So ... this last hitch found me filling-in on a boat I'd never worked on, on a job that ended after two weeks and left us pushing mud. Standing by waiting on work on the banks of Bayou Lafourche sounds like a nice break, but it quickly becomes excruciatingly boring.
Then came word that I'd be headed back to the very first boat I worked on for this company -- the boat I worked on longest and took through Coast Guard topside and hull inspections last summer.
It was a lot like coming home (minus having a 1-year-old puking on me and changing diapers and sleeping next to my wife ... and being able to drink beer and order pizza and do my own grocery shopping. But other than that ....).
I ended-up working with a captain from the company with which my employer is merging, and like the guy before him (another captain from that company was filling-in, too, the first two weeks of my hitch), he was a nice guy and competent boat handler.
The job, running cutting boxes to and from a drilling rig about 50 miles south of Port Fourchon, was pretty much non-stop.
Best of all, I was on the same watch with my favorite engineer, the first crew member I met when I went to work for this outfit. When I left this boat, he was studying hard for his 100-ton license.
In my last crewboat week, I celebrated with him as the interwebs informed us that his credential was received at the National Maritime Center, then progressed to medical evaluation.
Aside from the dancing and drinking, that celebration took the form of showing my soon-to-be-captain friend a few tricks on the sticks, and letting him move and hold the boat at the rig.
He's going to be just fine.