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Montico Passage

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I was stationed on a Cruiser Class Ship, our team of ten was giving orders to go to Montico and capture the wife of the ruthless leader of that Country. He was killing his own people with chemical warfare, dropping barrels of cow manure all over the place. The moss in that region was poisonous if it got beyond five feet in diameter. The manure would speed up the process and would grow at extreme rates. The toxin from the reaction would turn into a vapor and would take over whole communities.

We had been traveling for three days in rough seas when I looked out and could see a land formation. It was a very foggy day and we were traveling at about twenty-two knots straight ahead. Ahoy! My mate responded over the Microphone Paging System. The other sailors and I looked out the port side and realized that it was not land but an enormous blob of  moss. We couldn’t turn quick enough to escape the carnage and slammed into the moss with a crunching sound. The hull of the ship was being ripped apart and we needed to get to life boats in a hurry. I ran to the side of the ship and lowered the life boat. It came crashing down into the sea with a loud crashing sound. Splash! Water came flying up into my face and I shook the water out of my face so I could concentrate on getting people onboard. All the sailors and I made it to the life boat just in time, we looked out, our ship was sinking fast. We had survived but now had to find a way to shore, or wherever shore was.

Drifting out at sea with ten other men was very hard, we all had to conserve on water and food if we were to survive. One man hollered out that he could see land, only this to be an illusion of such. A man’s mind can do funny things with lack of food and water. It was my watch and everyone else was sleeping when I looked out over the horizon and could see land. I could also see lights on the land mass, I woke everyone to let them enjoy the excitement I was feeling.

We made it to shore and there was a man dressed in a uniform of some sort, some kind of official of his land. He replied, where do you people arrive from? We are from the United States Navy and my name is Josh Milfred, how do you do sir? The man was not a very friendly person. I told him about our mission to get to Montico. He replied that there is no Montico on this part of the region, and none in any other maps we have in storage. I was dumbfounded by this information, there had to be such a place. Again, I checked the spelling, and again I was rejected in this origin of Country. This man then told his soldiers to arrest these intruders to his country. ARREST THEM NOW! Was the command, his men responded to carryout these orders.

We had been into a cell for years now. There was water and food delivered daily, this was what kept my men and I alive. The commander of this jail came to my cell to have a discussion. Sir, You have been here now for five years, Yes, I replied. It is of this day that I give you information of the whereabouts of where you and your men reside. This is the Country of Montico.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

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A Peaceful Time

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At peace with the mind. It is this, that most people wish could have. Solitude is what a person needs from time to time to rest the mind ,body, and soul. This picture reminds me of many times fishing in Maine. There is many mornings or evenings that are just like this. One can be fishing for trout or salmon in the day or white perch and hornpout in the evening. There is such a calm about being in the boat, canoe, or kayak floating about with mirrored lakes. There is times when every stress that has been bothering you will be washed away during one night on the lake. Really, you should try it sometimes. Enjoy the day- I’m going out fishing.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Maine As I Know It

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Born and raised in the State of Maine. Most people often associate this State with Downeast Maine and the coastal region. Everyone know’s the fact we are quite famous for our lobsters and clams. There is some really great places away from the coast that people do not hear about. This State is beautiful with the country area’s as well. The northern part of the State is where a lot of crops are grown, especially Northern Maine, in the County they say. Towns like Van Buren, Houlton, Caribou, New Sweden. The central part of the State is more populated with local farmers growing crops and tending to their milking cows. pic 2

Some of the jobs that I encounter growing up include working in these farms. I picked chickens out of the barns and put them in cages to be shipped out for processing. I also worked for a big company which most of the eggs this part of the country come from. Decoster’s Egg farms. The company has been bought out since. Many of young kids in this area worked these egg farms. I also could be seen working in the local cemetery’s digging graves. We would get two dollars an hour, not bad pay for a young kid.

Maine has a huge history of papermaking. Big companies like Verso, IP, Wausau, Sappi, New Page, Boise Cascade, Champion, Bucksport, Otis Mill, Georgia Pacific. These mills employed many of people throughout history. Loggers, and many of businesses that support these companies.

