Unless you have been living in a cave you were probably following, at least from a distance, the trials and tribulations of the "Carnival Triumph", the cruise ship that took over 3000 passengers on a trip to hell.
As I watched way too much coverage of this stricken ship on CNN, I couldn't help but think of the time I was on a ship without power, drifting for 3 days.
There are two big differences I noticed between the "Carnival Triumph" and the "America Sun", which was the ship I was on.
#1- I was getting paid to be on the ship, the "Triumph" passengers paid a lot of money to be there.
#2- We did not have raw sewage running down the walls and into the hallways.
I think it's safe to say, they had it a little tougher than I did.
The oil tanker I was on was 800 ft long and we were in the process of heading to Valdez Alaska from Baltimore MD when all of a sudden.....darkness. Then silence. We were about 300 miles off the coast of Uraguay heading south. Our generator malfunctioned causing the main engines to stop roaring, plunging the ship into darkness. This was in the mid 70's.
After a period of time, our emergency generator kicked on and the ship had minimal lighting and the galley had one hot plate that worked. The engine room which is normally very loud was as silent as a public library. That was the strangest thing.
We had no air conditioning or water for showering. A distinct memory I have is the sound the ship made as it rocked in the swell. Like a squeak, normally not heard because of the constant hum in the back ground of the ships engines.
I was just a young kid, sailing in the position of oiler in the engine room. The problem was attended to by people on the ship with a much higher pay grade than me, so I just spent 3 days....waiting, as the Chief Engineer performed his magic in the generator room.
Suddenly, the lights came back on, the tug boats that were ordered 2 days before to tow us in were not needed and cancelled.
Before we continued on around the Southern tip of South America, our ship hobbled into Motavideo Uraguay for some extensive repairs that took 2 days to complete. I was about 20 years old and had the run of a beautiful South American city for a couple of days. That was not too hard to take.
When repairs were complete we continued on, through the Straights of Magelland and North to Valdez, Alaska.
My Black Ship pictured below, happened almost 40 years ago and I remember almost every detail of those 3 days.