Well, we weathered another nor'easter here at HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/ Ice Station Zebra. That's #4 for late winter/early spring. We got a little under a foot of snow, which courtesy of the wind, wasn't drifted too badly, but as it was wet snow, that shit was heavy to shovel.
We had a small cargo yesterday, but it was enough to heat up the decks around my cargo pumps and manifold area, where we spend most of our time while working, so this meant that by noon yesterday, there was bare deck peeking out here and there, and, courtesy of a nice warm day yesterday (mid 40's and sunny), by the time I woke up for watch at midnight, the deck is currently 90% snow-free, and since we have a full load coming on tonight, that should be gone by afternoon, which is a nice thought.
Given that this winter has mostly been windy and dry until recently, I'm not holding my breath as to whether or not this was the last snowstorm... but I hope it is.
I'm starting a review of the materials covered on the licensing exam for the next higher-tonnage than I currently hold. To call me rusty is a complement. It's really showing me how much I've forgotten in the past 10 years. as tankerman. Figuring out stability equations, deck safety (Is that 1 B-2 or 2 B-1's, or are both OK?), lifesaving that is no longer an issue (seriously, when is the last time someone shot up colored flares shoreside to guide a lifeboat onto a beach in shoaling water? I gotta know this stuff, along with what horizontal vs vertical shaking of a lantern means in that same situation. I've absolutely forgotten, shame on me. Still, ignorance has a cure).
One of my friends in this company had his last day the other day. We've lost a lot of young talent to other New York-based companies. It makes things more lonely. We haven't lost nearly enough assholes and hacks, however. Like hemorrhoids, some of those folks. My employer is one of the lower-paying companies here in NY, and it's starting to tell. Non-monetary issues that aid retention here aren't what they once were, I suppose. I'm lucky enough to work with true friends aboard my own place, and have a great shoreside boss, so I'm not looking to run away. Still, I can't say that I am upping my license just for the hell of it. It's hard to not be doing as well as everyone else for the same quality work. Not to say I'm bitching, however. I'm here voluntarily, and grateful for the work, and hopefully I'm doing a decent job at my trade.
Tonight's the first watch where I feel like I'm back into my routine, and that's a welcome feeling, anyhow. We're triple-blending a cargo tonight, mixing 3 differing grades of oil to make up a final volume of a particular density. It's all in the math, which was actually kind of nice to have to do, to work out the cobwebs from between my ears.