Nostalgic recruitment ad from MEBA 1969

My first 3A/E job, I remember the C/E was an MEBA old timer from Petaluma CA, who started sailing during the Vietnam era telling me the story when he came home on vacation after getting paid off from his very first ship he went to buy a Corvette in cash but the Chevy dealer wouldn't take his money because they thought it was drug money so he walked over to the Ford dealer and bought Steve McQueen's Mustang from Bullit instead.
 
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Im guessing the target were Navy machinist mates and BT's coming back from Vietnam.
I had a salty BT1 (no warfare specialty, either!) at RTC Great Lakes that had just served in USS Midway (CV-41) prior to becoming an RDC in ‘87.
 
From my experience those numbers may be conservative. I graduated in 1965 so my first full year of earnings was 1966. Approximately 1/2 that year was as 3A/E and 1/2 as 2A/E. Just for prosperity sake I still have my tax returns for 1966. My gross earnings were roughly $27000. Why have I kept them? I like to make the comparison to my first shoreside job where I was earning $8600/yr.
 
From my experience those numbers may be conservative. I graduated in 1965 so my first full year of earnings was 1966. Approximately 1/2 that year was as 3A/E and 1/2 as 2A/E. Just for prosperity sake I still have my tax returns for 1966. My gross earnings were roughly $27000. Why have I kept them? I like to make the comparison to my first shoreside job where I was earning $8600/yr.
I also have my old tax returns from when I started sailing. In 1976 on my first job as 3rd mate I made about $15,400. With my MM&P vacation pay it came out to around $22,600 gross [$125,000 currently when adjusted for inflation]. That was pretty good dough back then. I would agree that Chief Engineers back in 1969 were making more than $18,000/yr; especially if they were sailing out of the MEBA on a higher power/tonnage ship..

Back in 2022 my son sent me the pay scale from his ship.. After crunching some numbers I figured 3rd Mates were conservatively making about $112,000 per year. Not bad, considering that's for just 6 months of work. Since 2022 there has been an 8% increase in base wage, overtime and vacation pay. So right now 3rd's are probably making about $120,000 per year. My son who sails as captain out of the MM&P makes just north of $200,000. Again, that's basically for 6 months of work.. It's not a bad gig!
 
About $102,0000 in todays dollars adjusted for inflation. Ensign/2ndLt pay was $4640/yr in 1969.View attachment 16208
Robert Kiyosaki made 42,000 per year as a 3rd Mate aboard Standard Oil tanker fleet in the early 70s. That is over 300K adjusted for inflation today. embarrassing.
 
Robert Kiyosaki made 42,000 per year as a 3rd Mate aboard Standard Oil tanker fleet in the early 70s. That is over 300K adjusted for inflation today. embarrassing.
As a cadet in the late 80's a First Engineer said to me..."Kid, your friends at home are working OT at a 2bit job to save up for a stereo. We're out here working OT to buy a house. Let that sink in."
 
As a cadet in the late 80's a First Engineer said to me..."Kid, your friends at home are working OT at a 2bit job to save up for a stereo. We're out here working OT to buy a house. Let that sink in."
Yep.. Five years out of school I'd saved up close to 90 grand [$350,000 in current dollars]. A year later when my wife and I went to buy our first house I almost had enough dough saved up to pay cash for it. My son bought his first house three years out of school. He's since sold that and has bought another. No doubt about it, the money is nice, but what I really liked was the time off. Most of my career I worked the trans-Pacific line haul ships doing 70 days on and 70 days off. When I worked on the Far East shuttle ships it was 84 on and 84 off. The best however, was the Matson 'Pineapple Run'. We normally did 56 days on and 56 days off. I made a 'kings ransom' working the RO/RO ships on that run. That was the best Chief Mates job I ever had.
@KPEngnr90 you sailed for Matson Navigation, so I'm sure you've probably fetched up here a time or two on your way back to your ship.. Arguably one of the best Tiki bars in the Pacific.. 🗿🍹

la-mariana-sailing-club03.jpg
 
Yup! love that place. Food's not bad either. The nights in Honolulu are usually balmy so I'd walk back to the Matson terminal after. I stop in every now and then when Im in HNL. You mentioned RO/RO's. Were you ever on the old Matsonia. I was cadet and 3/E on there a couple times when Rex Uyeda was 1/E.
 
You mentioned RO/RO's. Were you ever on the old Matsonia. I was cadet and 3/E on there a couple times when Rex Uyeda was 1/E.
Oh yeah.. I sailed on the MATSONIA and the LURLINE; the MATSONIA as 'Mate' and the LURLINE as 'Mate' and captain. However most of my RO/RO time was spent on the LURLINE. I loved those ships. The two skippers on the MATSONIA were Tim Carey and an old Kings Pointer Norm Piianaia.

Here's a photo of one of the very rare occasions when they were both in Hono at the same time. The LURLINE is at berth 29 with the ramp hooked up, working autos while the MATSONIA is working containers under the gantries at Sand Island berth 52.

LURLINE at berth 29 and MATSONIA at Sand Island berth 52.jpg
 
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