Thursday, May 24, 2012

Musical Tankermen!

If this week had a soundtrack, it would absolutely be the "Benny Hill" theme music.

      I'm going through tankermen like toilet paper at a mexican restaurant. Earlier this week, my watch partner and equal-but-slightly-more-equal-than-others, Big B, went home. This was a last-minute job, and my regular tankerman, Cowboy D, got voluntold to go to New York to cover for an injured crewman there. We were slated to start a load of crude oil, so my pimp/dispatcher, Mama T, farmed out a tankerman nearby to me who happened to be on board a barge that was down for maintenance- this guy, unfamiliar with our decks, crude oil as a species in general, and the Floating HQ/flophouse way of doing things, was there to satisfy the Coast Guard minimum personnel requirements, no more. After a few hours of orientation/how not to blow us up, we sailed, then anchored near the terminal, and he was ready to warm a seat and I could get a nap, which lasted 30 glorious minutes. Then one of our generators died. I knew this because I fell asleep with the lights on, and the sudden dark/quiet woke me up like a lightning strike. Just a serpentine belt letting go, so we switched gens, and that was that for me getting any sleep for the day.
   So, when my seat-warmer had to report back for work, they sent me another guy. I need to be sensitive here, because this is a sensitive issue just now. The guy's too old to do the brutal work of a black-oil tankerman. (This is me being sensitive. My exact words to a shipmate were "the guy's fucking a hundred").

 At any rate, he's warming a seat now, and isn't actually 100. But we do now know what happened to the Ancient Mariner after that albatross business. He went back to work. SO, yours truly may be a little busy these next few days, which is a shame, because Father Time is making me miss Cowboy D something terrible.


HT said...

Good luck Paul, you will be losing some down time...but I hope at least the "old man is a decent fellow" that always made the difference with me anyway. If I was going to be nice or nasty!

Paul, Dammit! said...

Eh. His heart beats, he has his papers, therefore he can sign a DOI for the Coast Guard, and that's about it. He's doing a hell of a job keeping the empty seat at the dinner table nice and warm.