The John W. Brown Trip

 Recently as a school trip, I went aboard liberty ship John W. Brown and it was one of the most memorable trips that I have been to. John W. Brown was a World War Two liberty ship and it currently holds so many pieces of rich history. We arrived there on a Friday night and although we did not start working the day of , we did receive dinner in the galley, listen to the safety procedures and do a large engine check that showed us how they maintain and operate this massive engine. We started work the next morning after breakfast. The work started off with us doing some small maintenance work in the passageways. Sometime after that, some friends and I were moving plywood from the stern of the vessel to some compartments at the bow of the ship and lowering large heavy ladders on the main deck. Afterward, we were assigned a large group task that we completed with some harbor school alumni and SUNY maritime students. We had to lower 200-pound ammo crates about 50 feet down a hatch using line and many people. It was a very difficult task because we had to make sure everyone was away from the hatch so that no accidents would happen and the hatch was also very small so the ammo crate kept getting stuck on the sides so we had to try and fit it like a puzzle piece so that it would be able to fit. There were about four ammo crates and the process took about an hour but it was really fun because they were historic artifacts and our crew really came together and completed the task efficiently. Afterward, we ate lunch, I helped serve food for the crew and students. Subsequent we helped out lowering about 25-foot poles down another hatch, this process wasn’t as difficult as the ammo crates but it was still difficult because the wall was right behind us so we had to position the pole correctly. We took a short break where we got to speak to the tug boat company VANE brothers. It was a fascinating company and they showed us how they operate, cool features to their boat and even talked to us about possible future jobs. They gave us insight that I wasn’t too familiar with in the tugging business and now I am very interested in applying for these positions in the future. This John W Brown trip was an amazing trip where I learned a lot more about World War Two through the museums around the ship and I bettered some skills like communicating effectively, critical thinking and spatial orientation. It was also a great bonding experience because students became friends through working and previous friendships got stronger because we spent so much time together.

-Carlos Ortiz

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