P.S. The Bosun gave this old man the nickname “The Fisherman” which our captain liked because he enjoyed fishing during his time off. Knowing the bosun I figured the name had another connotation so I asked the Bosun what it meant. His reply was “That’s his nickname because every night, rain or shine, he drops some nasty sweat soaked shit in that fluorescent bait bag he bought at Dick’s then starts trolling around the bridge looking for queerfish”. Then I said, “Good thing we don’t have any ‘queerfish’ on this ship!” to which he jabbed a finger in my chest and said “Well that shows just how little you fuckin know!” I never heard the nickname he gave me that day but I do know it had something to do with me needing to get my radar adjusted.
The antics of “Captain Happy”
When he started we used to find his vodka bottle hidden the toilet tank. That progressed to a quart of Jack Daniels on the console and beer cans flying out the wheelhouse door as we steam down the river.
In between jobs he would always be seen stark naked, no matter where we were. He was diabetic so his room and the wheelhouse were littered with hypodermic needles. We refused to go up there after awhile.
He soiled himself several times while steering.
Someone here complained about piss jugs, this guy would simply piss over the rail from the wheelhouse deck, the piss would rarely make it too the water. The engineer used to like to smoke in the engine room door. He would take the garden hose and return fire.
He used to pass the time on watch by calling his answering machine to speak to his parrot.
Put six holes in the oil barge, and had the USCG aboard 4 times in his short tenure. One time we were actually behind him giving the USCG boarding officer the “hey this guy’s drunk” hand gestures and they declined to give him a breathalyzer. He used to like to curse out VTS New York, and any drawbridge tender he saw fit.
Whenever we hit a dock is when the fun really started. He would go “up the street” sometimes to meet the “whiskey lady”. This was under the guise of grub shopping. The grub rarely made it back in one piece the eggs would usually get broken somewhere during the journey. There was usually a trail.
no fence or gate could keep him from his booze. he would steal a pair a dykes from the engine room and cut through fences at terminals to reach his booze, often leaving a trail of blood either to the bar or back to the boat.
After all this we had to fire him ourselves, the office was useless.
The good thing was that he set the bar really high. It’s almost impossible to get fired for minor infractions or discretions.
I was always taught, what happens on the boat stays on the boat, but there is a limit as to what can be tolerated.
We were going to be handling the NYC Firework Barges one year but we were not going to have and passengers due to the boat not being all painted up. We had just come back from see.
So, the Captain asks me if I wanted to go on a “Special” Grub run aka Liquor Store. Well, not long after I got back our Mate had to leave and they send down another Captain to fill in as mate. This guy hated drinking and would turn in anyone for it. S, were in the galley wondering what to do when this guy comes into the Galley, reaches into the Refer and grabs a Gallon jug of “Orange Juice”. He precedes to drink 3-4 large glasses right down and goes back to his room.
Our Captain was sitting there watching him and said well, I don’y think we will have any problem with him. Seems, that our Captain had just got finished dumping half of the OJ out and refilling with 100 proof Vodka. The replacement Mate slept for two days. LOL
Another Head story.
Company was having a party onboard. Deckhand reports one of the heads is backed up. This boat had two heads located in the Fiddly P+S and both of them very the Vacuum type with the flapper and hopper under the bowl.
So, the CE tells said DH to standby the door to the head and not let anyone in there. CE then hooks up a SS Air Line to the Head piping, He hits it one shot of air to push the block back into the hopper.
Well, we all know if one shot of air is good than two would be better. So, CE gives it another little longer shot.
Now, while the Mains are running they are just a idle so you can hear fairly well. So, just as he hit it with the second shot, he hears a scream! He runs up to the Head and the DH is no where to be found. He slowly opens the door to find a Female Passenger still sitting there covered from head to toe. As it turns out the Female was sitting on the head and gave it a courtesy flush at the same time the CE hit it with the Air!
Now for the best part, she was the wife of the CEO of a Large Shipping Line. The CE figured he was fired for sure but the CEO took it pretty well. Even the wife (after a shower and the gift of brand new coveralls) was in pretty good spirits so the CE kept his job.
As long as we’re into head stories…
After talking on the phone to a yacht owner whose captain had abandoned him, I agreed to meet him at the Rybovich and Spencer yard also known back then as “Rob the Rich and Spend it” in West Palm Beach. When I got there I learned that they hadn’t been able to reach him but his wife was there. The reason the boat was in the yard was that the toilet system was hopelessly clogged up. The head expert at the yard found the problem. The head plumbing was jammed solid with condoms. According to her, she and her husband hadn’t had sex in years, she hated the yacht and never spent any time on it. It turned out her husband had been boning his secretary on the yacht like a demented rabbit. The wife’s face was purple. I left quietly and aimed toward brighter horizons…
Sailed with a Captain that used to casually put his hand down the front of his pants and start rubbing his groin area when you people would speak to him on the bridge. Same guy used to wear the same clothes for a week before washing them, he’d wear a t-shirt regularly one day, then back to front the next day, then inside out back to front the next, then inside out front facing the next, this was his idea to get more days out clothes. Bit awkward talking to a Captain wearing an inside out back to front t-shirt that is playing with his dick.
Multiple hygiene issues from lots of crew members as well. Such as people who don’t clean their hands when entering a messrooom to eat, people who hold a loaf of bread with their bare hand when cutting it, cooks who reheat and serve the same meat multiple times, people who don’t clean cups/plates properly then return them to be used. All these habits of poor hygiene that cause fellow crew members to get the shits.