After more than a month off, I’m finally going back to work. None too soon, either – I guess that sounds heartless, but when you normally work four weeks and take only two weeks off between hitches, you could conceivably get terribly restless after not working for five weeks. I’m practically hysterical at this point, but I get more worked up than most because I’m a woman and emotional to excess; also, it’s just the way I am. Anyway, enough. I took time off from work last month to take GMDSS (global marine distress & safety system, a comprehensive radio distress alerting and communication system that is required on vessels over a certain tonnage and any new SOLAS vessel, as far as I know) at PMI in Seattle, and while I’d been told it was the hardest class ever and was ready for two weeks of hell, it truly wasn’t that bad. I enjoy using the single side band radio at work and it was fascinating to go deeper into radio theory.
Aside from the class, in October I made it to (part of) a wedding, and several birthdays including that of my younger twin brothers, one of their girlfriends, my boyfriend, his roommate, and my own. October is the birthday month for my family. I went home to California after finishing GMDSS and from there flew to Jacksonville a week later for a two-day Crowley deck officer meeting. That was a constructive trip – I put names of guys I haven’t sailed with yet to faces and met a few higher-ups at dinner on the first night. On the second day a gal from the office who manages crew training gave an extremely useful presentation on HR and how to deal with interpersonal conflicts on the job – I’m not saying anything, but I’ll probably need that skill set in the nearer future. I flew to Seattle from Jax and went out for Halloween for the first time in several years, then spent one more week with my friends before going back to Napa to tie up loose ends and pack my sea bag. I’m at SFO now waiting to fly to Jax via Charlotte, NC. When the year is out I’ll have to try to count all the times I’ve left the ground in an airplane since February – I’m afraid I lost track a long time ago.