Friday, December 18, 2009


I was down the engine room today working. You know how you get that feeling that someone is looking at you? I had that feeling, I turned and was startled to see Captain Jack standing there with a cup of fresh coffee, for me.
Why is this note worthy you might ask.
#1- Captains very rarely venture away from the wheelhouse to visit the engine room. It's noisy and dirty down there.
#2- Captains never deliver fresh coffee, to anyone. Part of their job description is to call the galley any time of the day or night, and tell any person who answers the phone to bring HIM some coffee.
Today, Jack handed me my coffee, and with a sly grin on his face said, "I just made up a Christmas song."
I just looked at him, quizzically
"You want to hear it," he asked excitedly. "Sure," I responded.
He proceeded to sing me his song, to the tune of "Rudolf the red nosed reindeer", spoofing one of our crew members.
As he walked up the stairs from the engine room, I thought, "How good do I have it?

My middle daughter recently got engaged. He's a Marine. He'll be deployed soon to Afghanistan.
Makes me look at this far off war we're fighting, in a different light.

A few months ago while on a different boat, in a different location, one of the items to buy on our grocery list was Sunscreen. Today I saw our list mentioned snow shovels. Yuck.

I'm hoping someone lists a Corvette on Ebay, and forgets to have a reserve price.

Tip. If your having a work related Christmas party at your house, it is not appropriate for your immediate boss to take it upon himself to invite other YOUR house. I'm just saying.

There is this saying on boats, well at least I say it, that there is never the "perfect crew." In all the years I've done this job, there was always ONE GUY. Either he didn't do his job, which affected everyone else. Or he was just a miserable SOB, or he didn't shower. There was always something. It made for entertaining stories for my wife as I would vent to her after I got home.
But for the past 7 months since I've joined this crew, this is the first time in 36 years I can say I'm with the perfect crew. Don't get me wrong, they're not perfect, like me, everyone has their quirks. But this is the most enjoyable crew I have ever worked with. And they all shower too.
That's why there is a gift under our little Christmas tree for each one of them. I've never done that before.

In closing, I saw the rock and roll hall of Fame concert on TV when I was home. Crosby Stills and Nash performed. They were a favorite of mine 30 years ago. David Crosby's look is the same as when he performed at Woodstock in 1969.
He should change it.


Anonymous said...

I hope that your soon to be son in law stays safe while in Afghanistan!!

Now just what were the words the captain sang? ;-)

slommler said...

Congrats on your daughters' engagement! Sorry he is shipping out! That is scary! Sang you a song eh? LOL!! How funny! You will have to share what all the gifts are?? And what you get too??

clairedulalune said...

Mark, I really enjoy reading your posts, I live by the water and as I read about your life on the ships, when one goes passed I always give them a wave! I don't know if they see me, but there I am waving like a lunatic at my window. I did get mooned once, that was nice. Kinda. Pity I didnt have my camera handy, it might of made a nice holiday card. So, if your ship ever sets sail in Liverpool UK, look out for a mad crazy Irish woman with a mop of unruly curly hair manically waving from a window, its me! I hope the waves are calm and still for you this Christmas.

dcpeg said...

Wow! You are living such a full life AND everyone showers! What more could a man ask for. . .

Teasing aside; that was a fun post to read and, like the others, I hope your daughter's love comes home safe and sound.

Melinda said...

Hi Mark, I hopped over here via Diahn's blog. I love your writing, humor and honesty. And the photos, they're good! I'm envious of your job...if I were a man, that's the job I'd have. I'd love to follow along.

Mark said...

Thanks for all the safe wishes from everyone. And the words to the song? I'd have to change my setting to "Adult Content"
What do you expect from a bunch of seaman.

Alison said...

Mark, there was a wonderful warmth in your post today. I just felt it coming through the airwaves (or wherever!) It's great that life is good. (Afghanistan aside!) Enjoy the magic moments.

beth said...

your writing about life is so...well, real !

I love coming here knowing that what I read will give me thought, or a laugh or maybe a way to look at things differently !

congrats to your hiss that he will shipped out....what a test of life for a young couple.

would captain jack share his song with us ?

and being with people who are close to perfect AND shower....well now that's just pure heaven !

Marilyn said...

I don't mind a snow shovel for a day or two, but that's it; but much prefer sunscreen.

All the best to your future son-in-law, may he be safe in Afghanistan.