I did a bunch of surveys on the 534 when she was in Galveston back in the 90s.
I have found that pranks were pulled more on vessels where we all got along. In one instance, on the ATB that I was CE on, we were out of the notch and the barge was drydocked at Bender. The tug was tied up to the end of the drydock. The barge had just been pulled out of the water and to get to the tug, you had to walk the distance of the drydock. On my way to the boat, there was a small crab stuck in a little pool made by some leftover blasting sand. I picked up the crab on my way. The mates were all busy on the barge, so I went into the cabin and placed the crab in the medicine cabinet over the sink and closed it. I had pretty much forgotten about it and went on with my day. At dinner that evening, the second mate was smiling at me and told me that he had gone to brush his teeth. He opened up the medicine cabinet to get his toothpaste and closed it (which only just woke up the crab that he didn’t notice). When he went to put the toothpaste back, the crab, fully awake now and with claws spread fell into the sink and scared the shit of of the second mate. Right away, he knew who did it and hung the crab, face level outside my cabin door. After a little bit and I didn’t come out, he felt sorry for the crab, cut it down and set it free.
I had pretty much forgotten about it, and at the end of the next hitch my relief showed up, and I was getting dressed to head back to the house. I went to put on my tennis shoes. I put the first one on, and my toes felt cold, like when there his a hole in a sock. I thought that was odd. I went to put the other one on and felt the same sensation. I looked down and saw mayonnaise squirting out of the lace holes of the shoes. . . lovely. I went home in my workboots. . . . Of course there is always the trick of putting crankcase oil on the binocular eyecups. . . . works every time. . . .
Seismic boat in GOM doing survey in green canyon. On bridge just 2 mates and Captain, each standing 4 on 8 off. Me Mate, others Chief Mate and Captain. Chief Mate and Captain did not get along - at all. So, helicopter crew change coming up with pretty long ride in, Captain getting off, me and CM staying. Captain liked his coffee. CM experimented for days putting the maximum amount of mushed up chocolate ex-lax in the bridge coffee pot without being able to tell. CM went through a few days of self-punishment taking sips of spiked coffee just to have the perfect brew the morning of helicopter crew change.
He chickened out and dumped it 5 mins. before he knew the Captain would come up to the bridge. Got his ass chewed for not having coffee ready before the long helicopter ride.
More a prank than a revenge story, somebody swapped the ‘e’ key and the ‘i’ key on the keyboards in the Chief Mates office as well as Captains office.
Years ago I worked with a PIA who had a rubics cube I peeled some stickers off on the corners and moved them. The poor guy is probably still working on it.
While working off the coast of third world country that won’t be named the galley crew that was hired locally disliked using both toilet and latex gloves. EVERY expat aboard was sick except for the captain who wouldn’t listen to any complaints. He claimed that the shitty local food was good for us and that if we stopped bitching we’d all soon have an iron stomach like his.
Well early the next morning the medic showed before the Captain arrived and gave us an OJT (in whispered tones) on the proper technique for mixing Phenolpthalein with coffee.
Soon the old man arrived and poured a big mug full of brew… but started talking before taking a sip. While he was blabbing on the Chief Engineer Bill (a very nice and humble guy) snuck up, filled his mug without anyone noticing (we were all transfixed on the captain’s mug) stood behind us listening in on the meeting.
Well not two minutes passed before the smell of shit permeated the entire bridge and we started looking at each other. What was happening? No one knew. The Captain hadn’t taken one sip.
Then the old man points over our shoulders at Bill and shouts in his deep germanic accent “BY GOD BILL, LOOK AT YOUR PANTS. YOU’VE SHIT YOURSELF!”
We all turn around and look at the chief who looks very sick and barely conscious. BIll shakes out of the trance, looks down, then hobbles like a drunk vagrant into the bridge head dripping brown water behind him.
The smell was UNBEARABLE and the noises coming out of the head were horrifying but the captain refused to dismiss us. Instead he ranted on about how weak Americans are and how iron strong his german stomach was.
Well we escaped as quick as we could and reconvened in the bosun locker in horror that the plan had backfired on poor Bill (a very nice and humble guy). Lots of questions were asked. Had anyone seen the Captain take a sip? Nope. Was the Chief Engineer going to die? The medic assured us he’d be ok in a few days. Did anyone discard the rest of the coffee? Yes, the bosun said he had. What happened to the Captain’s cup of coffee? Nobody knew.
Then we heard the PA buzz and heard the old man’s voice boom across the ship:
"Chief Stew… OH GOD… DEEP FARRRRTING NOISE… OH MY GOD… FARRRT… STEWARD TO MY… JESUS CRIST… FARRRRRRTY… MY FUCKIN CABIN…FARRRRTTTT… NOWWWWW!’
I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say the galley crew used toilet paper and latex gloves from that point on.
P.S. Ok… I’ll provide one more detail. The medic later told us that the captain demanded that he join him in the bathroom to administer an IV to replace the fluids he had deposited in the bowl below him. While the old man never found out that the medic was the culprit he did get his revenge by making the medic take his vital signs, give him pain killers and set up an IV all while he sat naked on the throne emitting the most fetid odors imaginable.
hat tip to catherder!
Another revenge story and not a prank. We had a second mate on the ATB, and I forget the particulars, but he didn’t fit in. He was complaining about the elevator that was used to get to and from the wheelhouse. For a couple of days, I made sure that I was doing elevator maintenance whenever he had to either get to the wheelhouse or leave, making him use the ladder up and down the tower, on the outside. In all of the soot from the exhaust. If he saw me, he would show me his dirty hands. . . .
