A while back the office asked for some of my photos. They wanted to use them in their newsletter - and then they wanted me to write a little article to accompany them. They specifically requested photos from my sunrise series. I did write a little article...but it was pretty boring...and someone called me out on it before I sent it in. They recommended that I tell a story instead. In the meantime, while I was re-writing the article I started to get pissed.
The whole thing just felt ridiculous. Like no, you can't just have some pretty sunrise photos. We do more than that out here. I wanted them to have to tell the whole story. You can't just get the good parts. Those parts are for us. We earn the good parts. The good parts get us through the other parts. The best parts are the people that we share the good parts with after we get through the other parts.
I sent in the following article...needless to say it was not approved for publication...
Sometimes, when you get on a boat for the first time it takes awhile to find your footing. There are new people to develop a working relationship with, new systems to learn, and new vessel-specific idiosyncrasies to identify. It’s been my experience that when you truly bond with a shipmate or a vessel it’s because you’ve just come out on the other side of a ‘situation’ unscathed.
Which is exactly how Donny and I bonded: we had a ‘situation’ and spent an afternoon elbow deep in the MSD a.k.a ‘poop tank’.
After flushing the head I noticed that a lot of air bubbles came up in the head across the passage way. I say to Donny (the Chief Engineer), ‘ummm…just an fyi…I think something bad might be happening with the heads…’. Twenty hours later we realize that due to sitting in the yard for several months waiting to head to Red Dog the poop tank wasn’t ready to *ahem* be used so heavily.
We popped the top off the tank and rigged up our de-watering pump to clear it out. It ’s an all hands on deck evolution - with crew monitoring each critical point of the operation.
The jokes were endless. The smell was eye watering. We laughed and laughed and laughed.
A crew might enjoy a gorgeous sunrise together but, that’s not where you bond. You bond in heavy seas, gale force winds, and twenty hour days: when the going gets tough and you laugh your way through it.
Here’s to pumping out poop tanks so you can enjoy a sunrise with your friends.
*I was going to title this post shit tanks an sunrises but well, I decided I couldn't swear in the post title...so here's to poopy sunrises!