Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sturm und Drang

Well, today, anyhow. Lightning. Sheeting rain. More than 11 hours underway.

We headed out this morning with a larger-than-usual deck load and 15 passengers.

At the rig, the wind was out of the west-southwest, the current still pulling toward the east-southeast. Into the platform.

The rig called one of their supply boats over and thus began a complicated (but mostly time-consuming) cargo shuffle. Stuff from our deck to the rig floor. Stuff from our deck to the other boat's deck. Stuff from their deck to our deck. Stuff from the rig to our deck.

The supply vessel has dynamic positioning. We don't. But in the back-and-forth banter between the crane operator, the other boat and us I caught a fleeting, off-hand compliment from the crane operator: "Well, at least this guy can hold the boat in there. That makes a huge difference, believe me!"

I was being compared to the captain of the boat we replaced on this job. Then came a critical recollection of another captain who couldn't: "Had to chase him all over the Gulf with this crane ...."

Unfortunately, that guy was formerly on one of our other boats. He's "no longer with us," as they say.

Still, positive reinforcement is rare out here and I'll take what I can get.

Between cargo transfers, our engineer got some time on the sticks; he's off to school at the end of this hitch and hopes to come back as a training captain.

After nine years on deck and in the engine room, it's about time, and I look forward to working with him in the wheelhouse.

Almost three weeks down and just a little more than one to go. I don't really start counting the days until the weekend before crew change -- it's easier if I just don't think about it until I can count the wake-ups on one hand.

And not just because I'm bad at math.

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