Post of Gratitude "POG"
Having a day of reflection and after reading OS’s post about his opportunity at PMI got me thinking about opportunity and those good people who are instrumental bringing opportunity our way.

Somebody who has been a mentor.
Somebody who gave you an entry into this industry.
Somebody who took the time to train you.
Somebody who financed your dream.
Etc., Etc.

Post your gratitude here.

Thanks Buddy for teaching me to use Loran “A”.
Although it was in his best interest as he and I were the only ones on the “Little Lady” (shrimp trawler) little did I know at that time it would be a key to my career advancing.

Also thanks to the elderly gentleman (whose name escapes me and whose advice I heeded in 1977)on the “Lady Leone” that after 7 days of trawling and little to show for it said:
[B][I]“If I was a young man I would go to the oilfields in LA, they are paying $100 a day”. [/I][/B]Well I didn’t start at $100 a day but it was a start.

Thanks Griff.
It was Griff who when he got his first boat as captain with Nolty J Theriot, told personnel he wanted the guy from Florida to be his mate. I had been AB on the “Vicki B” with him as Mate. I lost contact with Griff after 1979 when I left the company.

A good captain and ornery chief took me aside when I was having a ball in South America sailing with them on an freighter. They told me they were going to pay me off when we got back to the states. They both said, You’re a good kid but you need to go get a good education, not one of those damn academy schools either. Come back and see us when you’re finished, the jobs open."
I did.
Though we didn’t sail together again we remained friends until they died.

I was an AT-SEA Boatswain’s Mate in the [B]NAVY /B with thirteen years aboard ships, I had finally put it together so I could train on [B]NAVY[/B] tugs (YTBs); in this case in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. I had left my last ship ([B]LSD37 PORTLAND[/B]) with a pretty decent reputation and was looking forward to pursuing the dream.

Arrival at Shore Duty did NOT go as I had thought. Again, I was an at-sea BM1 and shore duty just did not fit. As a possible Tugmaster Trainee I was kind of in limbo being tossed from ferries to tugs and back. Trying to navigate the political lay of the land was difficult at best, my shirts weren’t creased enough and my vocabulary was, shall we say, colorful.

Superbowl weekend 1998 ( I had been in PR now for almost 2 months). [B] LSD37 PORTLAND[/B] arrives in Roosey Roads for some Liberty that Friday. Everyone I knew aboard was aware of my desire to go YTBs and perhaps Enlisted Navy Harbor Pilot and that THAT was why I chose orders to Roosey. I of course run into shipmates, to include [B]CPOS [/B]I had worked for. When asked about training progress I could only lament the complete LACK of training, how fucked up I thought shore duty WAS and my overwhelming desire to TERMINATE shore duty and get back to sea where things made sense.

Monday. Summoned before the Chief Pilot at 0800.
“Word is you want to be Tugmaster?”
“Yes, Chief”
“Got any PQS done?” (Personnel Qualification Standards - assessments, if you will)
“Yes, Chief” (I had in fact a portion signed off)
"As of TODAY yer an Under Instruction Tugmaster - the clock is ticking, get yer ass down to the 809"

What the hell just happened? I was stunned and amazed.

I would later learn that the [B]CPOS [/B]aboard [B]PORTLAND [/B]had hooked up with a Pilot and/or Tugmaster or two at the CPO Hut over the weekend and after speaking to me were VERY diligent in A) finding out what was up and more importantly B) conveying to those in charge in NO uncertain terms that I was asset THEY were letting go to waste.

Course and speed were forever changed on THAT day. I was the last Tugmaster qualified there before the base was shuttered.

[B]CHIEFS [/B]remembering where they came from and taking care of their people even after the fact was a governing precept in how I did business until I retired in 2006

Twelve years later I remember it like it was yesterday; typing it all from the Wheelhouse of harbor tug that slings fuel barges in NY Harbor as the Mate.

It’s ALL good

JT sends from HESS Bronx

<o:smarttagtype namespaceuri=“urn:schemas-microsoft-com<img src=” images="" smilies="" redface.gif="" border=“0” alt="" title=“Embarrassment” smilieid=“2” class=“inlineimg”></o:smarttagtype> To my cousin Captain Steve Foster, Who sailed out of my life when I was a young boy.
With only snipits of information every few years on where he was and what he was doing. I conjured up great adventures in my mind of him visiting exotic lands and sipping coconut drinks with scantily dressed native girls.
I used to day dream in the classroom about being beside Captain Steve on the bridge of some tramp steamer battling giant squid or out maneuvering Russian submarines to get our precious cargo to its destination. Then relaxing with Native girls and coconut drinks.
As the years went by , crisscrossing the USA at thirty thousand feet, I would often think about Captain Steve and “native girls with coconut drinks.” Dam I need therapy.

Then, reconnecting after 40 years. The call of great adventure was to much and I too had to become a Merchant Mariner like my great cousin Steve. So he guided me through the great maze of rules and regulations and now I too am a Merchant Mariner, battling giant shrimp in the <st1></st1><st1>Gulf of Mexico</st1>. Just doesn’t seem to be the way I dreamed it would be.