Meet the Crew Mid-morning, Captain Sowdon’s crew gathers to participate in the Seattle Times “Super Quiz,” a trivia section of the daily paper. Chief Mate Brandon Moser rings the bell to call the assembly to attention before the captain proceeds with reading the quiz aloud. The day of our ride along on the Kitsap, the quiz topic was “inventors.” We won’t admit to how few answers we guessed correctly, but the crew astounded us by correctly matching all the inventors to their devices—identifying everyone from Elias Howe, who invented the sewing machine, to Linus Yale, Jr., who invented the lock. Answers were met with the ringing of the bell and cheers: “Pulled it out of the cobwebs, Bobby, way to go!” We even found out bonus pieces of trivia. Did you know that “Ahoy!” was the first word spoken through the telephone? In honor of our favorite crew, we present a quiz for our readers. Can you identify the crewmember title if given a summary of their duties?
Super Crew Super Quiz 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
A ____________________ is responsible for lubricating engines and mechanical systems. Sharing navigation responsibilities with the captain is all in a day’s work for the ____________. Thanks to the _______________ _______________, you can be sure that the ferry vessel is spic and span. The _________ ______________ sees to the loading and unloading of vehicles. Below deck, the __________ _____________ ensures that the vessel’s engines and mechanical systems are all in tip-top shape. The ______ ______________ ___________ is the AB foreman and directs vehicle loading and unloading. The buck stops here. The _____________________ assumes responsibility for full command of the vessel and passenger safety. Moving up the ranks, the ____-____ assists the mate at the help and keeps watch. You’ll find the ___________ in the engine room cleaning work spaces and machinery.
CHIEF MATE Brandon Moser
Chief Mate Moser is passionate about the history of ferries. He and his husband Steven Pickens run the website evergreenfleet.com, which documents the vessels, both current and from our storied ferry past. Pickens has also published Ferries of Puget Sound, a compendium of historical information about the ferry system drawn from his personal collection of photos, postcards, and other memorabilia. They not only document the WSF, they also include San Diego, Alaska, and Oregon ferries as well. Moser has given presentations to the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce and other organizations on the history of the ferry system. Moser is quite the collector, from an old Geiger counter he picked up in the Hanford gift shop to the extensive memorabilia from the ferries, he is a huge fan of history. He wears the traditional hat of the ferry uniform, of which there are only a handful still worn today. His cap bears a chinstrap that belonged to a retired captain who has since passed away. Captain Larry Brewster was among the last captains of the Black Ball Line before the formation of the WSF system. “We’re a very traditional bunch here.”
From left to right: Brandon Moser (Chief Mate), Jennifer Roberts (Ordinary Seaman), Doug Sowdon (Master), Pamela Baughn (Ordinary Seaman), Robert Laconetti (Able-Bodied Seaman), Raymond Francois (Ordinary Seaman) Answers: 1. Oiler. 2. Mate. 3. Ordinary Seaman. 4. Able Seaman. 5. Chief Engineer. 6. Able Seaman Bosun. 7. Master/Captain. 8. AB-OM. 9. Wiper.
He is likely the only man in the world to have calibrated a Geiger counter using a living cat. His cat received radiation as part of a treatment for a thyroid condition, and Moser whipped out his Geiger counter to test her levels. Another true Moser fact? He is the bell–ringer for the Super Quiz.