Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back to Work

Well it's been almost fun.Guess what,I'm going back to work early again.I'm so dedicated,to bad it wasn't exactly my decision.Over the last few weeks home I haven't had a chance to do much.I got my wisdom teeth pulled so that took up most of a week with the whole pain issue.It needed to be done and I did have it planned so I guess I made it through and at least I won't be in pain anymore.Over the weekend my big brother came down from Maryland to hang out,do some duck scouting and take his wife shopping,haha.Well it was less of an adventure than I feared it would be.See the problem is there is a great WMA near my town,however there isn't a boat landing and you can't explore the area by foot.The reason for that is because it's a series of islands accessible only by water.So the only thing that we could come up with is put the boat in at the public landing on the other side of the river from the WMA.It was a calm overcast day,the boat ran decent for the most part and we did what we had to do.The pictures from the excursion are below.Oh yeah we did manage to find what apparently are not my friends called seed ticks,I have a few bites to say the least.

So back to work in the morning.The chief engineer is coming up from North Carolina and plans on picking me up before sunrise.Then it's a trip up north in what I'm sure will be a cheap rental car.The plan,which will change,arrive in Philadelphia,do some grub shopping,crew change and get underway to I have no clue.I'm a little out of the loop so just stay tuned and hopefully we won't be heading anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico any time soon.On a serious note,I really hope everyone in the path of the hurricanes makes it through the next few weeks.

Big Brother Made Me Do It

Big brother with awesome WMA find

Exactly what we were looking for

You can't beat the scenery

I wasn't going to post this but oh well sorry brother

Friday, August 29, 2008

Picture Pages

The new camo job all done and ready for duck bustin.

Below we have a no you may not fish here sign.

Here we have some excellent habitat but nobody was hungry today.

Relaxation Denied/Camo Duck Boat Part 2

So I'm guessing this tooth thing is done with,besides the antibiotics I still have to take for a few more days.My stomach loves them!Since Most of my last ten days off has been spent in a bed in pain I feel like I have much to accomplish.To bad my employer thinks I should go back to work Monday.Well first off again Verizon Wireless I hate you,I really do.I just prepaid two months of my bill and your signal is better twenty miles off shore what's that all about.OK I feel better let's move along.OK on top of that now I don't have enough signal to upload pictures much appreciated Verizon.So I will have to do that this evening.

So yesterday in the drizzle I walked around the yard and found a few leaves,traced them with an exacto knife on a manila envelope and cut them out.Then after my fourth visit to Bass Pro Shops this week,I purchased one can of doo doo brown spray paint.That isn't the technical term just what my friend called it.So easy enough I just sprayed a few leaf stencils on the boat and now the duck boat is ready to go.To bad the season is over two months away,haha.Well my brother is coming down from Maryland to go do some scouting on Ragged Island WMA.It will prove to be interesting I can promise you that.

So this morning I woke up early and went to do a little freshwater fishing.Don't hold your breath for any of those pictures I didn't catch anything.Three of the lakes I went to had oil booms and a slick on top of the water with signs every where stating a chemical influx type situation.So I moved on and went to Bass Pro again to buy some 2 cycle oil for the boat.I came home and fired up the motor since it had been awhile and generally just got the boat ready for the next days activities.Pictures to come at some point.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I am so stoked

Yeah not really.So here is the deal,I got my toofs pulled last Friday and yeah I have been in a bit of pain.Of course like anything it didn't go as planned and I am still in pain.My plan was sweet and would have worked.It involved being done with the pain issue by last Sunday,so it went out the window.Anyway,here I be is,and I am chock full of energy and stuff I want to do.Only problem is I am still in a little pain so I just plan on taking it easy for now.

