Customer comments on this Youngstown Ohio Book
Very interesting read
If you've ever wondered how the U.S. Merchant Marine works or just want to read a modern seafaring non fiction book, this is the book for you. Great read, very interesting
I guess you just had to be there...
An excellant book that is at times laugh out loud funny. One of the main characters, Andy, graduated a couple years behind me and I was aquainted with him so it made the book even more real. The people described are defintely the real deal. It's a book that I reread nearly every year.
A bittersweet experience....
I think I was born wanting to go to sea. I had never even seen an ocean as a kid, but I instinctually seemed to have a knowlege and a love of ships and the sea. As I grew older it puzzled me that the Merchant Marine wasn't considered a viable career choice. It also puzzled me that I never met anyone who had worked in the merchant service later than the early 50's. There was also the fact that the world's biggest industrial powerhouse seemed to have so few American flagged vessels..... Well, this book explains things. You can't get a berth on an American flagged ship for the same reason it is becoming impossible to find a factory job inland- the corporations decided that it was cheaper to hire cheap foreign labor and flag their ships in third world countries to get around taxes and decent working conditions.
That is why reading this book is a bittersweet experience. On the one hand it is great reading about famous captains or modern day pirates, but on the other, you realise that you'll never know any part of such a life. Pretty hard to get a sea card when licensed officers are being "shoved down the hawse-pipe" to serve as deckhands....
When I finished this book I dug out my old Bowditch and sextent and thought about what could have been. Maybe I couldn't have cut it, but damn it, I deserved a chance to find out.