Sunday, February 22, 2009


I've fallen in with good company, certainly. For the past few days I've been living on a fuel barge on a tributary river to the Delaware, basically in the heart of Philly. I've had time to get familiar with policies and procedures for my new employer, and I've got to say, I'm pretty happy here.
The barge I've been living on is designed for two people, and I'm the third man, so it's damn close quarters, but those quarters are nice, as are the guys I've been living with. I'm in a bit of a unique situation; the barge captain and mate have gone to a particular effort to make this place home; good food, very nice amenities, and a comfortable atmosphere. I haven't had to do any cooking, which is making me feel guilty, but I bought the junk food, (don't tell my wife) that keeps us going.

I've got to say here that I don't know much about tugs, except that they require exceptional shiphandling skills to do some of the things that they have to do. Last night I watched some seriously impressive handling. We're currently made up to a dock, and there's a big gap between us and the next barge on the dock. Another tug and barge, with the tug made up on the hip of the barge, shoehorned himself into that gap, with only about 20 feet on either side of the barge, bow and stern. How the hell he got a beamy barge to move perfectly sideways is a bit of a mystery to me.
Anyhow, all is well.