Another day in paradise. Woke up exhausted and I've been onboard less than a week. This place saps the energy out of you at first, due to your body fighting the constant rocking of the boat and the pressure of the job that ramps up as soon as your opposite departs on crew-x day. Thank god for coffee, as the Malarone I'm taking for malaria is also wiping me out and giving me nightmares all night. Malarone, coffee and a smoke-breakfast of champions!
Yesterday, the sat comms began to noticeably deteriorate. They are shit, now. I've been able to get through checking, replying to email and Twitter and managed to read most of the my usual blogs in Google Reader, but it took hours. Still working on communications to and from the office. Priorities.
Was thinking today that I'm supposed to be a geophysicist-one of those geeks who sits at a desk fiddling with his pocket protector. As someone mentioned to me the other day, I'm the exception to every rule. Instead of a pocket protector in my button down shirt, I'm sitting here in bright orange work pants and ratty T-shirt with a six-inch boat knife strapped to my leg. I'm prepared to gut my computer like a fish if it gives me the slightest error. I'm contemplating taking a break from the chair to head out back and strip barnacles from the in-sea gear with a heavy rope and my trusty knife. Later this week I start getting re-certified in crane operations, rigging and slinging. Swinging 20-ton loads around with a 60 ft crane on a rolling, pitching ship is....interesting, I guess you could say. Next month I head off to get re-certified in HUET and prepare myself to get out of a helicopter after it crashes into the sea, flips upside-down and sinks underwater. That and FIRE fighting. I loves me some fire.
Anyway, I'm feeling very reflective and wondering how I ended up out here in such a weird fucking job. All I ever wanted to do in life was genetically modify humans, go into space, or pound on rocks with a hammer-not this shit. I'm not complaining, mind you, just wondering how fate managed to dump me out here off the coast of West Africa instead of a regular, 9-5 existence. My only real complaint is that I miss my wife and children and friends, terribly. OK, maybe also the sometimes really shitty food, or the fact that I can't drink milk for 7 months/year. Some green vegetables that aren't brown would be nice once in a while, too.
Still, as Tony Robbin's tweet today says "When the heart grieves over what it has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left." - Sufi quote. My spirit rejoices in the fact that I have a job at all, in these tough times. I hope you all are healthy, happy and at peace on this fine day.