Friday, December 6, 2013

'It's got the basics, yeah'

Well, it's official. I'm spoiled.
       When I first left my last employer and entered the world of the brown water merchant marine, I ended up on a trunk-decked bunker barge. This is a fuel barge that is used to fuel ships, and is characterized by the trunk deck, as opposed to a flush deck. A trunk deck is a narrow walkway around the perimeter of the barge, essentially making the cargo tanks a box whose top sticks up past the deck of the barge, so that you have to go down a ladder from the main deck to the walkway to do things like tie up and anchor and such.
     Well, this particular barge type was modestly popular, and several companies have this model from this builder- my new employer had 2. They're characterized by an accommodation block that is about 60% of the size of the living space on most barges. Knowing no better, I was comfortable enough, even though the bunkoom had a smaller footprint than a full sized mattress, and a bathroom that measured 5x5 and still included a shower, toilet and sink.

 Well, I'm working an extra week on an old barge my company picked up recently for a song- same type that I started out on... only this time I've had 4 years to live in a real deckhouse... and I'm struggling. I wake up and hit my feet on the doorknob when I get out of bed. Then I hit my head in the same place. I bashed my knuckles trying to towel off after a shower. My ass fits in the space for the toilet, but my shoulders do not, at least not really, so there's that.
    So, all bitching aside, I lived comfortably on board a space like this for several years once, and I was 30lbs heavier than I am now. I guess I got spoiled. Still, I can't warm to the prospect of ever coming back.

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