Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Getting Underway

It’s not quite as impressive as a pilot circling his aircraft, kicking the tires, testing control surfaces and draining fuel, but getting a 165-foot fast supply vessel ready for a voyage has its own rituals and procedures.

Verify tank cargo levels, perform stability calculations, prepare voyage plan, complete pre-departure checklist (check propulsion, steering, navigation and communication equipment, etc., etc.), bind deck cargo if necessary, ensure passenger and cargo manifests are complete and in-hand, check-in with dispatcher or rig, make security call, drop lines, don’t forget to check over my shoulder before pulling out ….

Getting underway involves all that and more. 

I can pretty much do it without conscious thought after so many repetitions. Not so much at home.

Wake the 3-year-old, breakfast for the 3-year-old, TV to cartoons, wake the baby, change and dress the baby, breakfast for the baby, dress the 3-year-old, make lunches for both boys, find socks – where are Conor’s damned socks?! – matching shoes for each child (on the correct feet this time, please), remember key card for the day care entrance, remember to carry everything to the truck, carry the baby and strap him into the truck while trying to keep tabs on the 3-year-old … shoo the dog back into the house. Did I even close the door?

Meanwhile, the subjects of my preparations are not made fast to anything, much less a dock. They are in constant motion and need frequent intervention while I’m doing everything else.

Truthfully, getting the boat underway is a lot easier – and faster – than getting the littles out the door to school with everything they need. (And damnit, I just remembered that I was supposed to take a blanket in for the baby this morning).

Some days it’s easier just to keep them at home with me.

My long-suffering and beautiful wife has her own rituals and procedures for mornings, and I’m guessing they are slightly more efficient than mine. Still, she gets the kids out the door and to school every workday before hers even starts, and that’s nothing less than amazing.

My hat’s off to you, Babe. 

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