Tuesday, April 6, 2010


If our level of activity is any indication, foreign trade is picking up in the Northeast. We've been running nonstop for the past 10 days, loading oil and bunkering thirsty ships of all types along the Delaware river. It's been a real zoo. Luckily for yours truly, tonight's job was delayed for 18-24 hours- not really long enough to go start another job, so we're anchored just a stone's throw from our customer's ship, waiting for them to finish discharging their cargo before we load. I'm not sure what they're working on, but I suspect they're doing heavy lifts and don't want to recalculate stability and trim figures to account for the fuel in their tanks... such things being necessary when unloading ridiculously heavy items like train locomotives or refinery cracking towers and such.

Anyhow, I woke up tonight at 7pm to the pleasant surprise of a quiet night at anchor. And it's a beautiful night. Cool and calm, one of those nights when lights reflecting off the water reflect like beams of light, where the cityscape is reflected in a mirror image writ large on the surface. Nice.

I got to go for a walk, which was nice- usually I do little loops in a circuit around the deck edge while we're working, here and there throughout the day. I actually got to walk uninterrupted for an hour. Our weight bench on board only has 150lbs of weights available, which is a light load for me (not that I lift weights regularly, though I should), so I alternate every 1/4 mile walk around deck (2 loops) with 20 quick bench presses, going for speed rather than heavy lifts... this is something that I should be doing every night, trying to get my heart rate up and work the bugs out of my shoulders, but I don't like the regular muscle soreness that comes with bench pressing, because every now and again when I actually need to use 100% of my strength, I want to have it available...

Two people in my life, both men, both overweight, and both my age, have been rushed to the hospital with chest pains in the past month. Both were suffering anxiety attacks at the time. I'm doing the math. I have a very strong Type A personality, internalize everything, and am carrying around 60 extra pounds. Bad cardiac family history, too. I'm waking up. Controlling my diet has been the first step. Now that I'm eating a little healthier, it's time I tried to do the things necessary to live to see retirement. Unlike my friends, I can't take anti-anxiety medication and do my job. I'm pretty sure that no one wants a dude who's baked on Mother's Little Helpers to be responsible for a floating oil can... and I hear that exercise is the best treatment for anxiety. So be it.

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