Thursday, December 30, 2010

Got milk ?

Have you had to go grocery shopping recently?
I bet in the last few days you found you needed milk or bread or that special ingredient you needed to make that meal you had planned.

No big deal right?

You just throw on a coat, grab your car keys and zip to the store.
Or if your a city dweller you just pop out the front door and walk a few blocks to the store while you soak up the ever present energy of the city. Either way, within minutes of realizing you needed something, you have it. It's not a huge undertaking.

It's a bit different if you work on a boat. When we boarded our boat about a week ago, the food supply was already a bit low because the other crew had been at sea for a few days.
Since we've been on board we've either been underway or anchored so the food supply is getting even lower.

Now don't get me wrong, we're not starving. In fact we probably have enough canned goods in our pantry to feed a small nation. Actually, it's just the basics that we need.
The milk and eggs were non existent when we came on the boat.
The bread choices were down to white and white. Sorry, that just won't do.
The coffee supply was getting dangerously low. The general rule of thumb on a tug is, if a boat crew had a choice of running out of fuel, or running out of coffee...well, we'd be dead in the water.

So as we sit anchored a couple of hundred yards off the dry land of Texas,

we couldn't just get in our car and we couldn't walk down the city street to the corner grocer.
It's a bit more involved than that.

So, we called a taxie.

Here's 2 of our crew and one of the barge guys waiting to catch a ride.

Off they went in search of fruit, vegetables and assorted goodies.
Nothing is easy on a boat.
1200 hrs- their ride showed up.
1220 hrs- they arrived on land
1230- called a cab for a ride to the store.
1330- arrived at the store.
1545- called a cab and loaded up $1400 worth of stuff.
1600- arrived back at the dock and unloaded $1400 worth of stuff.
1640- boat arrived, loaded $1400 worth of stuff on the boat
1715- arrived at the tug- unloaded $1400 worth of stuff
1800- finished putting all that stuff away.

It was a 6 hour ordeal to go shopping.
Oh yeah, and the boat taxie charged $250.

Nothing is easy


Jerral Miles said...

Hey, Mark. We should go into the water taxi business. Are water taxies nuclear powered these days? You can ride all over Venice with a guy standing up paddling for under a hundred dollars.

I was wondering: Do you go to the same boat every time you and your crew are deployed? Are you with the same crew every time?

slommler said...

Wow! Now that was a shopping trip for sure!! For all of your guys, $1400 was a good haul!! Glad you have milk and coffee now. That would have been a bummer to be at sea and no coffee!! Yikes!!
Happy New Year dear friend and hugs

beth said... i ever appreciate now the quick little jaunts i do just for one or two grocery items !!

but hey....great photos !

Megan said...

Wow! I'm hoping you bought more than just milk and eggs.... otherwise I think you got ripped off!

P.S. Happy New Year!

Neil and Susan said...

Hi Mark, I sometimes watch the water taxi's pick up crew off the container ships in Halifax harbor. After reading your post, you have given me insight to what a crew goes through to get essentials. I will never take driving to the store for bread for granted again :)