Friday, May 16, 2008

One Week Down

Today marks one week onboard.  I'm finally settled in, it took longer than usual to get acclimated, both to the heat and to the rhythm of shipboard life.  It can be difficult sometimes, to get used to everything pitching and rolling, vibrating and the noise.  There are always computer fans humming, thermal plotters shoving out plot rolls and inch at time, chains and ropes banging, loose items rolling in the drawers, or on shelves.  The engines and waves banging the bow.  Lets not forget the engine alarms-wailing sirens that can be heard from anywhere on the ship.  These go off every couple of hours. (I don't know why)

Anyhow, then there's eating a snack for breakfast at midnight, breakfast for lunch at 5:30 am and lunch for dinner, at noon.  It's all so different than life at home, but once your settled, it's also oddly comforting and very familiar.  Which is in total contrast to the job, which can get stressful, chaotic and very frustrating, at times.  Cutting edge technology and the unpredictable, harsh and sometimes violent ocean do not mix well and make for some interesting challenges.

Speaking of challenges, this trip I've abandoned my cherished elliptical cross-trainer for the medic-sponsored circuit training program.  All my previous trips on this ship, I would laugh at the medic and crew as they popped into the gym for their short, 20-minute workout.  Ensconced above them on my elliptical, music blasting in my headphones, I couldn't hear them, but I would watch and laugh at what really was a comical sight.  They looked to be doing little more than bending and squatting and only for a few minutes.  Sadly, they were all a bit uncoordinated and that really lent a comedic air to the whole affair.

Nonetheless, after talking shit about the program since December, I was persuaded to give it a try this time around.  Chiefly due to the fact that its being run out on the helideck after my shift and between that and a pick-up game of basketball, there was no room for me to just run laps.  After all it was freezing when I left home and yesterday it cracked 100 degrees.  Can't pass up a bit of sun after a long, cold winter.

Well, suffice to say that I will no longer be talking shit about the circuit training.  It has proven to be difficult and exhausting, partly due to having to accommodate my busted finger, but mostly due to the medic making sure he works us to the bone in this soul-crushing heat.  Its been three days and I hurt everywhere.  My abdominal muscles hate me.  I'm also sleeping like the dead, and that, however, is a big plus on here.

That's about it from here.  It's nearly time for me to get up off my couch and head in for shift.


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