Its 4:30 in the morning and the mood aboard the ship is subdued. Everyone is hiding-in dark corners, behind closed doors, between headphones, or deep in their own thoughts. There is little, or no conversation anywhere on the ship and it has been that way for hours. Operations are currently suspended, so there is no radio chatter, and there are no phone calls.
I've begun doing laundry, tidying up my workspace and things of that nature, a day early due to the lack of work and in anticipation of the next 72 hours being the polar opposite. A supply ship should arrive on station sometime tomorrow. A personnel transfer takes place tomorrow and operations should also resume late morning or early afternoon, as well.
I've retreated to my cabin after a cup of yogurt and a slice of wheat toast. I spend little time in here during the trip, but always seem drawn here near the end; almost as if it represents my home here and I'm going to miss it. But I doesn't and I won't.
Sure, I'll miss the crew. There's the guy who spent a week, mapping out a two-state, eleven-city, Hooters tour for the upcoming break. Every day, on Mapquest, tweaking his route to make it as efficient as possible. He will be filling up some sort sort of Hooters passbook in order to get a free Hooters party that consists of 200 wing dings, or some such fare-boobies included. I'll miss the tall, quiet guy who's in turmoil over his ex-wife's treatment of their children, contemplating the agony of family court. He never talks much to me and last night felt compelled to spill his guts for two hours, over too many cups of coffee in the mechanics shack. The old, wise one who just may have been the first pirate ever and is so near to retirement that he can taste it; I'll miss him, too.
I could go on, but I won't. I'm going to pack some of things going home with me; this time for good. Then, I'm going to get a cuppa joe and look for sharks cruising the edge of the light shining off the stern, until the sun begins to rise.