North to Alaska on the tug Polar Endurance


Lots happening here since finishing mate school.  The very day I passed Terestrial Nav at the USCG REC in Seattle, myself and one other crew member drove to Port Ludlow, WA to meet the R/V Clifford A. Barnes.  I relieved the captain for the balance of a five day trip.  The trip was a continuation of the trip when we broke down.

After completing the voyage, there really wasn’t much work on the books until mid September so I started running the local Vessel Assist boat again until I could find something else.  I had sent out my resume to several tug / shipping companies.  Last Thursday in the late afternoon, while I was towing a broken Bayliner back to port, Dunlap Towing of Everett, WA called and asked if I was available.  I let them know that I was enrolled in a Leadership & Mangement Skills course the following week.  The course is being required by the USCG to be completed by the end of this year.  The call from Dunlap was late afternoon on Thursday and on Friday morning I was taking a physical, drug test and work test in downtown Seattle.  Dunlap had tossed around a few different start dates but really hadn’t pinned it down for sure.  After the physical, I drove to their office to fill out some paperwork for them and they pinned down the date for this Friday as soon as I get out of class!

Like I said, things are moving fast.  Here is some information about the tug I’ll be on from tugboat information: Polar Endurance

I’ve really only ever been on one other tug, and that was a tour at Western Towboat in Seattle.  I’ve got a lot of learning to do and I’m really looking forward to it.  We are towing a loaded freight barge from Seattle to several ports in SE Alaska and possibly going to Dutch Harbor before heading home.  The one thing I expect is changes to the schedule and port of calls along the way.  It’s Alaska and the weather gods and customers throw lots of curve balls.

For me, Dunlap is just across the bridge from my home town, maybe a 20 minute drive.  Most of the crew changes happen right there, so it is very easy.  Hopefully they will like me and ask me to go on another trip after this one!  Stay tuned.

Todd

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