There we were, all set for a Houston, TX crew change. Sitting peacefully at anchor waiting for our berth to become available. The "Contest" was in full swing. Life was good.
And then the phone rang.
"Pick up the hook and head for Corpus Christi (my favorite place) ASAP!"
The best laid plans (and flight arrangements) laid to waste.
So began the tugboat version of a "Chinese Fire Drill".
As we were starting the engines and getting ready to haul anchor in order to get underway, we were also waking up the guys who were off-watch. We had all booked our flights to leave out of Houston the following day. All of those flights were now null-and-void. We also had to call our reliefs to let them know that their Houston plans were also just sent directly to the garbage can (or recycling bin, for those who are environmentally conscious).
Our wheelhouse isn't designed for 6 guys to be talking on the phone, booking flights on the computer, and sending text messages/talking to their relief as I'm trying to maneuver the boat. Or any other time, for that matter.
Plus, some people on our crew are more technology savvy than others. Which becomes blatantly obvious when you have less than an hour for everyone to complete all of the required cancellations and re booking before we get offshore far enough where Internet and phone is no longer available. Time was of the essence. Monkeys. Footballs. You complete the sentence.
Even with mass confusion and chaos reigning, we all managed to get everything done before communication blackout arrived. We even got a phone call saying our berth would be available upon arrival in Corpus Christi. Which was a relief, considering past crew change performance and the less-than-stellar forecast for the next few days. Plus, going to anchor would mean another day of the "Contest". Berth on arrival sounded good to us.
Sometime during the morning hours, berth on arrival, turned into "go to anchor". Which then turned into "the job might be cancelled". Which turned into "we don't know". Our second best laid out plans might be going into the recycling bin as well.
As it turns out, we went straight into berth. The Captain has a few less hairs from being unceremoniously ripped from his head during all of the commotion/uncertainty. But at least one thing went as planned. Berth on arrival.
|The eggs would finally live to see another day|
However, as all things Corpus Christi crew change go, it's not all rainbows and unicorns. TPWSNBN decided that it would be easier for the guys flying in to just keep their flights into Houston and then drive to Corpus. So we don't expect them to be at the boat until 3:00 AM. At the earliest.
In addition, we also got to perform a random drug test when we got to the dock.
No better end to a trip than getting off the boat a couple of hours late, in Corpus Christi, after having to pee in a cup.
This blog practically writes itself.