Sunday, December 13, 2009

free at last, free at last

Allright, so since last weekend, we are free from galley duty. Thank god.

The last week of galley was making us hit our low points and our tempers at high points. Although when the new class filed in the galley on thursday to begin learning their new positions it was a great sight. It seems like just yesterday when we first learned our roles in the kitchen. Now that were out of the kitchen, we've moved to detail month and class.

Detail month is ten times better then galley duty. All that has to be done is morning, lunch, and evening details inside and outside that must be completed muster of each segment of the day. Your details are then broken up between a small group and up to you to divide the work from there. For example, I have inside detail of sweeping and mopping the 4th deck common area and cleaning up the parking lot. Now between my group members I only have to do usually one morning and one evening detail a day so its not that bad. But if someone forgets to do their detail in your group and you get caught, your all screwed.

Class room has been awesome as well. We have been doing life boat training and preparing for our certifications. Today we got all of our coxswain (lifeboat commander for any nonsailors out there) testing done and I passed the instructing and rowing. Now were working on davits and lowering the lifeboats for the next couple days. Its all very interesting material and i find it easy to stay focused in class which is a great plus.

So now that I have free time, i've been watching movies on the weekends, playing a ton of ping pong, working out, and enjoying there Amazing sauana. They are all privelages that are very much earned at this place. haha

Oh, color guard is going well by the way, so far no major mess ups but its getting freaking cold out and since we have to wear a special uniform that does not include gloves or jackets, Im getting pretty cold every morning.

Anyways, all for now, Ill update again when i get some time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

One more week

Like the title said, only one more week of galley. Thank God. haha. Actually, it isnt that bad anymore, our class is good, real good. I guess were the only class so far this year that hasnt had a trainee written up there first month. Thats impressive. And it shows, the night commadant enjoys inspecting our barracks now.

Allright, its been a while since I've thrown up a post, so ill give you guys a run down whats been going on. Thanksgiving kicked ass, we got the entire day off. That pretty much never happens for first monthers but 726 (two classes before us) are full of screw ups so the day commadant decided to give us a break. Needless to say, 726 hates our guts. But its ok, they will be gone off to sea next week anyways.

Now that were on to the second month, we can pick up extra jobs for extra pay. ( we get 20 dollars a week to be here, 16 cents an hour. haha) So, Im going to pick up color guard. Briefly, I raise up and bring down the floor every day. But its alot more than that. SIU is very patriotic, and its a big deal. Every foot step is rehearsed and if you mess up, Kiss any free time you once had good bye. But you get some cool benefits. I dont have to march with my group any more, I get to walk behind them when they march. I get to wear khaki's every day and to look good infront of the higher ups. And when it comes down to getting shipped out, it makes a difference.

Monday the new class comes in (729). And boy are we ready for them. We'll start training them in the galley thursday and they'll replace us. Thank god. then we start detail month. Detail month is a whole new animal. First month is all about breaking you down and see if you can handle working hard with some one bearing down your ass the whole time. They want to weed out the lazy people. Second month is about giving you some more freedom, and see how you handle it. You have detail 3 times a day, morning, lunch and dinner. It isnt nearly as hard as first month, but its a test, they want to see if you still work hard and dont skip your detail when they arent there on your ass. And if you do skip out, theyll know. Thats the thing about this place. Your Always being watched. haha.

Anyways, thats whats going down at the paull hall center for now. Take it easy guys. Ill throw another post a little sooner this time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gotta love the weekends

ok after a few day break, im back.

So this weekend was a fun one, we pulled galley duty friday after lunch through sunday. We as a group our accomplishing our tasks very well and our inspections on the galley and in our barracks went well but i can definetley tell some people are totally getting tired of each other. (who wouldnt when you get up at 4 and you dont stop working until 9:45 that night?) haha

I think we as a group have a while yet untill we hit that "wall" where we have a big melt down and then everyone pulls together again. but i totally can feel the warning signs. I think this 17 days of galle duty will bring it out, hopefuly sooner then later because the sooner as we get our problems out the faster can get over it.

WE did have a stroke of freeking luck though, the night commandant aka the guy who does our night inspections is on a 10 day vacation. Which means piney point is on a 10 day vacaction. Our night inspections are done by other cadets. Granted those cadets got the right to inspect us by brown nosing, but they still will be a lot easier to deal with.

Ok so the run down for this week, today the chief bosun (brown noser) decided that we should prime and paint our barracks so were working on that for the next 2 nights. Infact we finished for today and it smells soo rediculous in there right now. haha. Our first class, vessel familiarization is finishing up and we'll get our coastguard test for it friday. If we fail it, we get one shot to retake it and if we fail that, we fly home. So after that for thanks giving it sounds like well be working the galley even thought its not our duty, the new guys get the worst jobs all the time. (only 3 more weeks till the new bottom guys on the scrotum poll arrive.) not that im counting it down or anything.

Tonight i have watch from 12-2 on the 6th floor which is good because that's 2 hours of uninterrupted study time. The lack of sleep is totally hurting all of us though. Working and studying with 4-6 1/2 hours of sleep of night is pretty tough. What i hear from the third phasers is that when you get on a ship, its a cake walk compared to what we do on a regular basis. So thats somthing to positive about.

Also, I heard from one of the instructors last friday he knew a guy who was an AB unlimited sailor that was making 10,800 a month working on a tugboat for Crowley maritime going from jacksonville to puerto rico and back. Doing 28 days on 28 days off and making that kind of money would be pretty sweet. It actually wouldnt be hard at all to reach that point either, just a couple years work.