So today I woke up and thought hey I should do something cool.So I went to Bass Pro bought some supplies and came home and added some camo to the duck boat my brother and I purchased this Summer.The original plan of making stencils was tiresome and to Martha Stewart for me.So my Army buddy suggested the old foliage trick.We went down to the local boat ramp and borrowed some grass samples and went at it.I think given the circumstances,it could have turned out much worse.Next step is add a little brown and bingo let's bust some ducks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here Ye!Ragged Island WMA Pictures

ok here goes some pictures I took while out doing some early season scouting.
They were angry at the lack of a boat ramp to.
Hey look my taxes bought me something how nice of them.
That is what I was looking for!
None shall pass!

Angry Much?

Well it has been a chill few days and that's fine by me.I have been catching up with friends and bills and just waiting to get my teeth yanked out tomorrow.In the mean time I did some early duck scouting and did a search for public boat landings at a surrounding WMA.Not much luck but I did get to meet some sweet locals that are all about killing small animals.They were mostly insane but very helpful.I did some walking and saw that the plan I had worked out in my head isn't going to work.However I did devise a good plan.Now next week when my brother comes to town we shall see if it works.Pictures from todays exercise soon to come.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Albany,New York Pictures

I forgot to post pictures with my last post so here they are.Once again,MY BAD!
Rip Van Winkle Bridge,hey I didn't name it
Sunset in Albany,New York
You must bring us a shrubbery!

Albany,New York

Hooray!Can you sense my excitement?Well if you can then you are crazy because I'm about done with this hitch.Ever since we left the shipyard it seems like nothing goes right.I find myself helping out in the engine room more than anything.A broken jumper line,a leaky oil flex flange,broken gauges,you name it and it has been fixed and re-fixed.That being said it truly is breathtaking going up the Hudson River.We didn't have any time to go into town and browse which is what I look forward to when arriving at new destinations.That's alright though we are heading back down river to the North River anchorage ,around Manhattan.The barge is due in the shipyard Monday morning and that means crew change in New York,sweetness.It's going to be nice to step foot back on dry land and make sure my dwelling and belongings are still in one piece.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Expeiment in Posting Photos!

So here are some more pictures I took while working on the tug in the New York Harbor.If this doesn't,MY BAD!

Eureka it's working!
The force is strong in this one!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

N.Y.C. Baby!

I didn't think it was possible to love my job much more than I already do.Coming into the New York harbor was completely amazing.I love this city for almost as many reasons as I can't stand it.After an early morning entrance into the harbor I forgot about all the reasons I dislike this place.It has been one of my dreams to work in the New York harbor and I will tell everyone why.The view!There is no way you can beat the view of everything from the statue of liberty to Staten Island.It's incredible and breathtaking just watching everyone go about there business and have no clue what they are missing being surrounded by skyscrapers.The canals,the hustle and bustle of the harbor,the people working on the tugs it's just so different than where I got my start in the James River of Virginia.I digress,so we offloaded a bit around 149th street and are heading back across the harbor to off load a bit more then it's up river for another change of scenery Albany.I can't wait!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

That's the Ticket

After a short six hour run from Chesapeake City to Baltimore,Maryland we got a view of the Penn Maritime barge we will be handling over the next few weeks and maybe months.She is a beast!Nothing our boat can't handle though,we can tow the world around it's axis if needed.We gave an assist to the tug Penn No.4 while they docked the barge right outside Baltimore's Inner Harbor.Then we headed over to pier 13 and took 20,000 gallons of fuel of of the Penn tug because they are heading to their happy happy company shipyard in New York to get a massive overhaul.It's always a little difficult when making up to a new barge because you never quite know if everything is going to fit,cables,lines,winches it's always a bit different with every barge.Well the barge will be loaded by the morning hours and then it's off to New York and time for me to make my money.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Get to Work

