"The college man who goes to sea for summer fun is the chief grievance of the common sailor. This is true especially on the government boats where 'pull' is frequent."
So spoke George Winthrop, seaman-writer aboard the Leviathan to a CRIMSON reporter. Winthrop, since leaving the University of Minnesota in search of "color" has had a varied taste of ship and port life.
'The number of such seamen protem,' has increased since the appearance of federally operated boats," he declared. "Thus, of the thousands who feel the wanderlust when school is closing, hundreds possess fathers who know somebody who knows somebody else who has a friend on the Government payroll.. So they gain access with their brand-new oilskins and their letters of introduction to ship offices on Broadway, New York, while the old-timers wait outside.
"So during the summer, Lief Ericson's hotel is crowded. Lief Ericson's hotel, you know, is in Battery Park; named, of course, from the statue of the Viking in the lobby. And along lower Broadway the poor devils 'bum' for coffee and beans.
"If the college men were good seamen it would be different. But only a small number stand on their own merits. I knew a Yale man who, on galley duty, used to throw the dirty dishes through the porthole, to get time to write to his girl. And another who sent the crew into hysteries when he tried to scrub deck with gloves on.
"Ship discipline is occasionally weakened by this influx of society scions. I never heard a man swear like the bos'n who saw a fat first cabin passenger fall on the neck of one of the deck-hands. She happened to be the aunt of one of his fraternity brothers."