I've finished another 4-week tour aboard the Big Metal Monastery, and to celebrate my two weeks of home leave, instead of going home, I'm 'working over,' covering for a barge without a crew, along with a guy I've never worked with before, who also, it happens, isn't a bunker tankerman.
So, for the next week, I'm working aboard the Career Killer, a stubby, beamy trunk deck barge we bought from a competitor as part of a package deal.
The Career Killer was not well cared-for. Structurally, she's built like ye olde brick shitehouse. Heavy built, solid, but subject to benign neglect until my employer got her, whereupon there's been a slow, consistent effort to make it a better place to live and work.
She got the name "Career Killer" because, well, she ends careers. Not a lucky vessel. I babysat her two years ago when she first came into our hands and welders and metalworkers undid all the damage to her hull from the neglect, while our own yardbirds rehabbed the living quarters.
This is a better barge than the one I was on two years ago. The quarters are spartan and ridiculously tiny (seriously, the bunkroom is 6x6, and the guy working with me is 6' 2". I took the top bunk because I'm as mature as your average 11 year old. The quarters is also tiny. Maybe 12x15 all told, including a galley/office, bunkroom and head. It can be tolerated, and thank God the guy I'm working with seems cool. It makes me miss the Hilton-level quality of the quarters on my own rusty little piece of heaven, though.
Anyhow, pictures to follow eventually. Facing the prospect of 6 more weeks without seeing my family, I'm not in an awesome mood, as you might imagine, but I'm taking it philosophically (i.e, spending all the extra money in my head). Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife and I are celebrating our anniversary in a few days, and considering that the past year has been so full of joy and incredibly memories, I'm feeling like a shitheel for not being home to celebrate.