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T. Wolfe WAS wrong

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Old 07-04-2008, 10:17 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 130
Default T. Wolfe WAS wrong

Early June I wrote of my planned return to the D. Q. after 32 years. In his book, Look Homeward Angel, Wolfe said "You can't go home again" and I was wondering just how true this was going to be. I returned to the boat with memories of my past but knowing it was not going to be the same as my time past. Over all I was more suprised by what had remained the same than I was in noteing changes.
Upon my arrival at the boat in Nashville, I was glad to see her looking in very good shape and laying stately at the landing. The wheel was in need of some attention. I think this may have been more noteable due to the over all excellent apperance of the boat. I was on a list of expected arriving crew members and met by the HRC Anne Marie. I was taken to the engine room and met the Chief, a Steamboat bred fellow named Tommy Thornhill. The first noted change was my asking if the head was still what turned out to be the Jr. Engineers room. Glad I asked. I was expecting to go on watch at 1800. I was told that the oilers now stood 12 hour watches and I would be on watch now but no need to hurry. Several boiler suits were found for me, one of which I could fit into.
I was suprised by how much I did not remember about the different gages and operation of the engine room. It took several days for long sleeping brain cells to awaken. With the help of a sharp Mass. Maritime Watch Engineer, much of my understand of the engine room returned quickly.
This writting is getting much longer than I had hoped, but feared it would. I think installments may be in order.
One comment and I will sign off for now. The engineering staff is made up of a good balance Steamboat experinced people and those from the New England area Maritime Schools. The other Chief, Fred Rich, is retired Navy and MSC. The school grads all have other sailing time and there seems to be a desire to learn a plant they have only read about. There seems to be an acceptance from all of the engineering staff that there is much to be learned from each other and a willingness to share and do what ever it takes to keep the boat in good operational condition.
More later, if desired. Will close for now before I put others to sleep.
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