Years ago I was Chief Electrician on a Training Ship. The CE was a Egomaniac but I got along with him. The pay sucked but the deal I had made with the CE was that I would work all toe OT that I could.
During SST, I got into a pissing contest with a Temp 1st. over some old W/O’s that the CE had agreed should not be completed. So anyway he decided to knock me off of O/T which meant no work on the weekends.
One day the first comes up to me and says the the stores elevator is not working. I took a look at it and fixed a limit switch and then re-secured the breaker for it on the main board as it was tagged out by the CE. Now this CE had a hardon for Food Service and this elevator working was a big pissing match between FS and the CE. The 1st. comes in my shop yelling about why I had not put the elevator back in service, I informed him that I had fixed it and why I re-secured the breaker as I’m not going to erase the CE’s tagout.
He ordered my to put it back in service, which I did.
The end of the day came and I was sitting with a couple of the Engine Gang just waiting. Soon enough I hear the CE coming yelling my name. As soon as he came into the room, I told him why I put the Elevator back on line and how I tried to explain to the 1st, that I was not comfortable to over rule his (the CE) tagout. He thanked me and took off looking for the 1st. A little while later I spoke with the CE just to make sure we were good and I was told that all was well and not to worry about the 1st anymore.
I was put back in O/T for the rest of the trip.
My Brother In Law was 1st on a Ship that had this 1st, as a PE. Well, my BIL had a sweatshirt on that I had picked up for him and the PE asked when he had been there. My BIL told him that it had been me that gave him the shirt and the PE’s face got beet red and he stormed off. This was a couple of years after I had worked on the Ship. I guess I left a lasting impression.
Years ago I sailed with a captain who spent most of the day playing solitaire on the computer. If any work needed to be accomplished he would say those 3 little words, “See the Mate”. He was on vacation and due to return the next port when the ship got new computers. Before installing the new computer in the captain’s office the solitaire game on the computer was deleted and the game icon linked to another program.
I was told later he was not pleased and complained to the office that the solitaire program was not working right. Computer support was requested (but not sent) to fix the “problem”. He had to go old school and found a deck a cards to use.
I’ve never had a captain addicted to solitaire but I’ve had more than a few with spend all day, everyday on ebay bidding on very weird and expensive shit.
I worked for one that was a prepper and traded in precious metals - that’s pretty much what he did all day. Once a day, every day, at the same time, he would take a walk around the deck to get his daily quota of safety observations.
Some guys caught a pelican and threw it into their supervisor’s head after he yelled at them for not turning in enough safety observation cards. Quite the rucus.
I sailed as AB with a mate who sat in the chart room with the curtain closed for our entire midnight to four watch. His instructions were “don’t bother me unless it’s important”. I could see the glow from the computer screen reflecting on the overhead but he was very careful not to allow me to see past the curtain so I had no idea what he was watching (or doing).
Had issues with the deck hands, riggers, and a QMED’s productivity because they were on the WiFi every free chance sucking up the bandwidth. So I hit them where it really hurts right in the internet connection. Didn’t even say ya’ll need to get off your asses and get some work done just shut down the WiFi on the admin side. Amazing how much work got done afterward!
Oh, I am guessing that you had SOME idea. . .
So when i was working on cruise ships doing your laundry was a pain in the butt. Only like 12 machines in 3 laundry rooms for 600 crew. One of the girl dancers in our group had been having trouble with her laundry. Whenever she would go in she would find her stuff pulled out of the dryer still damp, her wash cycle would be stopped, sometimes her clothes would be pulled out of the dryer and set in the sink wet. Over a month or two she started noticing a certain Romanian bar waitress seems to always be in the laundry similar to when she was and that the clothes that were in the dryer when hers were taken out were always the same.
She decided to put a stop to it by pulling out all the bar waitress’ underwear and putting ice hot on the crotches, then putting it back in to dry. There no cameras in the laundry, but there were outside the room. After the Bar Waitress had to go to the doctor for a burning vag, the ship investigated and narrowed it down to our dancer friend. She fessed up and was fired for it. But, she was pretty proud of herself.
Had a great visit with an old shipmate today. He’s a bar pilot now but our sea stories went back to his first trips as an OS.
I’ve posted before about a miserable tug captain. A reformed drunk and too old for sex, so the only pleasure he had was seeing just how far he could push people. He’d usually pick one crew member and jack with him all through the hitch. There are many revenge stories on this SOB.
This green OS reported aboard and got right with the program. He was a sharp kid, did his job extremely well and asked the right questions. The old bastard still jacked with and made his life miserable. Our run was 30 day round trip from Corpus to Las Mares PR then to Boston and back. The old bastard was surprised to see the kid show up at crew change for a second time. The kid was ready.
The second day underway to PR, the kid cleaning the old bastard’s head, squeezes out most of his denture cream. The OB had a miserable time trying to eat. On arrival to PR, he goes ashore and purchases a bag of toiletries. On the barge, he hands it to the OS with instructions to drop it in his stateroom. He does but drops the tooth glue over the side. The old bastard had a more miserable trip to Chelsee Creek. The cook by this time had been informed and made sure the cuisine was chewy!
On arrival in Boston, the OB asked the shore tankerman to pick him up some denture cream. The tankerman handed the OB a bag as we were throwing the lines off. After we were underway, the OB discovers he was given a tube of preparation H. By the time we got to Corpus, the OB couldn’t hardly be understood on the radio as he was in so much pain. Served him right!
My ribs are still sore from laughing so hard.
Thank ye for the hat tip.
Two to three drops in a typical mug will keep most people “busy” all day. (I thought every steam engineer knew this?)
Does anyone else remember how they kept the coffee warm for the captain in, “Steaming to Bamboola”?