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From 1984 to 1986 this was my home.
I served as a Seaman Apprentice and Seaman on the Jellison, stationed out of Seward, AK. A crew of sixteen.
I remember the Skipper, Lt.jg. Alexander. Joe Carro was the First Class Bosun’s Mate, and my boss, the boss of all of us deck maggots. Krieter, Dammon, Spike, and me. Vern DiPietro was the first class engineer.
Fuck, I learned a lot on that boat.
I got in my first bar fight. I shot my first halibut. I pointed a gun at my first human being.
I got thrown naked off the bow into a frozen salt mush.
I dragged wet and frozen two-inch line off the towing howser until my hands bled and then I just kept doing it.
I hung onto the quarter-inch wire line to keep from being swept overboard when we shipped green water over the deck. I busted ice off the superstructure with aluminum baseball bats for hours on end, so we wouldn’t get top-heavy and capsize from the weight of the ice.
I stood at the helm while green water poured through the pilothouse when we ran through a thirty-six hour storm of twenty-foot seas and sixtyknot winds.
I swabbed vomit off the decks. I polished a lot of brass. I painted underway hanging from a bosun chair.
I strapped myself into my bunk so I wouldn’t smash against the bulkhead.
I was as green as you could possibly get.
I had a hell of a time.
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To all my mates- “Semper Paratus!”
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I never had a good idea in my head in all my livin’ life.
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