Monday, May 13, 2013

Rolling, rolling, rolling ....

Coming into day seven of long, back-to-back runs. We’ve done a bit of everything: we have been to drilling rigs, lift boats and production platforms; pumped water and fuel, transferred cargo and personnel, even got a few hours of standby time in 200-feet of water.

During our offshore standby time the lead captain caught a tuna on the first drop, and that was lunch.

The weather has been all over the place, too, with a late-season cold front stalled over the area. Two nights in a row we had 40-knot winds, 5-to-7-foot seas, lightning and torrential rain. We even had hail, which makes quite a racket on an aluminum-hulled boat.

I’m also coming into day 27 of a 28-day hitch. I figured-out a while back that it’s not helpful to count the days ‘til the end, which now is nigh. Phew!

I could complain about my first hitch on this boat, but I’d have to make something up. The crew is still coming together, but the new first captain seems like a real good guy.

Back when we were still sitting at the dock a couple of days at a stretch, back in the good old days, we got some painting done on deck and have been tackling small repair and maintenance projects as we can. But mostly things are in good shape, and what’s not will be fixed when we go to shipyard in a month or so.

In the last week of running, I have been reminded of some of the unique privileges of this work. A new moon and a cloudless sky several nights have showcased the spangled vault above with the great, hazy wash of the Milky Way arcing overhead.

Our bow wave this past week has been a molten cascade of blue. It is the electric blue of lightning, the neon blue of sin, the plasma blue of a Star Trek warp drive.

On no more evidence than the color, I blame moderate densities of Noctiluca scintillans. The water is still cool enough for those bioluminescing dinoflagellates to be hanging around.

Anyhow, mesmerizing to watch, difficult to photograph.

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