Captain Bob Crowley cutting the anniversary cake at a ceremoney recognizing his 35 years of service, mostly aboard the state ferry Tustumena. Maggie Wall photo
Some people merely tolerate trips on the ferry Tustumena. It’s a means to an end and if they had their choice, they’d use some other mode of transportation.
Others, like Bob Crowley wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Captain Crowley last week was honored for 35 years with the Alaska Marine Highway System – with nearly all of those years having been spent working onboard the Tustumena.
Crowley started on the bottom rung of the marine highway system in the 1970’s and worked all the way up to Captain of the Tustumena.
Maggie Wall has more on Crowley’s career.
— (Crowley 30 years 3:58 "Not many…the Tustumena’s journey. SOC")
Not many people dedicate 35 years to one job, much less to one vessel, but with the exception of a bit of time spent in Prince William Sound, Captain Bob Crowley’s entire career has been spent on the M/V Tustumena.
Alaska’s Commissioner of Transportation and Public Facilities was on hand last Friday to present Crowley with his 35 year certificate-and to brag on him a bit.
How long is 35 years, asked commissioner Marc Luiken:
-((Crowley :36 "Think back…working for the marine hwy system."))
For Crowley, it was love at first sight. A chance glimpse of the Tustumena in the bay while out camping gave direction to his career and guided his decisions from that moment on. Commissioner Luiken:
-((Crowley :57 "And so he saw…to his leadership."))
Crowley, himself, says his time on the Tustumena has been rewarding-more recently with the those who worked on the vessel throughout his 35 year career, but especially the crews onboard during his early afloat:
-((Crowley 1:03 "The first time we…after it was bombed."))
Crowley celebrated his 35th anniversary with the marine highway system Friday on his ship-with his crew and a few invited guests-shortly before loading up the vehicles for the next leg of the Tustumena’s journey.
I’m Maggie Wall.