Oceangoing Tugboat Mate
In August of 1995 I received the opportunity to attend a merchant marine vocational school in Oregon, 1,100 miles from home. I was only 19 years old at the time. After giving it much thought I asked myself “What do I have to lose?” So I gave it a shot.
Packed my bags and off to the small town of Astoria I went. The school was on the base of the Columbia River, between Washington State and Oregon. My first two weeks on campus were pretty tough for me, there were many rules that had to be followed, much like a military school. Although as soon as I stepped foot on the school ship I felt excited and comfortable. Quickly I made new friends and forever they will always be my shipmates.
During the two years I spent on the school ship I learned everything about rigging, working with different types of rope, knot tying, wire rope splicing, chipping rust, painting, and the basics of navigating out at sea. With lots of practice I quickly became very good at tying different types of knots.
I now showcase my knot tying skills by displaying them on recycled pieces of wood. On my free time I go to many different places to pick up scrap wood for my artwork. As far as rope type, I prefer natural fiber rope. The rope or line is a Manila line, a natural fiber line produced in the Philippines and used on many different ships and vessels.
I thank you for your support and hope you and your families enjoy my ornamental art pieces.