Workboat schedules sound pretty great if you don’t think about it too much: “What? I get FOUR MONTHS off? That’s a pretty good vacation schedule!”
Except it’s also your evenings and weekends. In fact, if you’re actually standing 12-hour watches, you end up averaging almost eight hours (7.89 hours, to be exact) a day every day of the year. And with the rest of the time you’re on the boat, you end up spending two-thirds of your time at work, as opposed to the one-third a 9-to-5 Joe pulls.
I’m not complaining. I have several cousins who spent the majority of the past two years deployed to war zones, and they didn’t get to come home and hug their kids every two weeks. My brother, a cop, works four days on, four days off, and during his four days on he doesn’t see a lot of the family.
These days, more and more men and women are working two or three jobs just to keep food on the table. And lots of guys do shift work that makes it difficult to make Little League games, band concerts and the like. They’re just happy to have a job.
So am I.
My phone rang at about 9 this morning; it was our crewing coordinator calling to confirm crew change at 6 a.m. tomorrow. I assured him I’d be there.
It’s been a good week back home at the Casa de la Selva. I somehow lucked into a break in the 100+ degree temperatures, we had a nice rain shower, and a constant stream of houseguests (old friends all) came through.
My wife was kind enough to have the lawn done before I got home (at 1.5 acres, it’s a big job). I got lots of kid time, and even stole a “date day” with The Old Lady.
The last company I worked for was such an unhappy place I’d spend my entire week off stressing about going back to work. This time around I haven’t even thought about it much (other than: “Oh yeah, I need to take that back to the boat.”) until this morning.
So, near the end of my first week off and on the eve of my second hitch, it’s going okay.