Maritime Calling in the Ocean State. Photography and Text by Keith R Wahl

May 21, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Dory Sunrise Reflection

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DorySunriseRefelection_20210331_850_9333Dory Sunrise ReflectionEarly morning by the Jamestown, Rhode Island docks with a dory in the water and various other vessel tenders.

30 July 1984. More than 1,760 days at sea logged. My time reviewed. I sat for hours in U.S. Coast Guard Station, Boston with a set of tests in a room with a proctor. Other candidates were in our midst, but they were not my focus. The tide and pilot books, the charts, the parallel rules, the dividers, and the tests were my focus.

As the day wore on, a couple of test candidates bowed out or timed out on their test sections. My focus maintained, I tested on.

As the proctor finished reviewing my last test, he quietly said, "Come with me, sir." Another proctor took his place and I moved to another room. A yeoman was at a typewriter with an official stamped document. The OCMI (Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection) was there as well as the retired OCMI (who I knew). Several others who mentored me were there, a surprise. Among them were pilots and other captains whom I had sailed with in my younger years.

The proctor took my thumb and stamped it on the document after the yeoman finished typing. Then the OCMI said, "I will take over from here." He started with an oath, "Captain", the first time anyone called me that, "Repeat after me, 'I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will faithfully and honestly, according to my best skill and judgment, and without concealment and reservation, perform all the duties required of me by the laws of the United States...'"

I am writing this for 22 May 2022. It is National Maritime Day in the United States. It is the day for all who mentored and trained people such as me. They are honored in these memories as mariners.


BelayBelayA view of the belayed running rigging aboard the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry (Rhode Island's Official Sailing School Vessel and the largest civilian sail training vessel in the United States)

Charles W Morgan Running Rigging

CharlesWMorganRunningRigging_20190704_D56_0363Charles W Morgan Running RiggingRunning Rigging Aboard The Historic Whaleship Charles W Morgan. The running and standing rigging is the heart of a sailing ship. This is a view of blocks and lines and belaying pins; all of the things that help the vessel to sail.

Morning Breaks Over R/V Endeavor

MorningBeaksRVEndeavor_20191117_D56_0088Morning Breaks Over R/V EndeavorMorning breaks over the R/V Endeavor in its home port of Narragansett, Rhode Island as the vessel awaits the last research voyages of its long career and decommissioning.

Bow Watch

Bow Watch_20210612_850_3842Bow WatchOn course to Block Island, aboard the ferry M/V Block Island, in the rain. The island is in sight.

Segment Of Line

SegmentOfLine_20200927_850_5089Segment Of LineA close up of a heavy segment of line from the waterfront. At one time, from the wear, this was used for anchoring or towing.

Figure Eight, Half Hitch, And Flemished

Figure Eight, Half Hitch, And Flemished_20210720_850_7908Figure Eight, Half Hitch, And FlemishedTied off at a floating dock with a figure eight, half hitch, and flemished.

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© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original.