Well, truck is packed with grub and dinner's in the oven. I only got to stay home for about 6 days, but they were a busy and nice 6 days. I can't remember a time when Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife and I spent so much time running around on errands together in such a short while.
Speaking of, while I was cutting steaks off a slab of beef and wrapping them for travel, she was screaming and gesturing wildly at/on the phone. Quite alarming. I couldn't understand it, as she talks way to fast when talking in her language to another native speaker, but she sounded furious, and I was getting ready to intervene...and then I hear her laugh and say "OK, mom, I have to go. Love you," into the phone.
Guess I have to work on my language lessons.
In the meanwhile, I have to go enjoy some family time for a few hours until it's time to go. I'm driving down to NYC to meet up and get busy back on board for another 4 weeks of good clean fun.
So I'm still on board, and still at work. Today is Crew Change Day.
Funny how that works... I was feeling pretty content, knowing that because we're anchored in New England's armpit (New Haven, CT), I'll have to take a launch ashore, then a car service will take us from New Haven to Philadelphia, a 4+hr ride through NY rush hour traffic. After that, I'll get in my truck and drive the 6 hours it will take to get to Boston. Home during the overnight, the good Lord willing an' the creek don't rise.
I knew it would take time to get our relief crew here. It's 1400, and I'm ready to go. They're in town, at a grocery store, so I should be gone in another hour or so... and I was so proud of myself and how calm I have felt today. First full week off in 10+ weeks and all that, but not any more. Now it's 5 days. Crap. My wa, the Japanese aura of peace and tranquility within one, is disturbed. Channel fever has struck, and in the last hour I've degraded from feeling like someone turned a chair 45 degrees specifically to fuck with my feng shui to downright pre-menstrual. I'm ready to go.
So here's some nice pics I've stolen to have good things to look at.
Sometimes, working on a boat is like hitting yourself in the head repeatedly with a hammer... it feels so good to stop.
We finished our cargo discharge and ran for safe harbor in New Haven, CT. Going to blow a gale here this weekend, so we'll hang out here on this side of Long Island Sound until the wind backs around and we have to scoot over to the New York side, I guess.
Ah well. I won't shed a tear if we play musical anchors for a few days.
Here's something nice to look at from this year's Carnaval in Rio. As always, I'll trickle in some pictures over the next months to do my part for Brazil's tourist trade while I'm out here on my floating monastary saving my reis for Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife's impending visit w/ meu sogra next month. Unfortunately, this time I'm not going along, but I'll be there in spirit, by which I mean looking at pictures like these.
First off, I'm now on a different barge, one that travels more than my staid little bunker barge. I drove down to Philadelphia for crew change for this 1-week assignment, and we were shuttled to Baltimore, there to pick up the barge and sail for NY. So far so good. A somewhat bumpy but not terrible ride ensued. In NY, we stopped briefly to anchor a few hours and then sailed again to Riverhead, Long Island, to the offshore platform where I now sit... every oil guy who has worked on the east coast has probably been there. I haven't been here in 10+ years, and it's a pretty locale, so that's a good thing. At any rate, my watch ended when we moored at the dock. I helped out a bit on deck (mostly to ensure that the little job we have would be finished or damn near so when I woke up at midnight). Alas, some slow-ass people combined with a series of hoops to jump through vis-a-vis paperwork and some prep work ashore to open up a pipeline for us saw to it that when I woke up, we were just getting started with the discharge.
....so it goes, sometimes. My chickens were counted in utero I guess, and it's going to be a busy watch... so much for plans of sloth and lollygagging. We're going to anchor later today, come back here tomorrow some time for another batch of oil, and drag that parcel up to Portsmouth NH, which should be about it for yours truly, and time to get home.
So, absent a 4 day weekend at home, today begins the ninth and final week of this sea tour. I left HAWSEPIPER's global HQ/floating supermax prison and have boarded another vessel in Baltimore. After an hour aboard, we slipped moorings and are making our way to the C&D Canal, there to join the Delaware river and head for sea, bound for Riverhead NY, an offshore loading platform in Long Island sound. Blogging has been light lately for the lack of inspiration, this being a long-ass time to be away from home, so I'll probably continue on apace for the next week while I'm out here adjusting to my temporary assignment. Home in a week, God willing. For now, we're bound for sea.
