Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's Been Fun

It truly has been a fun few weeks.I did everything that I wanted to do,which is strange.I usually over schedule myself but I think I nailed it on the head over the last few weeks.This past weekend was our annual Mancamp.Just to explain this is an annual tradition.It started about 7 years ago with my 2 brothers and my best friend at the time with his two brothers.Every year for the past 7 my friend and I have planned a camping trip to the Chickahominy WMA.It's a man only event for plenty of reasons.You may ask yourself why would women want to go to the woods with you fools anyway,I can't tell you why just that they do.This past weekend was a great time and it happened that both of my brothers were able to attend and we had a good time enjoying much of the scenery we all grew up with.The fish bite was a little slow but the weather was gorgeous and my boat semi-cooperated.more on that at a later time.I would like to thank both of my brothers along with all my friends who have made a point over the last few years to attend our get together on the lovely Chickahominy River.I know scheduling was a factor for some people not attending,but so was general laziness.It's back to the tug on Thursday so hooray for another 30 days of non-stop fun at work.I suppose I should be glad I still have a well paying job that allows me to do the things I enjoy.Until next time MANCAMP,as always it was fun.

A few of the boys from Mancamp '09

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chickahominy Bound

Sorry for not completeing the last article.It's been a bit of a mad house in my neck of the woods.This will be the first time I have had the boat in the water since duck hunting season.So if you know me,then you know that means I still have hunting gear everywhere.The last few days I have been getting the boat ready for fishing and simply cleaning up.To sum up my trip to the mountains it was relaxing.It's not easy for me to relax but I did it.Hopefully this weekend on the Chickahominy will be more of the same.Yes it's finally here,MANCAMP '09!Be back Monday

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Relaxation 101/Part 1

The parents cabin/Southwest Virginia

So if you have been keeping up with the current trials of my life then you know that things have been a bit bumpy.Unfortunately my way of dealing with the BS of life is to turn my back on it so I don't knock someones block off.Fortunately for the last month I had a trip planned to SW Virginia and my parents new cabin in the woods.So last Thursday after a grueling nine hours with a few hundred other merchant seaman at the Towing Vessel Safety Seminar,I picked up my brother the Nutty Professor and we hit the road.After a few hours on the road and the city long behind us it hit me.I knew we were in for a great time.It was a bit of a tricky drive on US 58 at night especially because my navigator,Nutty,forgot his glasses.No worries we made it to the cabin around 11 at night and the day was over.

Upon waking up on Friday and eating a healthy breakfast of miniature sausage biscuits,my brother and I climbed in the truck to do some scouting.Crooked Creek runs through my parents property and is a beautiful sight to see.I'm more of a large tidal fisherman.What I mean by that is whether it's bass or flounder I'm just not used to fishing a creek.I have a little experience from fishing the Shenandoah River,but it's a much wider waterway than Crooked Creek.I also have little to no experience fishing for trout.Well after a few hours of scouting we headed back to the cabin for lunch.Some relatives,who I had never met,were supposed to be attending lunch.They were running late so navigator Nutty and I ate a quick sandwich and got the fishing gear together.The rest of the weekend stories are forthcoming.For now enjoy a few pictures from scouting.

Monday, April 13, 2009


so the day started off normal I suppose.My brother,nutty professor,came by the shipyard and picked me up to take me home.It was crew change day and the Virginia sun was shining.We drove home over the bridge tunnel and as we pulled into the driveway we were greeted by my neighbor Kris.He handed me my mail from over the last few weeks and we carried on a quick conversation.Then the mailman showed up and my head went awry.The thing is before I left for this last tour I put in for a simple upgrade on my MMD,Merchant Mariner Document.I have been asking Kris to keep an eye on the mail for it to show up.Well seeing as my luck is crap today it showed up.Seriously,it was almost out of a movie.I wasn't home five minutes and the postman handed me the letter.So you must be thinking congratulations right,well no.See the USCG fucked me again.Yes I understand this isn't proper protocol for my blog page and I probably need another paragraph or an indention but I don't care right now.No I'm not intoxicated either people.I'm in bed,I can't sleep and I feel like crying.I work my ass off and this is bullshit.The USCG changed the rules as of April 1.I applied on March 3,wtf.Just because they didn't get to it until after April 1 I have to suffer.Well thanks for taking my application fee.Thanks for the heads up,I appreciate that.Look I follow the rules,I do what is asked of me,I love this country,I don't care about the Government one way or another,I bust my ass literally at work and I come home to this.Well thank you and don't worry I will continue to bust my ass and work my way up.Change your rules and watch me follow them.You can piss me off but you can't make me hate the sea.I love it,I love my job.I'm good at it and you don't want to recognize that and that's your downfall.That's my rant,goodnight and yes I feel better already.Don't worry,I don't give up,this shit just drives me to try harder.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saltwater and Metal

It's a bad mix obviously.In the picture above you can clearly see what twenty plus years of saltwater will do to metal.The picture is of the cradle for the drums of the tow winch.The area can't normally be reached for maintenance,painting,chipping,etc.So in the shipyard the drums were pulled and the entire tow winch was disassembled.Which gave the crew a good chance to do some much needed maintenance.Obviously it was discovered after the grease was extracted from the area that some new metal was definitely needed.Also on the list of things for me to do in the shipyard was to inspect all fuel and water tanks.

Oh the joy of cramped spaces my favorite.One of the downfalls of being normal sized is getting picked to go below decks.As the picture shows the water tanks are in need of some serious recoating and cleaning.Much more work is going to be done in the next few weeks.I honestly can't wait to get home.Good thing that happens tomorrow.A trip to the mountains of Virginia is set in stone,leaving Thursday after I attend the American safety towing seminar in Portsmouth,Virginia.Yay?!So another tour of duty in the books,it was a long one.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A few Shipyard Pictures

Down the side of Tug East Coast
Wheels on the tug

The deckhand trainee doing a cheese filled pose

Navy LCS 1 Freedom leaving the drydock area

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Few Words

Well It has definitely been an interesting few days on the boat.I have been finding it difficult to make any time to do simple things like write my blog.The only reason I have a few minutes today is because we are in transit from one shipyard to another.Every year many larger commercial vessels are inspected by a company called ABS,American Bureau of Shipping.They inspect every thing from safety equipment to gauging the thickness of the medal and so on.We were taken off contract with Penn Maritime because our ABS inspection was due.Upon stopping by the company shipyard it was found more needed to be done than is possible in a rail facility.The tugboat needs to be pulled out of the water,dry docked.So after a few hellish days around aggravated company owners,we are being sent to Norfolk,Va. to get hauled out of the water.I only have a week left until my tour is over and it can't come soon enough.The weather seems to be clearing and I have some fishing,boating,camping and drinking to do.Yes people I want a damn beer,an ice cold freaking beer.Bring it on!