About Me

A slightly over-educated sailor sharing the wet and dry sides of his life.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Back on Track?

Well, it has been a long time since I first set up this blog. I can't even remember my original intent for doing it. Anyway, it seems like it's time to get it going.

Why "None of Your Penguins"? Well, I suppose it comes from my viewing penguins as some sort of symbol for or totem of the imagination. Consider this: They are flightless birds that do fly, however, underwater. The objective correlative exists in that, though people speak of "flights of the imagination," in reality, one has to dive beneath the surface of things in order to retrieve the sublime/submarine food for the imagination. Again, why "None of Your Penguins"? While objects are readily co-opted and commodified (the "nouns" of existence), it is far difficult to do the same to processes (the "verbs" of existence).

Speaking of the ocean:

Tomorrow morning, I'll be flying out to Newark and then head to Staten Island to start another job on a ship. I will be working as an Able Seaman on the American President Line (APL) containership, President Truman. The ship will visit ports on the East Coast, the Middle East (via the Suez Canal), the Far East, and Sri Lanka. This gig will last almost 6 months, as I intend on making three of these voyages. I hope to post some pictures from my time aboard the Truman.

I am a member of the Sailors Union of the Pacific--what might be the first unlicensed maritime union started in the United States. While no longer the size we once were back in the heyday of American shipping, and though we are now the smallest of the unlicensed unions, we manage to cast a long shadow.

Given the stories in the news of the pirate attacks in and around the Gulf of Aden, I figure people might find some value or interest in the fact that my ship will be sailing through those waters. The last time I shipped out through the Gulf of Aden, a ship that was 25 miles ahead of us was boarded and taken by pirates. We could hear over our bridge VHF radio the ship's captain calling the Coalition Forces in the area. Sadly, help was too far away to save them.

While my friends and family have expressed worry that my ships have to sail through the pirate waters, I tell them that the APL ships are too large and fast for pirates to waste their time with us. Very true! There are many other ships that are far more value rich, being slower and lower to the water.

Well, I have to get some sleep before my morning flight. The opportunities for me to post won't be that frequent, but I will do my best to keep this blog alive. Also, when I'm not out on the sea, I'm home in Washington State, just north of Seattle. Margaret and I keep two cats (Wanda and Fern) and four chickens (Butch, Penny, Henny, and Edie) around the house. While home this last time around, I put in some time building a greenhouse. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fully complete it. It is almost done, my having glazed the roof, the west and the north sides. Basically, all that needs to be done is the east side and the interior. Fortunately, if Margaret isn't able to get some of her brothers to put on the finishing touches, I will be home before winter. I'll be sure to post some pics I took of the home front from the past few days--as soon as I can find an Internet cafe somewhere in my travels.

Until then...

--Dave Eriksen


--Karen H said...

Have a good flight, Dave!


Dave Eriksen said...

The flight to Newark went well. No obnoxious children kicking the back of my seat (a strange plague I tend to suffer when I fly). The first leg to Phoenix presented me with a charming kindergarten girl and her mother. We read Green Eggs and Ham. The second leg gave me a guy with explosive snores.

I hope to post some pics of the ship scene tonight, if I find the time to sort through them and size them for posting. Sleep comes first. I only had no more than 2.5 hrs this morning.