Saturday, February 14, 2015

Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Sleet, Nor Hail.....

The old slogan says "Neither rain ,nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail...nothing stops the US Mail!" While I am not so sure that still applies today, what with the rate our packages and bills arrive it is no wonder they call it snail mail!

Did you know the same can be said for tugboats and ships? Yep. It sure can! matter how hard...the man dons his rain gear and goes out to pull lines and help dock ships. Whether a little shower or a real gulley washer, they work.

Snow? Well, that isn't really an issue where we live, but sleet and ice show up pretty regularly. Does that stop them? Nope. They wear steel toed boots with good traction and walk carefully on the nonskid applied on deck. (They apply and reapply that stuff regularly.)

Hail? Nope. Not that either. That only happens here once in a while too, but if it comes, they work. Good thing for those hard hats huh?

Lightening popping around? Cloud to ground strikes? Nope, they don't blink an eye. They go out on steel decks and pull lines, throw lines, turn wenches, catch lines and whatever else has to be done. We get a lot of lightening here, tons of bolts and strikes, especially during the summer when it's so freakin' hot and the afternoon rain comes.

So does ANYTHING stop ships and tugboats?
Yep. Bet you can't guess what it is!

It's fog.

Yep. Fog. Misty, mysterious, enveloping and a little creepy.....fog. It is great in a horror movie or on Halloween, or for getting really cool photos of the moon, but not so great for visibility. That's when they stop.

When visibility is too low, the river pilots make the executive decision and they close the river. That means nothing goes in and nothing goes out. Giant ships wait offshore until the river opens, and ships in port wait for the clearance to depart. The river is quiet. Tugboats are at the dock. All is calm.

Until.....the fog lifts. It may lift in a couple of hours, or it may take a night or so. When it lifts though, Katie bar the door. All those ships are paying for extra dock time, and all those ships waiting to come in are losing money and time just sitting. It's no holds barred for the tugboats then....the extra rest they got while the river was closed is soon used up. They work steady until all ships are either docked and unloading cargo, or they are out and on their way to the next port.

River life. Unpredictable and crazy at times. Exciting and challenging. Hard work. But every once in a while, I get to catch a glimpse of the foggy river and it is indeed beautiful. Mysterious, slow, heavy and wet....fog can stop everything in it's tracks.

This is the MSC Marianna coming upriver, just before it closed one cold December 2014 day.
  Without fog she looks like this:
She's a pretty big girl...
Gross Tonnage: 73819
Deadweight: 85806 t
Length × Breadth: 304m × 40m
So hard for me to imagine those little yellow tugboats moving this thing! 
Speaking of little yellow tugboats, here is my man's tug...Tug Georgia sitting at the dock in fog. 
Behind them is the river, and beyond that is the wood chip dock. Can't see it? That's why the river is closed :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A New Tattoo?

 What do you think?

No...I am not getting tatted up. No ink for me, although Deck Boss has a couple of tattoos himself. Ok, maybe a couple is not the right word. Fifteen is the correct word, to be precise.

Anyway, while I have been battling some health nonsense, I have spent A LOT of time trawling the interwebz. I use my phone most often, but sometimes I resort to dragging myself into the living room and working on the desktop pc when my phone aggravates me and makes me cuss crazy. I am a night owl by nature, and inhaled steroid medications make me hyper so late nights with restless mind syndrome have become the norm for me. I Google and Google image search things like "merchant mariner" and "tugboats" and "tugboat wife" (where this very blog comes up about a 100 times with pictures) "merchant mariner wife" (Where the blog Callie's Mariner comes up about 1,000,000 times! Check out this blog at She is so cool. I want to be her when I grow up)

A few days ago, Deck Boss posted the photo above to my Facebook wall. I loved it immediately. I wish the image was of higher resolution so I could have it made into a t-shirt. It would make a stellar, totally awesome tattoo, if I were so inclined to participate in the inking of my body. But I think I will leave the ink to Deck Boss and less permanent things like eye liner and mascara to me.....although I hear you can get those tatted on now too.....but I am not brave enough to try it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Really Cool Reading!

