My Other Favorite Season

Much like autumn, I always forget how much I adore spring until suddenly it’s right in my face. Especially in the Bay Area, there is something so delicious, so magical about the smells in the air – ALL the flowers, ALL the green grass; about the temperature – sweet and balmy, no-longer-sweater-weather; about the birdsong in the morning and in the evening, where the winter cold still lingers.

This year has been an improvement already. There were a lot of changes in scenery to shake me up – in a good way – starting with a week in the office. They’ve decided to cycle people from the boats through the office periodically, which I have seen done at other companies with positive results. For me this meant mostly reading through the company policy manuals, suggesting improvements, and sitting in with the dispatcher over the weekend and learning (more like trying to learn) the many facets of dispatching the tugs, which is certainly a tough gig. Props to you, dispatchers!

This also meant putting on normal office clothes (kinda fun), waking up at 5 am (not fun), taking a ferry from Vallejo to the city every day (fun! but expensive), and getting to know shoreside personnel better. I enjoyed the experience very much, but could not sustain the desk-job lifestyle. I did the math; the commute via ferry, including gas, parking, and boat fare, cost 32 dollars a day. To drive, including gas and bridge toll, would have been about 24. People do this five days a week! I left the house at six, made it home around seven, made dinner and ate it and at that point it was time to go to bed again. Brutal. It was nice to get the perspective I needed to remember why I work on the boats. We have it so good and we don’t even know it sometimes.

The following weekend was the long-awaited She Sails Meetup (now rebranded by creator Megan as Mettle & Salt; figuring out an original name – one that isn’t already taken – for your idea is no easy task); to read more about the fantastic experience we had in Fall City, you can check out the Sea Sisters Winter Quarterly. I left that gathering feeling energized and ready to go back to work.

I returned to work on a different boat, after having worked on the same boat since I started more than a year ago. It’s amazing how sister ships can be wildly different in build, layout, and overall character. The change was refreshing, and it was great to get to know a different crew. I still have things to improve upon, but I’m getting there. After reorganizing the deck locker – a must for familiarizing yourself with your tools – I settled in.

This week off started out with fun and warm spring parties accompanied by the smell of sugar magnolias, but has culminated in several days of me in bed with the flu. I haven’t been sick like this since college, but it looks like I can finally return to the boat tonight. There are worse places to be than here.

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