One of my former shipmates asked me if I had a difficult time taking this job as seriously as I did my last job, working on a much larger, more complex ship. My answer was, and has been and emphatic "No."
In a lot of ways, this job is a little scary for me. There isn't the manpower and mutual oversight that I grew used to. I am the watch. I don't have eyes in the sky and a watch partner to bird dog with me, to BS, to engage in debate over on-the-spot decisionmaking.
Why do I mention this? Today is my trial by fire. My first watch alone with this new company, with this new vessel.
I seriously miss automatic tank gauging. I realize that now. However approximate those reading might have been, manually measuring what's happening from on deck just doesn't give the same feeling of situational awareness that all mariners strive for.
Ah well. I was ready for this, anyhow. I'm comfortable with this sort of thing.
Non shipboard issues abound. I am happy to report that my wife, with the assistance of good friend Sir Spinach and one seriously primo lawyer, bested the miserable bitch who's been trying to bilk us out of money after claiming injuries relating to her totalling my wife's car back on September 11. I can write a little bit about the whole thing now, I guess, now that the legal aspect of things is over. Essentially, as some of you know, when my ship and I were getting our balls beat in by Hurricane Ike, my wife was involved in a fender-bender at a 4 way intersection. The other woman cut across my wife's car as they were both entering traffic. The woman claimed that my wife failed to yield, and, like a professional victim, she claimed all kinds of medical injuries except for false pregnancy, related to the accident, which occured at 15-mph or less combined speed. My wife's POS, which was worth about $2.75 at the time of the accident, was a total loss, naturally. Repairs to make it roadworthy would require a time machine and divine interviention.
Here's where it gets awesome: the other driver, who missed her calling as an interviewee at tornado/trailer park interactions, claimed that her car spun around 3 times, she was thrown all over the vehicle, and that my wife was going to leave the scene of the accident, but also, she was blacked out until the officer responding to the crash woker her up.
Unfortunately, our litigious society requires that any outlandish claims, when backed up by James Sokolov and company (you have to be from New England to get that one... sorry. It's our local lawyer mill), must be investigated, and thus we had threatening letters, numerous court appearances, and lots of stress. In the meanwhile, I was coming and going from home, my son is dealing with medical issues, we're dealing with the INS and my wife is standing in dead center dealing with the chaos.
Well, it's over. We came out on top, sort of. Still working on my son's health issues, but that's a work in progress, and goddam, kids are full of pestilence. Every week he's bringing some new bug in from Kindergarten. I don't know what the other parents are doing, but damn, keep your sick kids home!
OK, ranting done. Thanks.