Tag Archives: travel

Journal at Sea: Day 4

Day 4: Tuesday

After joining the Chief Mate’s watch, I had breakfast and then went to my cabin to catch up on a few z’s. The ship was now well underway to Vancouver, Washington and so again, I fell asleep to the slow rolling of the ship.

However, I eventually woke up as I rolled off my bed and smacked my forehead on the floor. Since I could not get back to sleep, I went up to the bridge to find that we had arrived off the pilot station at Astoria and the Pilot was now on board.

I joined the Second Officer and followed along as we navigated up the Colombia River. The Second Officer helped me understand how to plot our course on the chart. Captain Samyal was also on the bridge for the six-hour journey up the river to Vancouver, Washington.

Journal at Sea: Day 3

Day 3: Monday

Great view of Alcatraz of the Port side of the Saga Andorinha.

Today, we are still discharging and behind schedule, so they plan to work through the night to finish as we need to get underway towards Vancouver, Washington. My job today was to help paint one of the holds. I was later on gangway watch for the balance of my shift.

Dusk at Golden Gate Bridge

Discharge completed in the evening and so the pilots were ordered and we set sail in the evening for Vancouver. It was still light enough for me to take a few pictures of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge on our way out. I stayed on the bridge all night and joined both the 3rd officer and then the 2nd officer for their watches and then finished with the Chief Mate’s watch.

Journal at Sea: Day 2

Day 2: Sunday

Sadly, the ship passed under the Golden Gate Bridge at 0200 hrs, so it was impossible for me to take pictures. I had gone to bed at midnight since I would not be able to see much at 0200 hrs. When I woke at 0600 hrs, the ship was alongside Pier 80 in San Francisco down near Candlestick Football stadium.

We again had to discharge steel products here, but the local stevedores were far from amused with the ship’s gantry cranes. The stevedores were only used to the conventional ships cranes rather than the gantry cranes which the Saga Andorinha has. There was an issue with one of the hooks on one of the cranes and the stevedores ended up dropping some of the cargo back into the hold, which made a tremendous bang. Fortunately, there was no major damage and discharge then resumed.

I took the opportunity to go ashore with the Third Mate and some of the crew. We took a taxi to the Golden Gate Bridge for a little sightseeing, but the fog was so bad that it was impossible to see much. After touring the bridge museum, we then went back to the ship, but I had a hard time getting back as the security guards were not letting me through. The Third Mate had to go get the ship’s crew list to show security that I did indeed on board the ship.

Journal at Sea: Wilder Denholm on the M.V. Saga Andorinha

Editor’s Note: In July 2012, Wilder Denholm ’14 had the unique experience of being invited aboard the Saga Andorinha, a container ship that is part of the J. & J. Denholm shipping fleet, for a three-week journey along the Pacific Coast.

During the voyage, Denholm wrote daily accounts about his experience at sea. Over the next 14 days, we’ll be publishing an entry from Denholm’s journal on In Their Own Words, following along as he recounts his trip. As Capt. Anil Samyal of the Saga Andorinha later noted, “I do hope that Wilder will cherish these memories for the rest of his life, and so will I.”

Dad’s Wakeup call

As I woke up to the sound of my grandmother telling me that my father was on the phone, the first thought that came to mind was wondering what I had done wrong! It was 0630hrs San Diego time, I was spending the summer in California with my grandparents. I answered the phone dreading what he might say, as I am known for being the troublemaker.

He, however, surprised my by asking me if I was ready to join a ship in Los Angeles later that day. Dad had previously shown me extracts from his log at sea on board the MV Glenpark when he was 16, and I had expressed an interest to experience life at sea as well. However, I did not expect the early morning wake-up call with this news. Next thing I knew, I was on my way to Los Angeles, all I could think about was what I would be doing on board the ship.

The ship’s agent met me and assisted me on board the Saga Andorinha which was berthed alongside in Long Beach. The ship had just completed discharging part of her steel products cargo and was preparing to sail.

The Chief Mate met me at the top of the gangway and showed me to my cabin which turned out to be the owner’s cabin. The crew made me feel welcome—showering me with biscuits and sodas. Captain Samyal later welcomed me on board.

The ship set sail later that afternoon for San Francisco. I remained in my cabin until the Captain was clear from his maneuvers out of Long Beach. Once clear of Long Beach, I was then allowed on the bridge, where I spent the better part of the night taking everything in. They also issued me the standard SAGA boiler suit which gave me a hint of what was to come.