It’s been a long hitch. It started with a couple of nice short trips for the first four days and ended with a seemingly endless ten days in shipyard. Everything involved in a two engine tear down and ancilliary projects that can be knocked out in a two week window were addressed. I was in four or five places at once trying to keep track of what was getting done, what can’t get done and what might get done. My Chief Engineer was neck deep in the work dragging his cadet along for the duration. I couldn’t imagine a better opportunity for an engineering cadet than to be part of such a tear-down and rebuild.
As my hitch is ending the boat is nearly ready to head for the Gulf of Mexico for what promises to be a more active than usual hurricane season, yay! My relief has been briefed on the loose ends for the final days of our yard period, sea trials will be performed within the next day or so to work out the bugs. Fuel, supplies, water, pumping out the slop tank and grubbing up for the voyage south will follow directly.
The photo above is the actual portal through which I pass each hitch. At the beginning of my hitch I’m on the outside looking in with my mind well into the game. I will have already had a preliminary briefing from my alternate and will get the whole enchilada once aboard. Thereafter, it’s fourteen days of focus and attention, and a slightly sleep deprived state of being.
At the end of the hitch (the point where I’ve taken this photo) is where I begin to decompress and let it all go. Once I’ve crossed this threshold the world behind me is fast becoming a dim memory. Something the poor office bound folks behind me can’t do, I can forget about the job for almost two weeks. As I move along I don’t tune in the radio or lean too hard on the accelerator. I’m on my way home and to a nice dinner with my wife and perhaps more than two glasses of wine. I’ll take a day to unwind and then it’s back to any “honey-do” lists that are waiting for my attention. Until it’s time to check in on the boat, I will enjoy my free time as if I’ll never get another day off. So long for now, the wife and I are headed for the Caribbean