Wednesday, March 26, 2014

in which things go a little left-handed

We're having scheduling issues lately here on board HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/House of Corrections. Little things that add up over time- nothing I want to address specifically, as it's no big deal, but molehills become mountains when your own ability to deal with logistical issues gets unbalanced. Little boo-boos on the part of shoreside staff become Big Fucking Deals afloat when they don't have to when you've been away from home for too long.

        When I started the "Blue Water" blog back in 2003, I was sailing for American Heavy Lift on 120-day tours on a rusty tanker. When I became a permanent employee a few years later, I worked 120 days on/75 off. Granted, I was single then.

 Life gets unbalanced- I mistakenly thought that marriage and starting a family would automatically bring work:life balance into a favorable state. Now, fast forward to today, I'm on day 1 of week 9 away from my wife and kid, and the checking account is bulging nicely from the extra time away... and my wife and I are both ill-tempered and struggling with moodiness, both very aware that I'll only be home for 14 days before I come back here for 28 more.

      I'm getting older. I'll turn 40 on my next tour. I can't do 120 days. I can't comfortably 'work over' and stay extra, it seems. working 70 days and going home for 14 is becoming toxic. I pray this is the last time.  Joy is scarce on the ground when you work too much and don't wake up next to your wife enough. The little moments out here that I love- seeing new and unusual things, meeting cool new people- it's bland right now.

 Goddamn I need to get home. I'm friggin' maudlin.  It's so bloody busy, we're getting hit by gales twice a week, all the fucking snow, and a shit tank on board that is moody like a WASP on her period. It's getting to me.

 I volunteered to forego my time home in an effort to prepare for big changes coming up- moving from the 'burbs of Boston to the 'burbs of Miami, specifically.

 I hope it's worth it. 2 weeks from now I guess I'll find out. We're leaving to go house-hunting 12 hours after I get home.

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