One of my favorite experiences while growing up (and in more recent years) has been going out on my dad’s boat for the Fourth of July. No matter what is going on in our lives, it is a tradition now that one of the company’s ships is here for the fourth to go out in Portland Harbor and watch the fireworks.
I used to be very scared of boats from a young age, which I realize is ironic, seeing what my father does for a living. Despite this, I still went on my dad’s ships from time to time. As a child I would go for rides on the 7 (this is the ship I remember particularly well from my childhood) and would help look for buoys from the bow. Of course, the crew didn’t really need me for this, but they were happy to oblige me. I remember many days of sitting on the dock near the boat, reading. I’m not sure where my fear of boats came from, but I started to see how being out to sea could be relaxing.
It was around this time we began to go on Fourth of July excursions out to sea. I enjoyed these very much. The crew would be there, along with families and friends of each employee. It was a nice celebration for everyone in the midst of all of their hard work. It was also a chance for us family members to see the crew in action. Though they were also a part of the celebration, they still had to ensure our safety while we were aboard their ship. Every year the crew would give us safety instructions, help everyone on and off the ship, and continue with all the duties necessary to involve getting the ship around the harbor.
At the start of the trip each year, we usually travel around the harbor and view the lighthouses and forts along the shoreline. Fort Gorges is one in particular that is visible from the harbor that reminds me of childhood boat rides. This past July I had a particularly memorable ride aboard the M/V Sea Hunter. While out in the harbor, the sky started darkening to a deep grayish black. Thunder began to roll in the distance. The hair of anyone who was still on the deck at this point started to stand on end from the static electricity in the air. I had never been on a boat when a storm had come, and I was a little worried. My dad assured me it would be fine and it wasn’t bad enough that we would have to turn back.
The rain came down soon after in sheets. It was pouring, and now lightning was scattered around the skies. We soon got the announcement that the fireworks would be postponed. Despite that, I ended up having a huge amount of fun that night. Even though I am scared of being out on the ocean, I have to say that the crew of the Sea Hunter did a great job at making me feel safe. They know the ship inside and out, and so when you are onboard you know you are in capable hands.
Ashley, those same conditions happen one year out on 7 but just after the fire works, your dad and I noticed though the crazy rain 3.5 was sinking behind 7 because of massive amount of rain water, basically it was the old admiral or me, so I jumped in the wee boat pumped out what I could, and shot back to the dock. Old 7 chug, chugged up to the dock, your mum chucked me the spring line, we tied up the boat, as the rain stopped and old man Brooks steps off the boat bone dry! Leaving 2ft of a 6ft sandwich alone with me on 7.
That boat has so so many stories….