DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Stalwart of North Olympic Peninsula boating mourned

By David G. Sellars
PDN Maritime Columnist

I was saddened to learn that Terri Hertzberg lost his valiant battle with cancer last month.

Terri was a very active member of the North Olympic Sail and Power Squadron who wore many hats.

As chair of the vessel safety examiners, he was always willing to hop into his PT Cruiser and head off to the far reaches of Clallam and Jefferson counties to perform safety checks on recreational boaters’ vessels.

Terri also taught seamanship and piloting classes and served as the assistant editor for the organization’s monthly newsletter, Straitlines.

He was the port captain for Port Angeles and was the assistant webmaster for the squadron’s website, www.calmseas.org.

Terri was a kind and gentle soul who is missed by those who knew him.

A long commute
Being employed in the marine industry — or, for that matter, any number of industries while living on the North Olympic Peninsula — can present challenges when it comes to commuting to work.

Often, mariners who choose to live and raise their families in our locale must board an airplane and fly to a port city, usually along the West Coast, so that they can board a boat or a ship to go to work.

However, Mike Cozzolino of Port Angeles has a commute few would vie for — his office is in Singapore.
Mike’s path to Singapore began shortly after his 1986 graduation from Port Angeles High School when he joined the U.S. Navy’s nuclear program.

After two years of training at the Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Fla., he was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz as a nuclear machinist’s mate.

Upon completion of his four-year tour of duty, he was assigned for his final two years of service as an instructor at the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Unit in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Once a civilian, Mike went to Dutch Harbor and signed on with a factory trawler that was under contract to Tyson Foods.

He spent a year aboard the catcher/processor doing 18-hour days as an oiler in the engine room.

Mike said it was quite the culture shock going from the meticulous quality control in the Navy’s nuclear program to an environment where the paramount issue is just to keep the mechanical equipment operational.

Nonetheless, his time aboard the trawler served to fulfill the requirements for the first level of his motor engineering license.

Returning to Port Angeles in time for the birth of his daughter, Holly, Mike signed on with Clean Sound, the forerunner to Marine Spill Response Corp., as an engineer aboard Shearwater, a 115-foot oil spill response vessel (OSRV).

He spent a little more than two years aboard the OSRV, during which time he advanced his license to 1,600-ton motor vessels, which qualified him to work aboard tugs and anchor-handling boats.

Seeking to further his exposure to vessels that would allow him to advance his engineering license, Mike packed his bags and left for the Gulf of Mexico where he spent four years with SEACOR Marine moving drilling rigs around the Gulf of Mexico.

He left the Gulf Coast as the second engineer aboard a grain ship that made a single voyage to Croatia — and then it was back home to Port Angeles.

While cogitating upon his next move, Mike saw a new class of lightship tanker that was anchored in Port Angeles Harbor, HMI Nantucket Shoals (which subsequently became Seabulk Pride and this past Thursday was renamed Florida Voyager).

He decided he wanted to work aboard that vessel.

He submitted his resume to the vessel’s owner, Hvide Maritime Inc. (which subsequently became Seabulk Tankers), and worked with the company for more than nine years.

Mike left the company’s employment licensed as a chief engineer, motor vessels unlimited.

Again returning to Port Angeles, Mike decided to take some time off.

Those plans quickly went awry when he was asked to submit his resume for an opportunity aboard a new class of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, vessel that was owned by the government of Qatar and operated by Shell Trading and Shipping Corp.

His new responsibilities required a year’s worth of training which he obtained in India, the United Kingdom, Nigeria and South Korea.

In 2009, Mike went aboard Al Dafna when she was in the final stages of construction at the Samsung Shipyard in Gogi, South Korea.

He was the commissioning cargo engineer aboard the 1,132-foot-long LNG carrier, which Mike described as a complex and highly automated non-pressurized thermos bottle.

He also said he felt like he was going back into a high-tech world in which quality control is paramount.
When Mike left Al Dafna, he had reached the top of the engineering licensing ladder.

He is currently licensed as a chief engineer, steam, motor, gas turbine unlimited with the additional category of person in charge of cargo transfer for liquid gases and dangerous liquids.

For those of us outside the industry, attaining that license is interesting.

Within the industry it represents to his peers an individual who has spent years training on the job and engaging in a course of study with an ardor that sets him apart.

Mike now has a shore-side billet with a leading integrated natural gas company and serves as it marine assurance superintendent for global shipping.

He represents his company throughout Asia, inspecting and auditing LNG ships and terminals to determine compliance with international regulations and company standards.

Mike also speaks to prospective customers about the liquefied natural gas industry and how to be compliant.

Mike lives in Port Angeles with his wife, Tina, and daughter, Holly, who I understand is developing into quite an equestrian.

Oh, and by the by: The next time you want to bemoan your commute — don’t.

Out in PA Harbor
On Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, Tesoro Petroleum bunkered the Crowley-owned articulated tugs and barges Pride and Commitment in Port Angeles Harbor.

________

David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the waterfront.

Items involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome.

E-mail dgsellars@hotmail.com or phone him at 360-808-3202.

His column, On the Waterfront, appears Sundays.


Last modified: December 30. 2012 11:29AM
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