A World of Mine…once

i was looking for something to make a little bit of extra cash, like a full-time, high-paying job, just to keep Maureen from feeling stressed about finances.

During a discussion with my close friend, Steve Frailey, he told me they were looking for a safety guy. He described the work as walking the Pacific Tugboat old creosote wood pier (one of the few left on the bay) numerous times a day, checking the pier, the workers, the boats, and other equipment for safety, to ride the boats for safety checks at least once a week, to conduct training in San Diego and at the Long Beach facility at least once a week. i thought “Hmm, these are all things i would love to do, bring back memories, and i could visit my friend Alan Hicks (who was the Marad Director of the Southern California Gateway), a geographic bachelor living in Long Beach.

Well, it wasn’t for a king’s ransom, and i never did quite all of the things i should have, but i did improve the safety, environmental compliance, and provided support in other ways. i think i helped the company, which was my goal.

i gave it up three years ago. Decided my skills weren’t quite what they used to be, and i also realized i didn’t have the drive anymore to manage relationships in a work status. So i stepped aside. An extremely capable, professional, and much younger Shawn Quigley took my place. Good move all around.

But occasionally, i miss it. Like this morning. i was screwing off, procrastinating, when some old posts popped up on Facebook. Memories came back.

Because of the nature of the job and commuter traffic, i usually arrived at the pier between 0530 and 0600. It was my favorite part of the day. i would walk the pier around first light and enjoy the sights, sounds, and aroma of the bay waking up. If lucky, i would embark on a boat for one of those safety rides. i posted these photos to try and capture my pleasure of the experiences. They didn’t fully capture my feelings, but i think these will give you and idea:

Crew on, 0400, Harbor Commander, inboard of 100-ton barge crane.
San Diego skyline near sunrise from the bay.


USS Preble (DDG 88) standing into San Diego Bay. Point Loma, the submarine floating dry dock are in the background. Early morning.

Yep, miss it, just like i missed my ships at sea.

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