The Guam Experience

We did the same. Our fantastic chief steward would then prepare that tuna a half dozen tasty ways over the next few days.

What’s the story on Cabaras Marine?

I use to know a guy that occasionally worked for them in the winter for a couple of months. He liked working in shorts and flip flops, and getting out from under his wife’s thumb.

The pay at Cabaras was horrible, about half the typical US rate, on a remote Island with a high cost of living.

The tugs that bring out the pilot are slow. Having to slow down sufficiently to allow the tug to come alongside on a car ship means a lot of leeway when the trade winds are strong. I’ve seen the tug/pilot boat operator have problems getting away after the pilot gets aboard the ship,

Not an issue departing port as the pilot gets off inside.

Getting turned inside is a little tight but never had any problems with the tug assist near the pier. The view of the tugs from the wing gives the impression of poor housekeeping.

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One of our boats got a charter to haul an undersea cable from the manufacturing plant in New Hampshire to Guam. When they go there they found out that the cable laying ship they were to transfer the cable to had been delayed. Our boat would have to wait two weeks. But the Navy brass didn’t want the crew on the ship at the base. Security reasons. On the other hand, they wanted the crew nearby, because Typhoon Whatever may or may not come close, and the ship might have to head to sea.

So the Brass solemnly informed our captain that Uncle Sam was going to put up the crew at the Hilton Guam Resort–with pay of course–and they would just have to shut up and take it. The crew would just have to rent motorcycles, or go snorkeling, or just sit by the pool and be bored. For two weeks. With pay. Oh, and one more thing: because the contract was a security thing at the time, the crew had to keep all this secret. They could not tell wives and sweethearts until a month after the cable was delivered.

Our captain said, Anything for Uncle Sam…


Please don’t throw me in the briar patch said Brer Rabbit.

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The Hilton guam resort isn’t a great hotel. Maybe it was 20 years ago.

Much better accomodations than the boat you think? I’ll take it. You wouldn’t? Dude may have been talking about an experience more than 20 years ago Still, I hope better than staying on the boat perhaps no matter how long ago,

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The occasional hotel room in port is a good perk for the crew and a wise investment for the company. Especially if the crew has to climb ladders to get on and off. Assuming we are talking about seagoing sailors who are onboard for months at a time.

“Rotational workers” doing 14/14 can simply be imprisoned onboard. It’s only for 14 days, then they can go do what they want on their own time.

In first or second grade we went out on a field trip to a tuna cannery. They showed a film of the fisherman wielding rods with barbless hooks…flinging the fish into the hold. Very cool.

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I won’t forgot my first voyage to Guam, watching the pilot crab into the harbor was impressive and educational. Young third mate me kept thinking “man, we are pointed right at those rocks!”