So, a few twists and turns, and I am sitting comfortably in my new home-away-from-home here in bee-ee-ay-yutiful New York Habah.
First off, it was a near thing, my coming to work. I made all the preparations, including an unscheduled doctor visit for a short-lived but raging fever that thankfully responded very quickly to antibiotics. So, despite a certain fear of having to bang in this close to Christmas, I was able to get a clean bill o' health and drive down to NY.
Driving through the city isn't so bad at 1am. That's the absolute best way to get into Brooklyn, in my opinion, should one need to drive into Brooklyn. I had planned on bunking on a barge for about two weeks until my permanent assignment opened up. I unpacked my truck, humped groceries and 200lbs of diet soda (well, it felt like that) up a ladder and stowed my 4-weeks worth of grub before going to bed, still washed out a bit from the whole being sick thing 2 days before.
Well, 5 hours later, somewhat refreshed, I was told to transfer all my goods to my permanent barge, and now, here I am. The soda, chow, frozen meat, clothing and toiletries were all repacked and unpacked, and we sailed as I was carrying the last bag aboard.
So, of course, I missed a few things in my hurried repacking. My watch cap, for one, which bodes ill for my oversized ears, which, for all their lift-producing capability (rivaling that of a Piper Cub), do tend to get frostbitten, and already have a permanent air like a wilted potato chip.
More importantly, though (to me), is the fact that I can't find the charger for my cell phone. Whether it's sitting at home or simply on the barge I slept on, this got me thinking about how dependent I've become on modern communication equipment to stay in touch. I started my sailing career in time to experience the long lines at the dock's pay phone, where I'd call my mom and girlfriends maybe once a month at most, and be grateful for the experience. These days, I talk to my wife twice a day, and am still calling my mom maybe once a week or so. My cell phone is my lifeline, and while I'm still trying to figure out where the hell the knife drawer is in the galley, my laptop and wireless modem are up and running already.
Social media, e-mail, text messages, blog updates and phone calls are all something that the coastwise mariner can take for granted now. Today, facing the prospect of having no cell phone, I feel the loss quite sharply.