I was hoping to be taking a photo today of the coast line of Delaware as we motored south with great anticipation toward the Gulf of Mexico.
That's about where we would have been, IF OUR OFFICE DIDN'T CALL US LAST NIGHT AND TELL US TO TURN AROUND AND RETURN TO NEW YORK!!!!
Our new orders are to take a load of oil to Puerto Rico.
The whole crew is disappointed, but not surprised. Here's why. Let me give you a snap shot of the decision making process at my company.
For 8 days prior to June 3rd, our tug and barge sat idle at anchor, with no jobs. A few days at anchor is nice, but after about a week everyone tends to get a bit ansy.
So, on June 3rd at 8am, we were very glad to hear that our dispatchers called and started asking the Captain questions like, "How many days will it take you to get to the Gulf?" They said nothings definite, but this trip might happen.
A little murmur of anticipation swept through the crew.
I started thinking about things I would need before we would leave on a 7 day trip, fuel, water, those parts I've been waiting for. Ah, it probably won't even happen, I thought.
10am: Office calls and tells us to head down to the harbor to get fuel, looks like the trip is a go.
Now we're pumped. Not only are we getting underway, we're heading to the Gulf, which has been in the news everyday. Everybod has a little giddyup in their step.
For the next few hours we run around getting supplies, getting charts for the trip and generally preparing the boat for a week at sea.
1600 hrs. Office calls and says the trip is off. It fell through.
Oh man, talk about a buzz killer.
So we pouted like kids as we drove the tug back to our anchored barge.
1630 hrs. The office calls and says the trips back on, go get the fuel you'll need.
So, to the fuel dock we go and wait in line for our turn at the pump.
Once again we're excited. We waited for a few hours before we could get our fuel, and during that time more phone calls, telling us to continue to prepare for our trip, but it's not definite.
My thinking around this time was, what idiot is in charge of this fiasco?
Finally we get to the fuel dock and it's after midnight when I get finished. The office tells us to go back to the anchored barge and standby for orders. When I went to bed at 2am or so, I didn't know what the story was, but we were physically ready to go. Time would tell.
I really was looking forward to this trip. I just wanted to see first hand this terrible oil spill and it would have felt good if our barge played any part in the response.
I woke up the next morning when I heard the engines maneuvering. I poked my head out of my room and found out that yes, we were headed to the Gulf. So off we went out the harbor and hung a right, heading south for the Florida Keys.
We joked among ourselves for the first few hours that we could still get that call from the office saying the trip was cancelled. We were joking, but subconsciously we knew.
1815 hrs. Phone call from the office telling us to stop, turn around and head back to New York Harbor.
So here I sit in New York again. We will be loading the barge on monday and then heading for Puerto Rico. It should take us 15 days or so.
None of us is excited about this.
There are no disasters to help with in Puerto Rico.
This is me being disappointed.