|Early '51 found me right out of High School and sailing for Socony Vacuum, my first ship being the tanker S. S. Shabonee in March, and in April, the M/V Providence Socony as Ordinary.
Nils Gjerstad...Chief Mate, relieving Captain, and great guy.
Nils would relieve our regular skipper for vacations - Captain Paul Herzick - shown further down the page. Though all the officers were licensed, and licensed to the teeth with Pilotage Endorsements up, and down the coast, it was customary to use their first names...something at first, strange to me. Of course that didn't include "Cap'n" Hank. Ha ha.
Except for the Captain, who sat on the end of the bench near the door, seating was first-come, and first served...the Mess Hall small, accomodating eight, or ten at the most at one time. The Mess Hall was the Galley also, so you get the idea. It was "homey" though.