One of my hobbies is rowing. I also like photography and enjoy taking photos of boats and water scenes. With retirement coming up in a few short years, I decided that I wanted to get my Merchant Mariners Document or Z card as it is sometimes called. This is a basic original document for position as an Ordinary Seaman. What that means is that I'll be a Ph.D. who can paint decks, bust rust, handle lines and generally do other scut work on board a ship. It isn't glamorous but could come in handy for volunteering with the Spirit of South Carolina.
The Spirit is South Carolina's new tall ship. She is now in the water, rigged and ready to start education programs this summer. I've offered to volunteer as a crew member on the Spirit for some of the day trips. I'm hoping that my MMD papers will help since I've now passed the background check, drug test, and all the other necessary things that the US Coast Guard requires to get my card. It is a great opportunity for me as a marine scientist to go out on this beautiful ship. After retirement, who knows--maybe I'll sign on a cargo ship or a coastal tug boat. It all sounds exciting for now!