Saturday, March 28, 2009

Leaving is the hardest part

I always find that the last night at home is the hardest part of going
to work at sea. You try and put on a brave face to show your
significant other that it isn't all bad, that your happy to be going
back to the ship or the tug or the rig because you've "Got to pay the
bills" but it's never very convincing. Sometimes you'll go out to
dinner to avoid the kitchen you'll be missed from for the next two,
three or four months. Other times you stay at home to avoid the public
and the chance that you'll have to explain to yet another acquaintance
once again the painful reality of your livelihood and why you'll be
disappearing from town for the next couple of months.

One way or another that lasts night sleep is never sufficient rest for
the crack of dawn when your flight is usually scheduled for. You
reluctantly hit the rain locker, wake your partner up and quickly
depart into the cold morning hoping you didn't forget some crucial
piece of paper.

Once at the airport you usually prefer to cast off from the curb
rather than prolonging the process of saying goodbye for longer than
most couples ever part from the awkwardness of the terminal. After
that last hug it quickly turns from another morning of self doubt and
questioning about why it is again you must go so far away for so damn
long to make a living to game time which always begins with a warm up
with the TSA and the always dissapointing domestic airlines.

Well that's how it is with me atleast. My most recent hitch began just
like this and I've been noticing how fortunate I am to one; be able to
adjust back to life in the industry so quickly and two; date someone
who can get on with her life as soon as I'm out the door. Not that
being independent spirits makes it any easier but atleast we can exist
in our own worlds, mine at sea and hers in town, with a semblance of
self satisfaction that can persevere the time apart.

That satisfaction I find at work is a big part of the job and one of
the few aspects that make the pros outweigh the cons of being a
mariner. Without that I doubt that I could exist for very long away
from all the little luxuries of life which sailors have always been

So the next two months of my life have started and I won't even think
about how many days I have left until it's down to a week. I've set a
few goals for myself onboard as I usually do to give me something
beyond overtime to focus on during our passages. I'm glad to be back
on a familiar ship where I know the systems, the procedures, and most
importantly the crew. AB Mac is still here after a brief sojurn to get
his TWIC so well have plenty of midwatches to peruse my Schooner Fare
albums while spitting and telling lies. Now to the holds where there
are lashings to be checked.

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