Shoe shops, woolen mills also were a larger part of the community. Lewiston and its Bates Mill employed thousands. You should do a search on Bates Mill. It was amazing the size of this cooperation during the day. Many of the buildings stand today in Lewiston and are a site to witness. pic 5

Maine has many of beautiful rivers and Lakes that pass through the State. You can see many of fisherman along the banks or out in powerboats trying to catch a salmon, brook trout, browns, bass, and many other species of fish. Fly fishing is very big here. LLBean company in Freeport, Maine is one company that has supplied the outdoor enthusiast for many years. Hunting is also very big in this State. Whitetail deer are plentiful also Maine Black bear, and Moose. You have to have a permit for moose. Turkey’s are plentiful also and many of hunters take advantage of this season. pic 4

Maine also is a great place in the winter. There is many ski area’s that are very popular. Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Saddleback Mountain are some . You really can find just about anything to do in this State if you have the time. I have lived here just about all my life and at this moment I couldn’t think of any other place I would rather live. I have traveled to my workplace many times without even meeting one car. I like the easy life and the country. Maine the way life should be. Enjoy your day everyone. pic 3

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Fishing Adventure

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The ice was becoming a problem. I was on a 320 foot fishing vessel in the North Atlantic and we were fishing for crab. I was laying in my bunk after a twelve hour stint putting the pots in a line. We were going to let the pots sit for six hours so I had to sleep. The noise was something else and it seemed like the hull was being damaged every time we would hit a chunk of ice. I dozed off again and really was in a deep sleep when all of a sudden I heard a loud crash and felt the ship move to the port side and tip up. I fell out of my bunk and all of a sudden water was gushing all over the place. The alarms were going off which meant all men to stations.

We left out of Burbank and it was a great day. The sun was shining and the gulls were flying around the ship. It really was a great day and I had a smile from ear to ear. I was going fishing for the first time in my life. I was going to be a green-horn and this meant paying attention really close to what the old salty dogs were doing. We traveled for hours and hours to get to our fishing spot. I thought that the first thing I would be taught is the safety stuff and how to get into my gumby suit. I wondered if there was a life raft, no information was giving. I really had concerns about this fishing trip. How was I going to save myself if something happened. I didn’t want to sound like a wussy so I kept my mouth shut. The ship moved forward at thirty-knots of so and was moving along at a pretty good clip. We should arrive to our first fishing spot in due time.

I picked myself up after falling out of the bunk. I hit my head it was bleeding really bad. I grabbed a towel that was on the floor and wrapped it around my head. Boy did I have a pounding headache. I had to get out of here and see if anyone else was injured. I went up topside and didn’t see anyone and looked up to the bridge and couldn’t see the captain. Where had everyone gone? I looked out over portside and way out in the distance I could see a life raft. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Everyone had jumped ship and left me here all by myself.

The ship was listing to one side but the engine’s were still running. I went into the bridge and tried calling SOS on the radio but all I could hear was squelch, or static. I frantically kept trying every channel on the radio and nothing was heard. I had taking some nautical classes in high school and decided that I had to try and get this ship to land somewhere. I looked at the map and plotted a path which took me to the Northern Tip of Canada. I moved the power handle to the Fast position and the ship moved forward a little faster. Several hours had gone by when I looked out over the bow of the ship and I could see land.

I could see a cove of some sort and I felt the only way I was going to get to shore was to beach this vessel. I was within five-hundred feet when I could hear some screeching at the bottom of the ship. I must of been scraping on the reefs bellows. The ship was still moving forward and I could see people at the waters edge in preparation of my crash landing. The ship hurled forward and crashed on the shore. I fell forward and then backward and banged my right knee on something hard. I lifted myself and checked myself for any other injuries. I was safe and on land. I climbed down the ladder and was met by this Canadian man. Bonjour my friend. Nice to see you parking this ship in my lagoon today. I was so happy just to know I was alive.

I waited for word about the rescue of my shipmates. They were never found. I survived this ordeal. Never again will I go out fishing, you never know when your luck will run out.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Merchant Ship Isabella

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I was on the merchant ship Isabella and the cargo was a dangerous load of bombs destined for the war in Europe. The day started out in the Portland,Maine dockside loading all day with the stevedore’s, the dock workers who load the ship. It was a warm day with the wind blowing slightly from the north. My coworker and I had the day to explore so we took off into the city of Portland. We walked down Congress Street and was noticing that all the streets were cobblestone. I had never seen streets like this anywhere in the States. The boys and I decided to get a bite to eat and have some mugs of beer. We was talking with this one man inside the bar and asked where he came from. My name is George Thurman, I was a sea captain years ago and I’m retired from working. I spent my entire life working at sea and now I am enjoying staying grounded. How about you boy’s? He replied. I told him that I started a year ago working on the Isabella and I was nineteen years old. We told the old sea captain we had to leave and said our goodbye. Til we meet again boys, bon voyage, and tipped his beer at us.untitled

We loaded ourselves onto the ship and within twenty minutes we were off. It was a sunny day and my buddy and I were on the deck taking in all the scenery around the Portland waterfront. The Isabella was off and we sailed all through the night. The swells were starting to get bigger and the ship was rocking back and fourth. I decided to go check the cargo hold where the bombs were being stored. They were loaded in the front of the ship and stacked like cord wood. I was starting to hear some clanking, like metal to metal, but really couldn’t see anything loose. I went back up topside and reported this to the captain. The captain told me to make regular checks and to keep reporting back to the bridge of the findings.