Well with the starboard main engine back intact,looks like it's a short trip to Baltimore and then it's head north to Albany,New York to discharge petroleum then a trip back down to Philadelphia to load and for me to go home,maybe.It's still a good ten days or so away so I just have to wait and see where we are when it's my time to go.We will be picking up a Penn Maritime Monster,a 90,000 barrel barge over 400 feet in length.It's nothing this boat can't handle with it's 4,200 horsepower.Hopefully everything will run smoothly and the mechanics have held up there part of the bargain in putting the EMD 16 cylinder back together correctly.The crew,well the crew will consist of a veteran captain,a young mate,an OS deckhand,a chief engineer and yours truly the AB Seaman.I'm have worked with everyone on board before except the mate but he's from Virginia so how bad could he be........I guess only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Run Away,Run Away

It's been a few slow moving days in the shipyard.Today I had the opportunity to evacuate the boat for a couple of hours and do some grub shopping at the local Wal-Mart,what fun that was.When we got back and finished unloading the hundreds of dollars worth of groceries needed to feed the crew for a week,a few of the crew members decided to go for a walk.My feet hurt and I was hungry but I tagged along.Now where would you walk to in a shipyard.That' the trick,the owners of the company I work for own a six hundred acre farm connected directly to the shipyard.I know I know it must be nice right.Well up the little gravel road and over the hill and wow I was amazed and glad I took my camera.Fields and fields of corn,old barns,a private pond,a creek,deer,ducks and anything else you can imagine is there and plentiful.We walked a long way to the pond but I had to see it and yeah as expected I want to hunt it.I'm guessing that won't happen because the owners are very into deer hunting and not so interested in a stupid duck.As we walked back the captain informed us of our next mission,everything here is supposed to be kept a secret.Friday afternoon the shipyard people should be done,then it's of to Albany,New York with an oversize 90,000 barrel barge.After off loading then it's back to Americas other armpit,Philadelphia.I'm only joking about Philly,it hasn't done anything to me.As you all know the orders are subject to change but I would like to take a trip up to Albany.Right now I'm just thinking how much I want to go walk around on that farm for another few hours.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Shipyard Fun part doo and heif

Well well well how much fun am I having,so much it should be illegal.OK not that much fun but oddly enough I'm pretty much done with this experience.I did have a little bee buzz in my ear about a possible trip to Maine and Canada with a large petroleum barge,we shall see.I have said it before and I will say it again nothing is certain in the tugboat world until the minute it happens.So what have we been start we finished putting the two thousand feet of tow wire on the drum.Then we removed all the parts and I mean everything from the starboard main.Well the diesel mechanics did that we just got really greasy trying to help.Besides that we replaced some metal on the stern took out the steering rams to get re manufactured,wow we have done to much we should slow down.Well I'm running out of energy to type plus the hamburgers are ready for the grill and I need two showers.The above picture is the little inlet and island that I retreat to but its my secret because the other guys on the boat haven't found it yet.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shipyard Fun

Or something of the sort.Pulling into the shipyard and getting the tug tied up was great.Reason being,for the first time in eight days the main engines were shut down.Oh yeah almost quiet,I can only hear a Detroit Generator now.Pulling into a shipyard means a few things depending on what your normal role is on the boat and the reasoning behind the boat being in the shipyard in the first place.Our reasoning is to rebuild a main engine,change fuel injectors on both main engines,put new wire on our tow drum and of course general painting and cleanup.So that being said,since the boat isn't going anywhere for a few days at least everyone must help out.Usually the Captain takes a leave of absence and goes home.The first mate stays on and hangs around making the office people happy,which by the way are located a hundred yards from the boat in their offices watching with eagle eyes.The able seaman,yours truly,helps with the majority of everything.The chief engineer does what he does best and dismantles and reassembles any and all machinery available.So,what I'm getting at here is just because the boat isn't moving it isn't vacation time,it's the opposite.There are no Sundays off or six hour watches,nope,it's sunrise to sunset.After day one of struggling with putting on new tow wire I'm beyond a little exhausted and I'm only 29.I can imagine how many of these older fellows must be feeling.I do no this,in the near future I want to be the one that takes the early vacation when the boat comes into the shipyard.