Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Voyage Ends

I meant to write some sort of summary thing that discusses just how much Piney Point lied to me about nearly everything it discussed, but I don't feel like it, so I won't.

I got home on the 18th, flying out of Chicago without incident. The next day I made myself a cup of soup and sat down to watch the six months of TV backlog that has built up, and sitting in my familiar chair by my desktop computer, eating soup and watching the familiar intro sequences of familiar shows, it is like no time at all has passed. Everything is just how I left it. Little changes are evident, but only if I look for them.

I will definitely be continuing to ship, no question about that.

Don't expect much from this space while I am home. My writing energies are going to be directed towards another ambition. Consider this a conclusion, and anything that may perchance follow to be a sequel.

In any case, I have a folder full of pictures, so before I compress it and drop it in a backup hard drive, here are some neat looking ones. Apologies if I have posted any of these before.

Having gained a new appreciation for the bandwidth limited, the photos are beneath the jump

My first view of the Sam Laud. I still remember being excited.

Every day was a beautiful day

Even the days when much of the world was obscured by fog or weather had their own beauty

I still can't believe how flat the lake can get, even out where no land is visible.

Loading cargo. Much more visually impressive than unloading.

I always thought that this loader in Cleveland looked like a Star Wars walker robot.

Take a look at the doorway in the canal in the back. That doorway, along with one in the channel we were in, holds back all of Lake Superior.

The crew did what they felt like doing during off time. Be grateful I didn't take any photos of him with his shirt off.

I still can't get over the fact that watching the ships go up and down the locks is a tourist attraction. On busy days, both the top and bottom levels would fill.

Each beautiful day ended with a beautiful sunset.

Ports were always neat, bustling with activity

Adorable birds! They disappeared once the weather got too cold.

Sailors hard at work.

Sailors hard at work.

Pretty pictures

Pretty Pictures

Pretty Pictures

How big is a ship? Really big.

Beautiful days and beautiful nights.


  1. Well greasshopper, you are over the hump as far as Piney Point goes. I suppose the question is whether or not you going to finish the program? There are a number of aspects of the SIU you may not like. That said the program you are in is a good way of getting your credentials and a fast way to upgrade out of the entry level ratings. Staying in (the SIU) after that is another question altogether. Don't assume the life you observed and experienced on the Sam Laud is the same on all ships and runs. They are vastly different. On the ship I was on I viewed the apprentices as persons who needed to be taught, not just cheap labor. Their time (in the engine room) was spread out doing different tasks to get a broader experience. My oldest went through that program and has been sailing qmed for a number of years now. Last I heard the ship he is on was somewhere off Japan or Korea. I would have preferred he get his license and leave the SIU but it is his life to live, not mine. In any case I was the one who introduced the apprentice program to him as a possible career path. Yes there are other ways to go to sea but few offer a quicker path these days. Particularly in light of increasing regulation.

    As always, Just my 2 cents.

  2. just want to say thanks for creating this blog. Ive been here at Piney Point now for 22 days. Class 794. I'm very appreciative of the intel your stories had provided and the consequent preparedness it had allowed me before coming in. Hope to see you around as a 3rd phaser!

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