Miss Monkey’s Retail Anecdotes
Some of Miss Monkey’s closer associates already know that She earns Her beer money working part-time at a Maine based, family-owned clothing retailer that’s been a Portland institution since 1919. Whilst pulling her Saturday afternoon shift, an interesting tale unfolded. After passing this anecdote along to some of her friends later that evening, one finally blurted out (after a discrete expulsion of malt and barley infused carbonation) “That’s the kinda sh*t you should write about, right there. Put that in your little Maritime (bubbly and indecipherable) blog thing!”
So, for your Monday morning reading pleasure….
A young man came into the store yesterday afternoon. When prompted, he timidly confessed to Her Monkeyness that he needed some long underwear. I escorted him to the Realm of Thermal Separates in the back of the store and began my spiel about the pros and cons of synthetic space fibers versus wool. Once my presentation was complete, I asked the boy what was his preference? He gulped and said, “I’m waiting for my mom, she’s on her phone out in the car.”
“Ok, then,” I assured him… “I’ll keep an eye out and when Mom comes in, I’ll be back to pick up where we left off, ok?” He nodded and muttered, “yeah, ok, uhm, thanks” Miss Monkey returned to her duties at the cash register and watched the door.
Mom stormed the store prepared. Phone in hand, she read from a list of needed supplies; specific down to the brand name. My assistance was appreciated, but not necessary, thank you, they knew what they were looking for. Some 20 minutes later, Mother and son appeared at the cash register and dumped their booty onto the counter. Miss Monkey grouped like-items, looked up and asked, “Are you going to sea?”
Mother and son were flabbergasted. “He graduates from Maine Maritime in two weeks, then is going to take a job in Seattle. How did you know?”
“Seven pairs of synthetic blend, quick drying wool socks, 5 pairs of anti-microbial long underwear, and a work-weeks’ worth of clearance-priced, lined flannel button up shirts. This is what a sailor would take” I answered. She choke-laughed and smiling, asked, “How on earth would you know something like that?”
Miss Monkey knows these things and smiled as she rung up their purchases, musing at the tableau before her. A nervous yet research-prepared mother was sending her son off into the world and his first big real job on a ship. She may or may not realize that when he returns for possibly Thanksgiving or hopefully, Christmas, he will be a different man than the baby faced one standing obediently at her side this moment. He was about to be plunged into a world where she no longer had any influence or control, but she was damn sure he was going to have warm, dry feet. Good on ya, mom!
Maine Maritime, and a host of other schools, are this season sending out their crew of brand-new sailors. Please, welcome them warmly (snicker). They are in your hands, now. Teach them well. Yours are the names, characters, and faces he is going to recall fondly when, after a career at sea, his eyes grow milky.
PS: He told me he was going to be on a cargo ship making the Seattle to Alaska run. So, if you have a Maine Maritime FNG on your ship, don’t steal his nice new socks… or you’re going to have one angry mom to answer to.
Robert Surcouf (12 December 1773 – 8 July 1827) was a French privateer who operated in the Indian Ocean between 1789 and 1801, and again from 1807 to 1808. He started his career as a sailor and officer on the slave ships before moving to piracy. He captured over 40 prizes and amassed a large fortune as a ship-owner; from privateering, legitimate commerce, and fishing expeditions to Newfoundland.
The history of the word frigate is expected to comfort Germanic scholars, who may not know that, regardless of the language, the names of ships invariably give etymologists grief. In English, frigate is from French, and in French it is from Italian, so that the question is: Where did Italian fregata come from?
Since 1350, the year in which the word “fregata” first surfaced in Boccaccio’s Decameron, it has designated many different types of vessels…
The sunken treasure rested in a box inside another box inside an Audubon tote bag in Barry and Sharon Covington’s Potomac, Md., living room. About two dozen people milled around, most related by blood or marriage to the man whose portrait was propped up next to the fireplace: A. Vernon Jannotta. It was his treasure inside that box and everyone wanted to see it.
On the night of July 19, 1918, Jannotta was a young Navy ensign assigned to the USS San Diego, a cruiser that escorted troop convoys to Europe during World War I. One night, the ship struck a mine laid by a German submarine off Long Island. It took about 20 minutes for the ship to sink. Six men died. The rest spent six hours in the water.
Over the ensuing years, the wreck of the San Diego became a popular place for recreational divers. And though it had settled on the seafloor upside down, it was remarkably intact. Among the crowd gathered that night in Potomac were 2 such divers. They had brought the treasure.
Edward Hooper made his living as a prize agent. When legitimate vessels (both civilian and naval) were seized by privateers or naval vessels, they and their cargoes were sold. This sale was divided into shares that the owners, officers, and crew of the victorious vessel would receive. Hooper’s job was to divide and allocate those shares, and his pay was a portion of them. keep reading on British Tars
Millions of native oysters are to be put into the Solent, once the site of Europe’s largest oyster fishery.
The five-year project aims first to restore a thriving oyster population to the waters between the south coast and Isle of Wight. Oyster beds provide habitat for many other species and the shellfish filter vast volumes of water – 200 litres per oyster – helping to clean up pollution.
Once re-established, significant oyster fishing could resume. keep reading
The calendar is the brainchild of a certain Hendrik Pöhler, a native of Germany who sells equipment for carp fishing for a living. According to Pöhler, “The idea for the calendar was to bring two of the greatest hobbies of men, fishing and women together.” Right. Click to read the story, not to look at the pictures