While nursing my addiction scrolling through Facebook the other day, I came across a suggested page to "like". It looks like this:

Well, if you know me, you know that caught my eye! I had to investigate.
I scrolled.
I read.
I ooed and aaahed.
I "stretched to enlarge" pictures.
I may have drooled a little.

Between my love of the water, the love of my mariner and my love of photography, I think I hit the jackpot on this one.

I came across this picture, with credit given to Brian Swartzbaugh:
The caption reads: "You think you have a tough time managing certain spaces in your SUV? Imagine pushing this load around corners on the river."

And this photo...which made me so thankful my man stays ON the tugboat instead of scampering around between the tug and a cargo ship....

If you have time, check out the Seamen's Church Institute on Facebook. There are some really neat articles and up close photos of maritime action! Or check them out online at

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anchors Aweigh!!!!

Happy Sunday! I wanted to share a couple of photos with you from our lives recently....

First off...The Navy is in town! Yep! The USS Farragut is in town for the weekend, so our fair city is partying it up as only she can. Lots of beer flowing, lots of men wandering...lots of young ladies more than willing to welcome them into town! I know....I love me some sailors!

Anyway, our local newspaper has live cams on the riverfront, and I found this one on
See the little yellow tugboat? Yep! That is my Deck Boss on Tug Georgia helping push the ship to the dock.

This morning Butch (Deck Boss) sent me this photo from another ship heading upriver....
That is the view of the bow of Tug Georgia...with a HUUUUUUGE anchor on it!
Holy ANchors Deck Boss!

Anchors Aweigh bloggy friends...until next time!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A New Name In A New Season

Does your man have a nickname?

Practically since we met, Butch and I had nicknames for each other. He called me "Panda Bear" and I called him "Jamie Bear". Over time, they changed to "Miss Panda" and "Brown Bear". Now it's usually just "Bear" and "Brown".'s been a long 18 years together, ok???? Don't judge my insanity because it's different from yours!

Anyway....when Butch first started on the tugboats he learned that everyone was assigned a nickname. You don't choose your own. it's earned. After a while, his nickname was assigned. It was "da Butcher". based on his previous employment as a meatcutter. Over was shortened to just "Butch". ('s the deep South...we shorten EVERYTHING!!!!! Examples: maters. taters, y'all, fixin' to, etc.) Boat after boat and crew change after crew change, he's been "Butch". As parents of a 17 year old girl, it's been very effective that he has that nickname. No questions asked.

But as the song says, "It's a new season, it's a new day...." My man called me today with the news that since being on this latest boat with this crew, he has been assigned a new nickname. Ready for this?

Meet......"Deck Boss"!

Monday, July 28, 2014

It's Been A Great Day!

In fact, it's been a great few days! Butch came home Friday, and I was sure glad to see him. Sometimes a week away seems like much longer than an actual 7 days..or 168 hours. I traveled last week to Baton Rouge with the Princess to see family, and the miles only made him seem farther away.

I was nervous about how he would come home. A new boat, a new crew, a new shift, a new schedule, a new Captain.....I wondered how the move would work out.  However, when Butch came in smiling ear to ear Friday morning, I knew right right away that he had an excellent week! The change was good....he loves the new boat, the new Captain, the new schedule, and everything about his new position. I am so thankful to God for all of His blessings!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Notice Anything Different?

Yes was time to update the old bloggeroo.......
New cover photo.
New color scheme.
New layout.

But if you look closely, you will notice an even bigger change.

See it?

Put on your glasses. (They're probably perched on top of your head, or at least that's where I usually find mine)

I will give you a hint. It's in the photo.....

.....which was provided to me courtesy of Captain Anthony Gober.

See it now?

Well do ya?

Ah, my astute blog reader...I assure you that your eyes are not playing tricks on you.
That is indeed a different tugboat.
And why did I change my header picture to a different tugboat photo you may ask?
The answer is simple.

It's a new picture of a different tug because that tug is now home to da Butcher. It was provided by a new Captain because he is now Butch's Captain.  Instead of Tug Florida, Butch now calls Tug Georgia home.

Here's to fair seas and following winds!!!!!