Who is this Old Sea Dog?

Who is this old sea dog?

 I’ve been real fortunate to have so many FB groups allow me to post on their sites. By now, you’ve  have seen “from the old sea dog @ deepseadreams.com” along with a shirt design somewhere on the net.

Unless you have read the “about us” on my website you would know little about me.  So my intent of this blog is to introduce myself to anyone who is interested. First off though, some clarity… no, I am really not an old sea dog, but rather an old marine engineer with a lot of sea miles on life’s odometer.

I am a twin, he and I had a great work ethic (not necessarily in the academic field) and when we had the opportunity to go to Calhoon MEBA Engineering School in August of 1975 we thought well that might be pretty cool, see the world, get paid to go to school and graduate with achievable attractive incomes while working 6 or so months per year! I mean WTF how good is that opportunity?

I was fortunate having only a few slack years in the beginning but having been weaned on mostly APEX tankers I had a lot of great experiences. Eventually in 1986 I landed a 1st Assistant job with Naverias and rode the Lancers until the early 2000’s.  I am proud to say I learned a tremendous amount about the steam plants and equipment. Some of us can just go through and do what is expected but for me I was stubborn, I wanted to do the best. Was it because of my Chiefs, was it my work ethics or perhaps the pride I personally took doing a job well done?  Was I an asshole at times? Yeah. Was I confident and professional? Most times yeah. Was I a hard worker? Oh hell yes and as First or Chief I never asked anyone to do a job I hadn’t already done. These memories, the shore time, the men and women I worked with, all wrap into my experiences which bring about some degree of creativity when I’m designing shirts. I try to connect with and relate to anyone who has gone to sea… oh, even the mates.

When Navieras went under I was in my mid 40’s, officially retired from MEBA, took about a year off, did a lot of fishing and then landed a job with Hamworthy as a service rep / engineer. My boss was in Texas, our warehouse was in NOLA and I worked from Florida. Eventually I opened an office in Miami with the focus on the cruise industry. This was mostly driven by our UK office as advanced wastewater systems  were being developed and sold to the cruise industry due to special Federal / Alaskan requirements. At this time, I really got involved with the waste systems as well as pumps, compressors and oily water separators (You remember the old oily water separators, the ones you cussed at to get working when the USCG inspection was coming up?). Travelling to rigs, tankers, school ships, cruise ships as well as gov’t vessels, I learned even more and more.  So after 20 or so years of purgatory, this work was fun. Plenty of travel and an expense account which was never disputed. The Miami office was taken over by an Englishman and I became his right hand man for nearly 15 years. He btw, is still my mate and good friend. With the cruise ships I was travelling all over the world for a week to ten days at a time visiting about 15 different vessels and performing inspections service and repairs. I meet a lot of great people crew and passengers included. I also had the opportunity to observe how foreign flag vessels operate, the manning, especially the engineers and crew.  I’m saddened when I see how our Merchant Marine operates… our engineers bust their asses to maintain the vessels plant, while most foreign vessels rely heavily on the crew to perform the work. I have tremendous respect for the Filipinos, as these folks hold the cruise industry together and the Officers simply become managers in an airconditioned control room and a dozen or so computer screens acknowledging alarms all watch. Once Hamworthy got brought out by WARTSILLA, I left again.  If there is any company that knows how to wreck and collapse a company they purchased, it is Wartsilla.

From there I did several stints as a chemical service rep and got to be involved with exhaust gas emissions projects with RCCL. This was also a great work experience where I met a lot of incredibly smart men and women involved in the complex work scope of installing these systems on vessels while underway. Good work and fun times.

For the last few years, I have been developing this shop and it has been a tough journey. It is not easy to create a successful online store, but thanks to many of you, it has become a reality. I am more than willing to share what I have learned and continue to learn from this endeavor. From website design, to social media and online marketing to using various design programs it is definitely a continuous learning experience. I am challenged every day.  If you are considering opening a shop, I’d be more than glad to give you some pointers.

So, why do I devote myself to building the best maritime T shop?  I think most people young or old are proud of what they accomplished and more often or not they want to identify some way or another with what they have done. With this in thought I create tees. I hope you enjoy them and I hope you find one that connects with you.

If you have an idea for a tee you would want designed, drop me an email describing it and I will give it a try. You can also call me.

Thanks again for your support

Keith


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