Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just a shell now

As our boat sat idle yesterday,I was reminded of the economic trying times we are all living through.
Next to us, pictured, is one of our company tug boats that has been removed from service and it sits now, useless, unwanted, a ghost of what she once was.
Her light less profile is screaming a message to all, that this economic crisis has touched everyone, in all walks of life.
As I looked at her darkened silhouette , I couldn't help but think of all the hundreds of guys that once called her home. Her darkened galley holds memories of years of meals prepared for hard working crews. Around that galley table are memories of sailors laughter as they passed the endless hours entertaining each other, and memories of arguments that were started while eating meatloaf and potatoes.
That galley holds memories of hundreds of crewmen stumbling toward the coffee pot for their morning wake up, while thinking about the day ahead, and making a mental note of the number of days until they get home again.
The wheel house that for years was a glow with the light from the radar screens, sits dark.
The many VHF radios that provided constant chatter, are turned off. The quiet is deafening.
It was on that boat that some guy learned he was a new dad. It was on that boat that a crew member heard the details of his daughters graduation. He couldn't be there.
Some guy was standing in that wheelhouse, talking on the phone when he learned about a death in his family. All the phones are shut off now.
That boat not only served it's owner well over the years, it was home to many sailors who had life changing experiences while on board.
I couldn't help but imagine all that as I took a picture.

1 comment:

dcpeg said...

What profound observations! Your story really touched me as I'm sure it will others. Seeing that powerful boat dark and tied-up I could imagine the ghosts and memories surrounding it.

Thank you for sharing such a moving experience! You are a very sensitive man to realize the emotional histories surrounding something as basic yet special as a tug boat.