The sea was getting worse by the moment and now the ship was rolling and moving up and down. My buddy Ricardo and I decided to take another check of the cargo hold. What we found was very concerning. The bombs that were stacked like wood had now tumbled and were all loose. The bombs were being tossed around every time the ship rolled. They would clank against the ships hull. We ran up topside to tell the ships captain when we felt and heard an explosion. I looked up and the whole front of the ship was flying through the air. The bombs had detonated and I was thrown backward and hit my head on the edge of a railing but was still conscious. Ricardo was knocked into the water, I awoke in my daze to realize that I had to try and save Ricardo. MAN OVERBOARD! I hollered this three times and no one came to help. I took a life preserver and tossed it overboard to try and help Ricardo but he was long gone.

The ship stopped moving and I could see the front of the ship starting to go nose down. We were sinking real fast and I had to find something that would float. There was some foam sheets along edge of the railings that I could use. I ripped them off the railing and prepared myself to go overboard in a last attempt to save myself. I couldn’t see if anyone else was trying to get off the ship. I looked up at the bridge and I could see the Captain calling on the radio. I’m sure the communication lieutenant was tapping out Morse Code, SOS-SOS-SOS. Save Our Ship was being repeated. The ship was now listing to port and I could tell that this ship was going down real fast. I had my foam sheet and was prepared to jump into the sea. The captain came out of the bridge and hollered. Abandon Ship! That is all I needed to jump into the cold and salty waters. One-two-three and I jumped.

The coldness of the water took my breath away at first and the salt in my eyes made it hard for me to see anything. I was able to see others jumping off the ship but I had no energy to swim over to help them out. I laid on my sheet of foam and floated away from this area. I took one last look when the ship finally made its last plunge to the depths of the ocean. I floated for hours and with the day being sunny I was able to warm my body. I looked out over the ocean and could not see land anywhere. I had no water or food and I was starting to worry that I would die on this floating device.. I dozed off to the sounds of seagulls.

I woke up and looked out to the horizon and could see land. I was coming up to a beach of some sort and I could see people laying on the sand. I was wondering if maybe they were survivors of another ship wreak. I could see men and woman and children playing in the water. I could see many woman in bikini’s, with their bodies all tanned up from basking in the sun. I could see a Ferris wheel  and could hear music playing in the distance. What is this place I had floated too? Some kind of Utopia, and Circus? I came to rest on the shore, this one young lad comes up to me and kicks sand in my face. Hey Mister? What kind of stupid surfboard is that? I opened my eyes to see this little brat smirking at me. I raised myself and starting looking for other shipmates. I cannot see anyone. I see this very attractive lady in the distance. I walk up to her and ask her where is this place? Her reply is Portland Head Light, Maine.  I had left from Portland, Maine. untitled

I thought about what had happened. The bombs were stacked like wood and with the rolling of the ship there was friction on the surface of the bombs. It only took a jolt up and down and this is what discharged the bombs. There was no other survivors- I wondered now if I was even on a ship or if I was dreaming.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

 

My Sea Snark Adventure’s

untitledWhen I was young, I dreamed of sailing a boat. Where we lived, when grocery shopping, you would get green stamps at the store after you checked out. There was a store with all sorts of items that you could purchase with these green stamps after collecting a certain amount.

In the book was a Sea Snark with a Budweiser Sail. The boat was made of Styrofoam and was of good size. It had a rudder that you would slide down through the middle of the boat. After saving enough green stamps I was able to get this boat. I took it home and assembled the necessary pulleys and ropes for the sail. I was so excited to try this sailboat, and made my way to the nearest lake.

I had done some reading about how to sail. If the wind was behind you all you had to do was pull the sail in a little and let the wind behind you push you. I set the sail and off I went . What a great ride I had and then it was time to tack, coming back from where I started. Argh! This is very hard because you have to go across the lake back and fourth to get back . It can be a long process tacking but your still having fun the whole way. I would take this boat to all the local lakes around the area. I can say that was some of the best times as a young man. I cannot imagine being in a large sailboat.  The Sea Snark lasted me a few years and I believe I sold it to another person. You know I cannot remember what the heck happened to it. I’m sure I sold it to someone.

I believe that a small sailboat like this for gift to any young person would be the gift they will never forget. I never had so many laughs. Sometimes I would get that boat leaning so hard that I would tip over. If you lean on the other side of the boat it would upright itself. Still a lot of fun just falling over into the water. Enough said, I wish they still had green stamps because it really was a treat.