Thursday, March 19, 2009


My God, it was gorgeous out yesterday. Here in the Schuylkill (pronounced 'Skoo-kul') river basin, it must have been 60 degrees. With no cargo orders to keep us moving, we took the opportunity to do some maintenance on the barge.
I'm the type of guy who enjoys working alone when I can. To my surprise, the other two guys on the barge are the same way. I suppose that I ought not to be too shocked; the nature of tank barge work is that there are usually two guys aboard, and each guy works 6 hour shifts opposite each other. This would be the ideal job for a loner, except that I've seen that the guys who do this job, when idle, tend to be very social.
Even so, we immediately split up yesterday. I ended up tinkering and doing little odds and ends like greasing valves, and the next thing I knew, three hours had gone by and it was time for lunch. After, the same thing. I set up to seal up some leaky fittings, and Poof! the day was gone and it was time to knock off.
Good times, when a man can lose himself in work with no pressure, and yet be productive as hell.

One odd thing though; I woke up, and the palms of my hands are broken out and itchy as hell. Either I got some residual gasoline on them (I am allergic after being overexposed to gasoline in my career), or my mom was right, and I'm going to start growing hair on my palms after all. Both are hazards of a life at sea.

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