I've been back on board the HQ for a few days now, and settling in. Things proceed as they usually do, just working the routine watch, on the routine jobs. Comforting right now.
We're still working out of Philadelphia, running a 30 or so mile stretch of river, and keeping fairly busy.
I started out here with this company, 11 years ago. I spent about 2 years working these same waters. It's been fun to wander across old grounds, seeing some old faces. There's some positives to having been shifted down here... the biggest, of course, being that we're not in New York for the shitshow that has been their response to the Kung Flu. Philly is quiet in comparison, and especially so for everything being idled.
I'm extremely grateful for being fully employed. Although I didn't want to come to Philly for many reasons, I'm happy enough to be here. I'm insulated from some of the struggles that so many (Most?) people are dealing with, but that doesn't mean I'm ignorant of it or ignoring it.
I got to drive from S. FL to Philly earlier this week, and it was surprisingly pleasant. I set the cruise control at 80 most of the ride, and with the diminished traffic I made excellent time. I stopped in Dunn, NC on the first day, about 6 1/2 hrs from Philly. I hadn't been sleeping well, and so I was pretty beat after just a single long day of driving rt 95 the whole way. Ate well, slept well, and off I went.
My employer provides a hotel room the night before crew change for anyone who is more than 6 hours' drive from their home port. The last time I was working in Philly, we stayed at the Red Rash Inn, a discount hotel outside the city that was also housing whores, drug dealers and the semi-homeless. Somewhere between then and now, they switched to a NICE mid-priced hotel, and my hotel stay the night before crew change was actually really pleasant. I still didn't sleep well, but that's not the fault of the hotel at all. I don't know what's up with that. I wish the management in NY would follow suit, but to be fair, the shithole welfare/refugee stash house that they send us to probably still costs more than the nice hotel in Philly.
We're looking at a busy weekend here on the HQ, and although it's going to be rainy and I'm on nights for the week, I'm content enough. We had time at crew change to stock up on basic supplies, so we're good and ready for some isolation.