Saturday, March 31, 2007

Doing the 6-12 on the Spirit of SC

Today was a pleasant day filled with activity. After meeting with Gabby's new mom in the morning, I went over to Mt. Pleasant to Patriot's Point to meet a friend and listen to Plain Jane and watch the ships go by. I wish that I were on one of them heading for the open sea.

I didn't exactly go to sea but did the 6-12 watch on the Spirit of SC. It was a beautiful night with a nearly full moon. I had my camera, sleeping bag, and a thermos of hot chocolate but no gnat repellant. The gnats were out in full force just before dusk.

There were a couple of tugs tied up near the Spirit so I wandered over to photograph some of the lines and shackles. As I doing this, one of the AB's on the tug came out to say hello. He was a young guy who had been working for Stevens Towing for several years. Anyway, I asked him a bunch of questions about being on the tugboat and he gave me a tour of the ship. It was fun and I photographed the engine room (the heart of a tug) and other interesting things. I think the AB was lonely because he came over to talk to me and the other lady on watch for a long time.

Every two hours we would make our rounds to pump the bilges and time the pumping. We would check the hatches and holds for moisture. We would also check all the lines to make sure that they were secure. It's not rocket science but it gives you a chance to be on the deck of South Carolina's latest tall ship.

Eventually, the captain of the tug showed up and he came over to sit on the dock and talk to the two of us on the Spirit. We all shared some stories. Cheryl, the other lady on watch with me, brought some scones and I brought brownies so there was plenty of stuff to feed the tug guys.
It made the hours go by quickly. Before I knew it, it was nearing midnight and time to inform the next watch crew that showed up.

No comments: