On Tuesday night, we escorted a tanker from anchorage 9 (the sweeping area to the south of the Bay Bridge) up to Martinez. When we arrived and were pushing the ship alongside, we learned that something was wrong with the dock – and we would have to escort the ship all the way back down to the anchorage. We were moments away from crew change and our week of freedom, but instead of crossing the strait and swapping out with the opposite crew, we headed back down the river, following our ship like a tired puppy on a leash.
We were a little frustrated but quickly accepted our circumstances. I unpacked my food-bag and made myself some dinner, and the ones of us who were off watch until midnight settled in for a movie. I texted my mom (aka my roommate) to let her know I would be home later than usual, and she responded with “that’s something your dad would’ve said years ago: ‘things changed’. See you when you get here!”
We tied up in the city after midnight and drove the van back to the dock in Benicia to get our cars, and I arrived home at 2:30 am. I’d had coffee at around 2100, as soon as I learned we would be stuck on a 4-hour escort, and it may have kept me up until 6:30 on Wednesday morning, but who’s to say. My inner clock gets all crazy from work, and so I will often noodle around at home until finally I fall into bed exhausted at the first light of day.