Thursday, November 8, 2012

And a partridge in a pear tree

Sometimes sequels suck.  Sometimes they dominate.  Sometimes they are just different?  I'm not gonna lie about it.  The last couple months sucked some life force out of me.  Kinda like when you're playing a video game and the little life meter at the top or bottom of the screen shifts from being full power to low power and just inches its way to the edge of the screen?  But sometimes you get the banana or star or whatever and it brings you back to at least half power but then creeps keep shooting or punching or otherwise hindering your progress?  That was B season 2012.  I'm off the boat now, but it hasn't stopped.

You know about some of the new faces and it isn't the same and blah blah blah.  What you didn't know is that on the first trip I tore my rotator cuff in my left shoulder.  I saw the doctor on the companies dime thankfully and she was pretty sure that's what it was but referred me to the orthopedic surgeon to confirm etc.  Well, the boat was leaving before said appointment and we made a meager 800 dollars net in our first trip of Haik.  I don't like Haik.

So I was faced with the choices of living life with 800 dollars plus whatever I had without my projected earnings for the season over the next several months or hearing Mickey tell me to 'get up because he loved me' and that 'he didn't hear no bell'.  I stuck it out, telling the insurance guy for the company over my shoulder that I'd keep them in the loop and if it didn't get any worse I could work through it.  Which turned out to be true, as far as it goes.

We headed north.  To catch yellow fin.  Now, compared to Haik (still not sure how to spell 'Haik'), yellow fin is a cash cow.  But I knew better than to get too excited.  Anyway, we went.  And in that time I got promoted to freezer lead.  Yay.  Also, in that time I got an abscessed tooth.  That hurt.  A lot. I spent a period of ten days of my last trip working sixteen and a half hours and averaging two hours of sleep because the pain made it hard to fall asleep.  The state of the boat, at the time, was a bit 'dodgy', as it were.  We were missing one of our foremen because he had a heart attack at sea and apparently almost didn't get to land in time for treatment.  For one reason or another.  I was not the doctor.  I can't speak to the accuracy of the statement.  That was the rumor.

Fraternizing with the observers is strictly prohibited and punishable in any number of ways.

I was told I would be leaving on a 'medical'.  That means there is no negative consequence for getting off the boat and travel expenses are paid.  The paper work I signed said there was no deductions from my check to be made.  Which is important, because after seeing another dentist yesterday, I got an estimate for a root canal.  North of three thousand dollars.  Ya.

Upon checking in with the company I learned that travel was deducted.  Life meter is dwindling.  But the captain and factory manager liked my night watch style, so I still have a gig there as long as the insurance guy approves it.  Life meter in a state of limbo.  Here we are.  A Motel six in Seattle.  The light was left on.

I like the sea.  I got promoted.  All good things.  Rotator cuff surgery may not be as forgiving as even the Bering Sea.  And I might have to just yank this tooth out.  But, assuming I have a job that I am fit to perform next season, we are supposed to have machines that cut the heads off the fish which will nearly double both their selling price and our shares.  So there is that.

All in all, it was a rough B season.  Torn rotator cuff, abscessed tooth and a hundred days plus at sea. Two bouts of pneumonia. Sick with a cold or flue for a full week and a half.  The worse galley you ever thought about.  Rules may or may not have been broken.  Some new friends.  A few bucks.  A desolate Motel room.  Hard to complain.  Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum...

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