Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Plus and Minus

Going through some of our paperwork the other day, I found the 2010 survey for this boat. The value was estimated at $2.6 million. With a full load, and at current prices, we carry about three quarters of a million dollars in fuel, and – I’m guessing – anywhere between $500,000 and $2 million in other cargo and equipment.

For half the day, every day I’m out here, I’m responsible for about $4 million in stuff and four lives. Not to mention civil and criminal liability should I really mess-up.

A text from home tells me the power has gone out again in the middle of the night and it’s not even storming and the youngest son has another ear infection and is crying for me.

Days like those, and when seas are running 6-8 feet and everything’s rolling and crashing on the boat and something important isn’t working right and I didn’t get enough sleep the night before … well, sometimes, I think there’s no way they pay me enough for this.

Other times, as a sunrise pours molten gold across a sighing sea, or off to port I see a pack of big jacks or school of tuna savaging hardtails bunched on the surface, or a pod of dolphins cavorts off our bow, I’m in awe.

Then, there’s Sirius Channel 60, Walt Wilkins singing about sitting under a tree or Ray Wylie Hubbard reminding me that days when my gratitude is greater than my expectations are good days, and I have an hour to sit at my computer or bury my nose in a book and there’s a cold Dr. Pepper close at-hand, and I think: “Man, I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this.”

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