Thursday, September 25, 2014

Adventure in Green Bay

So here I was hoping for a view of Lambeau field, but we stopped at the wrong dock for that. Worked until 6PM, as usual for galley (actually cut out a little before 6, as usual for galley). During my Toledo shore leave, I had gone to walmart with the particular intention of getting another tube of toothpaste before I ran out. I bought a number of things, from snacks to halloween candy, but neglected to purchase the one thing I had gone there to get. Since we were in port and I had wanted to see Green Bay, I set out with the SA in search of toothpaste.

Like I said, there is apparently a dock right under Lambeau field, but we didn't go to that one, we went to one in the middle of an industrial district. I walked by various heavy industry terminals holding such fundamentals as stone, oil, coal, salt, and specialty cheeses. A set of railway tracks transitioned the area abruptly into a neighborhood, one that was clearly a nice little part of town at one point, and had not been a nice part of town for at least a decade or two. Stepping gingerly past the white trash I found myself in the historic downtown. I found historic to be a particularly apt description, since there was certainly no present here, only history. Half the buildings were completely empty and occupying the prestigious corner spot at Broadway and Main was a cremation supply company, because apparently this town is so dead that the only flourishing enterprise is burial.

In any case, there was a save-a-lot not too far away. I don't think I saved all that much getting toothpaste and some snacks, but it wasn't a bad deal all the same. On the way back the SA stopped at a bar for a drink (I don't drink, and getting on board ship drunk is strictly prohibited, but the SA was responsible). I watched the not terribly interesting Braves vs Pirates game and realized that it has been so long since I watched baseball that I didn't recognize a single player on the Braves lineup, not the face or the name. That made me sort of sad so I looked to the other TV where they were getting ready for monday night football and I got all excited to get back to the ship and watch the game.

We walked back to the ship, goodies in hand. The guy at the fence checked our IDs and was kind enough to drive us up to the ship through the mountains of stone, coal, and salt. The SA climbed up first, then I followed. At the top of the ladder I considered whether I should go aft to the galley to eat (there was some fantastic chicken in the refrigerator) or forward to put my stuff in my room. I made the wrong choice and went forward. This violated the first rule of deck department, "Don't be seen". First mate saw me coming down the stairs and called me over. He asked if I had been drinking and I said no, and I would have denied it for the SA if he had asked about that as well. But all he wanted to know was if I could get to work, and being sober I could. So I put my things away and went back out on deck for four more hours to help unloading. We didn't need six people out on deck, and hell we didn't really need the five they had before I came out. All I was really doing was allowing deckhands to stand around while I did thier share of the lifting. By the end of it I was exhausted and really, really wanted that chicken, but we had run out by then and I had to get up at 6AM the next day any way.

I don't mind working in any of the particular departments, but I do sort of mind working in two at once. I don't get paid enough to be working twelve hours (with generous breaks) and then get called out for deck work. Though apparently I do get paid enough for that, because bosun told me to be ready for it if they needed help again. Oh well, so it goes.

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