RE: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: World's Largest Cargo Ship - Emma Maersk
- Dear Brother Combs,
I heartily agree!...When I started out in Knot Ships,Libertys , Victorys, and other "boom" ships, we would sometimes stay in port for as long as 1-2 weeks.I remember laying at Vung Tau (Cape St.Jaques) Viet-Nam for as long as two weeks,waiting for our turn to go up the river to Saigon.Even if we couldn't go alongside right away, we sometimes would anchor outside the river bar in Bangkok for a week, where a plethora of "bum boats" swarmed around the ship, loaded with fruits, veggies, fish, girls and booze. During a shuttle from Viet-Nam to Japan and Tawan, we kept ending up in Keelung, where the old man had a girlfriend. We would make fast to another ship and wait for orders from the US Navy, sometimes for a week or ten days.Retiring from container ships....20-24 hours turn around was about right.Once after a hurricane, we entered SanJuan PR to find all the cranes but one turned over. The one standing didn't work.
It took us two weeks to discharge all our boxes, and load mt's.The longshoremen begin with a cherry picker to take off all the high boxes, sowe could move down the pier to the straight, horizontal crane that was used to load/disch boxes from barges.
Today it seems all the romance of old is gone...Container ports are oftenl ocated far from town, and are bleak, dangerous, depressing places to be.(Oakland, Newark, Elizabeth, etc) Many of us didn't even bother to go ashore, but stay aboard to catch up on our sleep...
Gone are the days of port calls at Port Moresby,New Guinea, Rabual, Kaveing,Townsville, Cairns, Thursday Island, Madang,Christ Church New Zealand,
Rio, Buenos Aires, Montivadao,Valpariso, Maricibo, Aruba...and more forgotten.
Excuse my spelling and puncuation as I am tired.
Steady As She Goes, OBie
----- Original Message -----
From: Nelson Combs
Sent: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 23:12:30 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: RE: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: World's Largest Cargo Ship - Emma Maersk
I worked on some Marine Firemen's Union and SIU benefit plans over a period of twenty years. What the old timers seemed to complain about was the lack of the romance of the fast turn world of shipping. Gone are the copra runs and the slow turn in some ports in Asia where a nice long liberty could produce adventures. (I don't know if "liberty" is the right word in the merchant marines, but that's what we used to call "time enough in a port of call to go ashore and get into trouble" in the Navy.