It is getting very boring now. I am sure you wont appreciate just what that means so I will try to explain.
I have been out in the Caribbean now since the beginning of December last year, it is now march and I still don’t know when or how I am getting home.
Ok, initially, being out here wouldn’t be a bind if I knew when I was going to get free time and how much so that I could plan to do things but it just doesn’t work like that.
We have now been here for almost three weeks and are none the wiser as to our onward plans but now I do have some time to take an advanced diver course. It becomes a place to sit and wait, without explanation, without knowing how much work I can do here for fear of being told at the drop of a hat that we are moving. Do I take something apart if it is going to make the boat immobile or make the living conditions of those aboard difficult or uncomfortable.
On Thursday last week, the captain gave the go-ahead to begin more serious works on the boat. On Friday, I started shopping for spares so that I could start servicing all three engines on board. It took me all day to find oil filters, oil, gasket sealant, impellors, vinyl gloves (yes Russ, I still use them), empty 25 litre drums for draining old engine oil, a gas cylinder and valve and a set of feeler gauges to check valve clearances. Imagine, you speak no French, how do you ask for a set of feeler gauges? It took me all day.
The situation is really like this, when you have lots of work, you get stuck in, the work gets done and the time passes so quickly. When things are slow, time drags, you struggle to find things to do and then when there is something to do, it is hard to get motivated.
On top of that, I am beginning to find it hard sharing with other people. Problem is, I find them inconsiderate. I try very hard to make sure I only leave my things on my bunk or wash my cup and dry it after a cup of tea or clearing away all of my breakfast things but every morning when I surface, I can see full ashtrays, tobacco, empty coffee cups and beer cans and even sometimes used teabags sitting on top of the oven or in the sink.
Today, I was so hacked off with it that I checked out air france and KLM to see if I could get out.. I even checked recruitment agents to see if there was work elsewhere in the islands.
In the last week, an unattended cigarette has fallen into my engine room and landed on a bath towel I use to protect the wooden floors while I am working. The towel had smouldered away until less than half of it was left before I found it. Less than a week later, a cigarette burn appears in the cockpit table cover and still smoking is allowed on the boat. I just don’t get the level of respect that some people have.
As an engineer, I set the boat up so that everything runs at its optimum, yet some people will happily mess with what I do and ignore my requests to leave things alone because it doesn’t suit their own personal requirements.
It is driving me mad. There is only one reason why I am tolerating it as best I can. I did give my word to the new captain before his promotion that I would not leave him in the shit , without an engineer after he has taken over the boat. I like to be true to my word each day I find it increasingly more difficult.
So I try to calm myself. I have had a weekend on watch. I offered to watch the boat all weekend while the captain was away and also so that I could have time off to complete a dive course. The list of things I must do to achieve my next level of qualification gets increasingly longer and more expensive and in the back of my mind I still remember paddy Whitelaw’s comments on how boring the blog has become.
When I first met paddy, I think he was a little jealous of my footloose and fancy free outlook on life and how I lived. Recently he suggested that it had now changed and I have to say, he isn’t wrong.
I have fallen off that carefree, stressless beach and back onto the treadmill that you all call normal life and I have to say, it fucking stinks!
It is full of shallow people that say what they think needs to be heard instead of what they really want to say – you know the type, the phrase I would use is ´corporate cock suckers´.
I would much rather be with friends that say ´you look like a twat in that` or `that tastes like shit` rather than be surrounded by `its so beautiful’ or ‘I love this cheese’
It is time to get back to the real world