Saturday, November 16, 2019

gee that's swell

I had a heck of an off-watch time last night.
(he said sarcastically)

       Long couple of days, with not a lot of quality rest. Our plans keep changing, with the upcoming rule changes to fuel quality coming on Jan 1.

 So we loaded for two ships a couple of days ago- a large quantity of heavy fuel oil and a lesser quality of Marine Gas Oil (basically that's diesel oil). We loaded just enough for the two ships, so when we were done we'd be empty in case the next job that was available was for another customer.

 We discharge the first ship, and then the customer cancels the second job, and instead we go back to the loading terminal and load for two more ships, plus the job we already have on board. No real problem, a lot of paperwork, but my 2nd man is not up for blending calculations yet, so I had to get out of bed twice the other night to get the calculations done and write up a loading plan for him. Twice.

       Yesterday I went to bed as the first of those three jobs was coming up.

 I had a long day yesterday and in the break in the middle of the day I actually lifted weights and walked around the deck for an hour, so I went to bed sore, and it being chilly, I was pretty content under the covers after dozing off.
     And then we started rolling.

 It was strange. We were in the middle of Bay Ridge anchorage in New York. Alongside an anchored containership, and pretty well secure. Our tug had left as he had other work to do while we were pumping off. Pretty normal.The wind had come up to a small gale, which was predicted, but we were rolling and rolling and rolling, and it didn't stop. Deep into a harbor, that's really unusual, unless we anchor in the mouth of the Verrezano Narrows during a NE gale. But we weren't in the mouth and we weren't in the narrows. We were off to the Staten Island side. But wind and tide were opposite each other and while I was dozing off, we swung broad to the swell, which surprisingly, was pretty decent, and worse, was timed in some fraction of our natural rolling period, so over the course of 5 minutes, we were rolling a good 15 degrees each side, which would not be much in a traditional situation, but when you're rafted up to a giant ship and you start bouncing and swaying, with mooring lines screaming and a couple of them parting, it can actually be quite dangerous.On getting out of bed and looking outside, I had my 2nd man run new lines to the ship plus some extras,  made a few changes on where they were running, and called my office and requested a standby tug ASAP in case we ended up drifting off. We didn't. Eventually, after 15 minutes more, the ship swung into the wind instead of the current and we settled down. I was only out of bed about an hour, but I didn't sleep soundly for sure.

No comments: