Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Liveblogging the stupid

edit:  once the CG got out of our hair, things went fine. Only took 6 hours longer than it should have. 

Well, this is happening now, so it might be a short post.

    It's blowing hard and raining here in NY harbor today. Sloppy weather.

 We loaded a modest 1000 tons of heavy fuel oil and 200 tons of diesel for a tanker to use as fuel. Spent last night hanging out at a lay berth waiting for the ship. They showed up on time, and we came alongside, made all fast. I woke up just as we were sending up lines. The weather is usual NY harbor springtime shitty. blowing good, tide opposite to the wind, and a decent swell from the fetch at the anchorage. Rotten working weather but nowhere near as bad as it gets at times.

 The ship dragged ass everywhere- getting the diesel hose connected, arguing over paperwork... the usual when we deal with eastern Europeans. Slow and grumpy. Mark 1 bunker transfer.

 A little lube oil tanker came alongside the other side of the ship. He only had a couple hundred gallons of lube oil to transfer, but the coast guard first wanted them to only transfer one product at a time, so I had to sit and warm my thumbs in my own exhaust, to so speak. I called my office, said what was up, and sat down with my book.

 20 minutes later, a VERY stressed out dispatcher called me, told me we had to break down, the coast guard wanted one guy at a time alongside the ship.

 Well, that's shitty, late to make that sort of call, as the wind and tide were now at loggerheads, and it would be safer for me to just sit and wait than to break down and come alongside a second time to the ship, when we're more likely to part lines and play bumper cars with two loaded tank vessels a second time.
    Sadly, I don't make policy. So the tanker disconnected my hose, the tug came alongside and made up, and yanked us off the ship to drift and make circles for an hour or so while a 60-foot runabout that weighs less than my drinking water tank on here does his thing. Then we get to come alongside again in this rotten weather and do it all over again.

     I've got the time to complain. This makes no sense to me. By far, the most dangerous evolution today for us is for the stressed out tug captains to maneuver alongside a tanker at anchor, while we're partially loaded, and the coast guard is making us do exactly this. Four times. Twice to come alongside while loaded, once to sail loaded, once to presumably sail empty. In heavy rain, a wind that is just shy of a gale, and with dark approaching now, certainly dark when we sail. Fuckers. Is this more or less safe than having us swinging on one side and a teeny lube tanker that might weigh all of 15 tons on the other?

 Well, mine is not to wonder why I guess. I really feel bad for the tug operators tonight. Beyond sending up some extra mooring lines and tending them faithfully, my M.O. shouldn't much change. Meanwhile I can HEAR the tug operators losing their hair from here.

 So it goes. I can't be more than annoyed, really. Of all the fucked up jobs I've done, this one is merely the most recent. If the Coast Guard wasn't involved, it'd be fine, but I guess they can't bat a thousand from the comfort of an office building.

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