made it home from Maryland in one piece and I don't have to go back for any court appearances,so it was a great trip.Last Friday my brother and I left from yorktown,va to go visit our oldest brother in Maryland.After a grease filled dinner of pizza we did some online scouting of the fishing hole.Wake up call at 5:30am came a little to early but we got motivated b y the thought of landing a monster bass.We headed down to Loch Raven Reservoir after stocking up on donuts and Gatorade.We rented a boat a headed past all the schmucks that go a hundred yards off the dock and start fishing.We had our first line in the water around 7 am.The fishing was pretty slow but after an hour my brother landed a nice 2-3 pound large mouth bass.After we all rejoiced for a few minutes and took pictures we started fishing again.Working the shoreline structure with everything from buzz baits to stump jumpers we didn't have much luck.I caught a small bluegill on a rooster tail.On that note I'm getting tired of being the king of brim this season.We tooled around the reservoir with our not so mighty rented trolling motor and saw the sights,made some jokes,and generally just acted like brothers act.Saturday night we went to a soccer game featuring D.C United and F.C. Guadalajara.The energy was immense and even though D.C. United lost we had a great time.We finished Saturday up by having an unnecessary post midnight meal at a local diner near my brothers house.Sunday we slept in till around nine and weren't motivated to do much.We did however muster up the energy to go to a local park and drop a line in.Not to much going on there.It was blazing hot and we were mostly looking forward to the shrimp boil my brothers wife had planned for that evening.Oh boy was that good,I just couldn't stop eating.When I did though it was lights out.My brother and I woke up early and hit the road headed back to Virginia.I looked forward to this trip most of the time I was stuck on the tug last hitch.It's things like this that get me through the bad days and make the good days that much better.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Well after my poor luck fishing in a 1 acre community pond I figured the next day I wouldn't need a camera.How wrong I was!After the normal afternoon summer thunderstorm I jumped into my mighty ranger and headed to a church pond that almost never produces anything.The weather was perfect and as I approached the pond I knew I had messed up leaving my camera at the house.My very first cast and bam the rooster tail hit the water and it was on.I landed a healthy two pound bass.A few casts later and another.After forty five minutes of fishing I had landed four bass and one monster pumpkin seed.All the fish were active,hungry and ready to fight.It was a blast and yes not a challenge.I needed that after my poor day fishing earlier in the week.I know fishing ponds isn't very thrilling but it's close to my house and they are tried and true.I am very much looking forward to doing some fresh and saltwater fishing in Maryland with my brothers this weekend.Don't worry I won't forget my camera.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Well I home after a ridiculous debacle of a crew change Saturday night.That's all I will say about that.Took a class Monday morning,advanced firefighting woohoo,then they changed my other classes around all week.It's ok though Friday afternoon I am heading north.Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to do a bit of fishing in some retention ponds that are everywhere around my old stomping grounds.Last summer they produced some small bass and multiple bluegills and crappie.So the idea would be that this year they would be much bigger and healthier.The water level was way up from last year.At this time last year we were deep in a drought in southern Virginia.This year we are holding at normal pool levels in the reservoirs and lakes.Well the fishing was slow but I did manage to catch a few small bluegill and a largemouth bass.What a whopper he was at ten inches.It was a good time no matter how you look at it.I'm looking forward to doing some fishing in Maryland this upcoming weekend with my two brothers.First of all I have to get these damn classes out of the way.The practical part of advanced marine firefighting,aka put out this here fire boy!Then Friday a personal safety and responsibility seminar.Oh yeah I am stoked about that one.Well I have tons of activities planned for the next few weeks so many pictures will be posted.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Well I have had my fun,trained a few idiots and met a few more along the way.When I leave hopefully they won't injure themselves because if they do then they could call me back in.I'm looking towards the future.Next week I take a few classes to upgrade my current license.Next weekend it's off to Maryland to spend some time with my brothers,do some fishing and watch a Major League Soccer game.After I get home from that a week of chill time should do me good.Then you guessed it,I go back to work,hoo freakin-ray.Well crew change tomorrow,spend the night in Biloxi,then fly home.Hurry up and get here tomorrow I got channel fever.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
This is wearing thin on me already.This dredge job is non stop ,back busting ,muddy work.It's an Army Core of Engineering job.What that means is instead of just wearing a life vest on the barge you will need the following.One hard hat,set of steel toed boots,leather gloves,safety goggles,long pants,long sleeved shirt and a good attitude.Just joking on the last item,however making a joke here or there is the only way to make it through the work day.My work day happens to be around fifteen to eighteen hours long.The reason for that,inexperienced deckhands that arrived on the boat unprepared to work for there money.It's unfortunate that to get anything to happen I have to cop an attitude or raise my voice.If I don't someone gets hurt or something gets broken.If you know me then you know My attitude is usually on the up and up.The last few days it's been flat lined by people unwilling to learn or break a sweat and get dirty.Besides that every day we have afternoon thunderstorms.I have three days to go and I know I will make it.When I leave who knows how many things will go wrong,my guess is at least a few.