Any ways, thats enough for now, ill post again as soon as possible

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I have internet!

Ok I was able to get a 3g card and now i have internet at the paul center. So after a week off lets get down to business.

First off, this place is amazing (if your a worker). If your lazy, you wont make it through the program. The basic way it works is Piney point takes a new class every month of unlicensed apprentices. Over the next 11 months they stick about 45,000 dollars in each and every person in education, room, and board at no cost or obligation to the sailor. While the economy for shipping has slowed down some, it has faired stronger and better then many more industrties out there and they still garuntee jobs upon graduation. I believe it too, this vocational school is the best of its kind in the world. They take average civillians, and mold them into disiplined sailors. We all had our head shaved the first night, We have uniforms we all wear, we sleep in a barracks that gets inspected twice a day and it has to be perfect, i mean perfect. Like the end sheets of our beds must be folded at a 45 degree angle. O yea, and we march every where we go too. Thats just the basics too, our daily routines our demanding.

We have to get up at 5:30 in the morning if were lucky and depending on what phase your in, and we start our days by eating chow then fallng in for call off. Then we march to our classes and learn, at night we clean our barracks and get inspected by the night commandant. All the other UA's (unlicensed apprentices) have warned us about this guy. He inspects rooms at night and he is like an ex marine drill sargaent. He basically is paid to make our lives harder. And when we mess up, we get detail, (cleaning is detail).

Now that im in phase one, on the weekends i get up at 4 to work the galley untill about 8:45 at night, with 2 one hour breaks in between. Theres inspections for galley cleaning too. haha. It never ends with inspections.

haha i forgot about watch too. We have watch duty's here at piney point going on all night. I have 2 watch dutys this week at this point (the schedule changes all the time), Both at 2-4 am which is so convienent. Not. haha, but its just part of the program.

Oyea privlages are another thing. Our barracks is located on the 5th floor, we have elevators, but we dont have privelages. We wont have the privelage of using the elevator untill a month from now. Also, we cant watch the television in the mess hall,( we have to face away from it) We cant go anywear with out everyone else in the group coming. So for example, if a guy in your barracks has to smoke, down the 5 floors and out to the dock for him to light up, all of us. Theres rec rooms a work out facility and more but I wont get privelages for any of that for another month.

Right now I'm in hell month, which is actually 5 weeks where we dont get any days off or the ability to sleep in. after the first month are lives get easier untill some one messes up and we lose the privelages. (that happens alot)

So if your wondering while i actually like this place its because Job placement is garunteed and pay if fantastic. Plus i get to go all over the world for free while im at the school. Everything is totally worth it, and i reccomend it to anyone except for the fact that they are no longer accepting applications due to a huge flood of people wanting to be here for obvious reasons.

Anyways, my break is over, ill blog again soon with some pictures.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Ok, the big day is here. Today in about 3 hours I will be entering my academy and starting my new life for the next 7 1/2 months or so. Have to say i woke up this morning a little bit more anxious then usual. I feel good about today though, even though my head is spinning a little bit more than usual. haha. Im gonna keep the blog post short today, got to relax myself by doing some last minute checks. Ill post asap once at the school.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

T-minus 15 hours

Well, its already here. Tomorow I fly out for Maryland and spend the weekend with my Aunt and Uncle in Leonardton, which is 20 minutes away from Piney Point. Monday morning is fall in day and I'll meet the other people that I'm going to live with for the next 3 months.

Today has been an interesting day. I went over to my old high school and said my good byes to my teachers and old classmates. I bought a new camera so I'll be able to take some pictures of the Maryland/Academy once i get there. Oh, and of course take pictures along my travels. All of which will end up on this blog to keep you guys interested.

Im still feeling really good about this whole trip. Im very excited about moving to a new place and im itching for some adventure. I couldnt tell you what the next few days will bring, but I have to imagine they'll be interesting. Wish me luck at the airport. I might need it. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Introduction

Thanks for stopping by my blog. If your not sure what this is all about, I'll give you a rundown. So in 8 days I'm moving off to Pineypoint, Maryland to attend the Paul Hall's Unlicensed Apprentice Program. In english, Im going to a Union School to become a Sailor (non-military). The Pau hall center is a military style set up school with rules, uniforms, and the whole nine yards. Ill be living in a baracks with other guys and will be learning all about Seafaring. School Doesnt actually start till November 9th, but since my everyday life now is revolving more and more around getting prepared, I figured why not make the blog now.

I'm making a blog to write down my adventures and experiences to be had through this school and to share it with family, friends, and anybody else who finds it interesting. Due to popular demand with my friends about keeping them posted,I figured this would be a productive way of keeping in touch with everybody while I am away because I will not be able to leave the academy at any point for recreational activities. I wont be traveling off the base for around for approximately 3 months, then Ill be moving to stage 2 of my program and be headed off to sea as an apprentice and working on ship some where in the world. What Ill be pulling out of the school (besides the adventures) will be an Able Body seaman rating (standard joeblow rating) and a garunteed job on a vessel somewhere. I want to use this experience to see if i like what im doing and if i possibly want to make a career out of it. This whole program should take about a year.

O yea, considering that Im not sure how well you know me, im just going to lay it out there. Im John Ingold, an 18 year high school grad coming from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Most of my friends (excluding my girlfriend kayla, who goes to school in town), have moved off to college somewhere and being from the midwest I really dont have any maritime expierence or family members with some either. Unless you call wakeboarding as seafaring time. Im just looking for a proffitable adventure and possibly a career. Once at the academy I hope im able to post about every other day depending on whats going on.

Thats enough for now, Ill post on later.