I've been in a snit for a few days. Mid-tour blues? I'm about 12 days in now.
Last night was one of those jobs where nothing goes well, and, rather than accept that philosophically, I got worked up into something of a lather. It happens.
We're discharging 3,000 tons of fuel oil to a big post-Panamax container ship. The ship is already paying well north of a million bucks to top off the tanks, so they hire an outside surveyor to measure tanks. I know the guy, as well. A Pakistani dude, pleasant to talk to, but slow as balls.
So, yeah, it takes 3 hours to go from catching lines to kicking the pumps on. 7 hours of pumping oil. then 2 hours to disconnect, pass papers and cast off.
Along the way, it's snowing hard, then it becomes rain... then it becomes freezing rain. Very unpleasant. More unpleasant, however, is that it should have taken an hour and 15 minutes to go from catching the first line to starting the pumps, and it should have been 30 minutes to go from finishing cargo to casting off. Joke's on them, though, and here's where I got testy. The ship and their hired surveyor are angry because they didn't get their diesel oil. Along with their heavy fuel oil, they also ordered a couple hundred tons of diesel, which was being carried by another barge, which would come in behind us after I left. Well and good, right? Well, because they ship's crew were so slow, and the surveyor was slower, the diesel barge sailed right past us and went to another ship. The ship's crew was cranky because they were going to have to delay sailing, something that is a big no-no. I, being wet, cold and hungry, wasn't in a listening sort of mood, so I got cranky right back, telling them that whether through incompetence or laziness, we had lost well over 3 hours where I was sitting, ready and available waiting for them to get their shit together, and the diesel barge had other ships waiting, so it made no sense for us to delay other ships just because this one couldn't get their shit together.
Eventually we parted ways, and my watch ended on the ride from Port Elizabeth to our mooring buoy out in Stapleton anchorage.
Now, I would have killed for a glass of whisky and a good book when I got into my bunk, but booze being a forbidden commodity, settled for a glass of diet pepsi and my book, and it wasn't as good, but it was still good.
Today seems to be better. I'm not quite my sunny self, but I'm getting there. I'm so fucking tired of being snowed on and living in the dark. I may not literally kill a man for a glass of whisky, but I might be tempted into human sacrifice if it would bring us a sunny day with no fucking wind and snow.
Breaking the Four Rules
20 minutes ago