Well, I had to put up word verification again, seeing as I've had 2,000+ ads for pharmaceuticals in the comment section. Someone's been spamming me with BS, so... sorry, that stupid word verification thing that works like 1/2 the time is back up. F'ing spambots. This week I'd like to thank the fatherless lowlifes who made that possible.
A month ago I was making my way home from St. Maarten, tanned, with the mother of all hangovers after 4 weeks of busting my balls down in the Dutch West Indies. A 4 day turnaround brought me back up here, and for the first time in my life, I really felt the cold when I went out on deck. I mean, I feel the cold, but it's not a bother to me. I'm fat, I'm a northerner, and I used to fish for a living. Being cold is a luxury. Being cold and wet and smelling like a dead whale's ass is half of a lobsterman's job, and I did that job on and off (mostly on) for 20 years. Even so, when I got back to work here in NY, I felt the cold and didn't like it. My hips ache now. When I slip slightly on a patch of ice, my pants immediately start to fall down. Ridership on the Staten Island Ferry is obviously going to be affected. People are going to look out the window, and then vomit.
All the same, I'm not complaining too much. We got about 10" of snow. There's a lot more home in Massachusetts. My neighbors lost their cars because the storm surge was a lot higher than anyone expected. Another friend had seawater coming in through her ceiling fixtures. Still, to go from THIS
To shoveling snow in high winds and temps in the teens... well, that's hard, too, on the body. Speaking of, my back is singing after yesterday's marathon shoveling session, and I find myself humming the words whenever I sit down, get up, bend over or unbend- a whole chorus or groans and ouches. Getting older, I guess. Still, not my first, not my last, I hope. Here's a picture from 10 years ago,showing about the same conditions.
The last time I saw this much bullshit about snow was when I was in Corpus Christi, TX like 10 years ago and they had their first ever White Christmas. At least they had an excuse to be excited. They're on the goddam Mexican border. We're in the northeast US, at the northern limits of the temperate zone in our hemisphere. It snows. Fuck, get over it.
To our friends in the media: please go eat a dick. Someone's got to, and it's absolutely going to be you.
On board, we've tidied up the deck extra nice-nice here at HAWSEPIPER's global HQ/ hot dog stand, and tried to find as many places to hang lines and gear that we could. Many hings normally coiled, stacked or stored on deck or on pallets on deck have found a new home, and revealed the wonderous treasures of mother nature when moved, like when you move a rock in the backyard. Dead bugs, 1/2 a dead bird, an empty pack of smokes, stuff like that. Just lovely. We're as ready as can be, anyhow. Looks like we'll get about a foot of snow, which is a pain because shoveling on a boat is not much fun. There are conduits, pipes and deck fittings EVERYWHERE, and nothing makes your back sing like an overtightened rubber band like the feeling of a shovel coming to an abrupt stop mid-thrust when you're trying to scoop up 50lbs of wet snow.
In the meanwhile, Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife is supremely uninterested in the fact that she's about to get snowed it. Either she's suddenly found new inspiration in Stoicism, or she has no idea of the inconvenience she's about to get in having 2 feet of snow between her and the local hair salon or whoever the hell does her nails and waxes and such. Either way, I think she's in for a shock. My kid's already as happy as can be. They preemptively cancelled school tomorrow. I can't remember them ever doing that when I was a kid.
One of the best things you can do if you're stuck in a big metal floating pickle barrel is to enjoy 'repurposed' classic comic strips that no one ever liked, ever. Dysfunctional Family Circus is worth checking out. Finally, after 50 years, Bill Keane's work made someone laugh.
Dan Simmons is a genre-hopping author who has dabbled in drama, horror, fantasy and Sci-Fi. The guy's done it all. He's fucking brilliant.
Illium and Olympos are wonderful books. I've tried twice here to write a synopsis of them, but it reads like an insane rant- like something James Joyce would write while he was enjoying his insanity brought about by having terminal syphilis. At any rate, the story involves the Trojan War, cloning, Homer's The Iliad and some of the chief cast from Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Oh, and there are self-evolving robots who are far more human than most humans in the books. Overall, I give these two books an enthusiastic "Wicked Good " rating.
I am Paul B, and I spend most of my life at sea. Ships, Science, the life of a mariner, biology and (mostly) true stories of life among the best and the worst people in the world, the United States Merchant Marines. You'll find it here, maybe. You'll definitely find rants, raves and discussion on life aboard a merchant ship. Come back and see the Brazilian girls, too, who show up fairly regularly.