You may have noticed a gap in the blog. By taking on the challenge of being a line handler, several things have happened, and not all of them are good. It is an excellent opportunity to get outside and be physical and active. It is also a responsibility to live up to. I have found it difficult to maintain my regular sleep schedule because most of the vessel activity takes place during daytime hours. It also takes place out in the bay, far from any computers. Even when we are waiting for the boat to dock, there is no way to fill the time writing. Twice now I have had less than 5 hours of sleep before returning to my regular overnight job.
We have a target arrival time of course, but any delays created by weather or tides affecting the ships ability to enter the port are then transferred to the line handlers crew on the peer. The first call was for 8:00am, and while I was getting ready to go, the second page arrived saying delayed till 9am. We did manage to secure the ice breaker before noon, but I still had to get back home and try to fall asleep. And the excitement was just too much. I think I got about 3 hours real sleep that day. I have lots of pictures from the second landing as well, but it takes so long to load them into the computer here that I have chosen to save most of them till later.
We have received and released the CG ice breaker twice and are ready to receive the fuel tanker this morning. It is very time consuming work, and while hauling the lines themselves is heavy work, it is a small portion of the overall time. The teams of people we have make it much easier. A majority of the people who are on this crew are just like me: From the landlocked states where these big boats are never seen. I don’t really know yet if I am more impressed with the penguins and seals I now see on a daily basis, or with the fact that I am standing on an iceberg floating in arctic waters beside a million gallon firecracker.
This is emblazoned across the front of the massive observation deck of the fuel vessel. I don’t smoke, but if I did you wouldn’t have to tell me twice. I’d simply not work the lines. And I’d probably be in bed right now. I’ll tell you more about the tanker tomorrow. I have to put my gloves on and go play on the beach.