Nautie Friends Ask :: 'What the hell are you up to?'

First, why are you in Maine and why did you take a different job than on the ship (and what exactly *is* your current job)? Will you be going back onto a ship in the future?


I went to Maine for a bit to see old friends and be a little more social than I had been in Hawaii.  Hawaii is really easy for me because it's my home town.  When I'm there, I hang out with my Mom a lot, I hang out with my Step Dad a lot, I putz around my house and every now and then I hang out with old friends.  When I'm in Maine, I hang out with friends a lot, I go see indie movies, I go have draft cider in cool basement bars, I go boating, I make pot roast, and I have bon fires.  Maine is just a little bit better of a place for me to be at age 28.  I still own my home in Hawaii.  I'm not officially living in Maine...I'm kind of just squatting.  The way I tell those who don't know me very well about my living arrangements is that I'm a snow bird who splits her year.

All that being said, I didn't really spend very much time in Maine!  This vacation has seen a week in Massachusetts, a few days in Connecticut, a week in New Hampshire, a week in Florida and now a month in Virginia!  So, I think it might be accurate enough to say that I'm actually a gypsy with a nice car.

I actually didn't take a different job than on the ship.  I consider this stint in the office professional development.  Basically, they were short handed in the office and I'm always up for new experiences that might give me an edge.  I'm currently working with the commercial chartering department for the tankers.  Which means that I'm working with those who actually find the cargo for the ship.  It's amazing how much a learn a day and how much what I've learned at sea has helped me in the office.  My seagoing experience helps me learn just a little bit quicker because I know the basic vocabulary and operational requirements of a tanker....specifically the tankers in question since I've sailed on two out of four.  I'm also assisting where needed with the technical organization.  These guys are the ones on the front lines in communication with the vessels to ensure that they have what they need to keep the ship moving and cargo flowing safely.  They order spare parts, arrange for servicing in port, trouble shoot mechanical issues, you name it they do it.

I've worked in the office before but, never for this long and never with this specific group.  I feel as if I have a fresh perspective that I was in dire need of.  I had been getting very cynical on the ship - wondering why things weren't being purchased in a timely fashion and why decisions weren't being made.  While the perspective hasn't been one hundred percent positive it is perspective non the less.  At the end of the day the ships are a business and dollar is the bottom line.  When I'm aboard the vessel it becomes my life.  I don't have anywhere to go, anyone to see or anything to do other than exactly what I'm doing at that moment.  Which means, that when decisions negatively impact me, it feels very personal.  As if, someone made the decision that my comfort or safety didn't matter.

In short, I'm having fun and learning in the office.  A very dangerous combination...I think realizing that shoreside work could be fun might motivate me to leave sea a little sooner than expected.  In the meantime...I go back to shipboard life in two weeks.  Gotta make that money!