Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sideways (again)

Last (full) day of this tour. 5 weeks, without a doubt the busiest, oil-carryingest 5 weeks I've ever had. Whatever hell the economy is going through, my employer's efforts to diversify and adjust to changing markets has seriously paid off. I've never been so God-damned busy as I have been this time.

     Just after noon, we secured at the NY home dock, having completed the last cargo discharge on the schedule- a somewhat annoying and too heavy 50,000 barrel parcel of heavy fuel oil. After, we changed the oil on the pump engines (1 drum of oil each- they're big engines), swept and mopped the pump houses, took out trash, cleared the deck of old rags, grease spots and dead birds (the weather was shitty yesterday- high winds bash the birds against the houses on deck), serviced the septic system, swept, wiped and mopped down the accomodations block and did laundry and paperwork- about 5 hours of work, leaving us pretty beat, as we didn't have time to get the usual 2 hour naps in at the end of our watch- when you only have 4-6 hours a day of free time to eat and sleep, a 2 hour nap is critical. No problem, though- we're fast to the dock, and tomorrow we just have to get into a van and back to Philadelphia where we started the voyage, where our cars are parked.
   Then the computer shows a pending job, at the end of the trading day. Last minute 50,000 parcel of #6 oil to be loaded tonight/tomorrow AM, across the bay, and then discharged immediately after right next door to the HQ dock tomorrow, also AMish. Right in the middle of crew change. So, work clothes get unpacked again, paperwork gets pulled out, valves and calculations placed just so, and it begins again.
   I keep trying to recall my mantra- "I'm lucky to be working"  But now, my 6 days at home have just been reduced to 5 1/2, as it's going to take hours to get our relief crew out to the back 40 up a river somewhere to where we're going.
 I'm lucky to be working. I certainly feel...something. Maybe it's lucky. Probably. Kinda Sucky-Lucky though, after 35 days of nonstop activity.

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