Friday, March 4, 2011

tug life

I was given my choice of assignments for this week- I could be an AB/Cook aboard a coastwise ATB, or I could work as an AB on a harbor tug.
I asked for an extra week's work, in part because of the ridiculous tax rates in Massachusetts, where I reluctantly reside- this being tax season and the annual ritual of taking it in the seat for the Massachusetts Revenooers, I found it necessary to get some OT in.
So it was with a hesitant yes that I agreed to get myself onto a tug. I have the credentials to work here, and the theoretical knowledge, but the practical trumps all that- tugboat life requires different work altogether. Someone maybe thought it would be good for me; I certainly did.

Three days in, and I'm enjoying myself; I've been more social here than I've been in months; falling in with a good crew helps. I find that I can do the work; it takes me an extra throw or two to get lines to cleats and bitts for sure- tugboating requires a disconcertingly accurate throwing arm when it comes to line throwing, and I'm a 50/50 man at best. At very best. I'm probably more of a 33/66 man, if we're being honest here. Luckily for me, I've been working with some very encouraging and patient people.
The food, though. Mein Gott. I'm eating well. No wonder southerners wear giant belt buckles; there's a lot of strain on my belt. It's going to be hard to go back to rabbit food once my week is up.

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