Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Good News and Bad News from Piney Point

Just as the title says, I have good news and bad news.

  • Good News: I have a ship! Well, I don't actually have it, but I will be going to work on the ship! Sure, they guarantee employment somewhere, but actually having a place to go after August 15th sure feels a lot better than a vague promise made by people who visibly don't care about my welfare.
  • Good News: It is a good ship! Bulk Carrier Sam Laud on the Great Lakes carries iron, limestone, coal, and similar cargo in the US and Canada on the lakes. Update: Still no shipping orders, but my reporting date is next Monday, Aug 18th.
  • Good News: The person shipping with me to the Sam Laud is the single best person in class; personable, competent, hard working, and sharing similar interests. I really could not have hoped for better luck. Update: He got transferred to another ship. I will be the only one from my class on the Sam Laud. Oh well.
  • Good News: I have a test tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday, all of which I must pass to get on this ship, but I did just fine on all the practice exams and am not worried at all.
  • Good News: We had a fantastic rainstorm today, it just came straight down hard for a few hours.
  • Good News: Bulkers have long shore leave, so when we stop I will have (schedule permitting) time to enjoy myself in some quality cities. Also, it will be autumn, so the coastline will be all pretty. If we have an early winter, I may get to see the lakes freeze :)
  • Bad News: Morning inspection ran long on the other floors, so by the time I got downstairs all the pancakes had been eaten this morning.


  1. congratulations! (don't wish for the lakes to freeze. i don't know if you're from the great lakes area but winter on the lake fucking sucks.)

    1. Thanks.

      I went to school up in Wisconsin and always told myself I would go out to Chicago or Milwaukee each winter to see the frozen lake, but never did make the trip. In any case, I should be done with my time in mid- to late November, just as winter sets in.

  2. I suppose congratulations are in order you made it this far. Sweet water sailing isn't quite the same as deep sea. Not better or worst, just different. Either way it is still shipping. A few words of advice; Focus on the work because that is why your there. It is not a vacation. Hope for time off but do not expect it or ask for it. Understand that whether or not you like it, you are still at the bottom of the food chain.

    If I recall correctly you will have a "sea project" to accomplish. It is not particularly difficult but it still needs to be completed. Get it done as soon as you can, DO NOT put it off and wait to the end of your time aboard the ship to get it done.

    You will not be expected to know much at least at first anyway. Avoid picking up bad habits that won't serve you well down the road. Enjoy the experience, have fun.

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. Absolutely on all of that. If I didn't want to do the work I would have gotten some other job. We got our sea project books today, and it looks long as all hell, so trying to cram it all to the end just isn't an option.

      Piney Point has me trained to just expect that I am going to get screwed over, so I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't get a single day off for the next three months, but again, if I didn't want to learn ships and work ships then I would have been a walmart cashier.

  3. Congratulations on your assignment.
    Unfortunately, someone gave you some bad info on your time on port. Lakers the size of the Sam Laud only average around 8 hours in port. She only carries around 24,000 tons so she's in and out of port pretty regularly.
    On the bright side, non stop port calls and maneuvering through the Soo locks will be great experience weather you're on deck or in the engine room. Staying busy and actually doing hands on work in your department is waaaayyyy better than long ocean voyages.
    After your first week or two, you should be fairly acclimated to how things work aboard. Keep your mouth shut and don't act like a know it all. Suck on all the information you get out there. Once you get into the swing of things you should enjoy it. The Lakes are beautiful this time of year.
    Once again, congratulations and good luck!

  4. jeb, I talked with jb, congrats on the first ship. My son is a chief mate and says to get your head in the tech manuals if you can and start to learn systems and ask questions. get the chift or boats to let you fix things or apply needed maintenance. It will pass the time and give you hands on experience. The info you gain will give you a heads up in the next phase> Fair winds a following sea..ole coastie