Friday, August 28, 2009

Struggling Next to Sisyphus

We've been calling this drydock "Groundhog Day" for a while now, but now there's a new desperation to each day. Tomorrow is day 147 of being in the shipyard, and while we're back in the water, we're not out of the woods yet. Ugh I hate mixing metaphors and platitudes. Here are a few more platitudes, though: Everything happens for a reason. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Tomorrow will be a better day. Things could be worse.

So what brought all this cynicism about, especially after my exuberance of a few days ago? Well, since the boat has gone back into the water, we've been overcoming about an obstacle a day. And hell, who am I fooling? It's not "we," since I really haven't done much of anything except stand around and ask questions, it's all my guys.

The first day, we couldn't get a cap off one of the fuel tank sounding tubes, delaying fueling by about four hours and causing some contentious debates with the contractor about who tightened the fool thing so tight that we had to drill it out.

The second day (after the engineers got done fueling the night before at 7:22pm--they started their day with the rest of us at 7am) my Chief found a fuel leak in one of the fuel tanks, into the engine room. A fuel leak is never a good thing, but it's even worse going into the engine room. This one really pisses me off...some joker somewhere back in the history of the ship, don't know how long ago, put this patch of caulk into this god-awful hard to see spot up underneath a joiner and DIDN'T DOCUMENT IT!! I have some nasty cuss words for this particular individual. So no one knew this patch was even there until we put fuel into the tanks, they leaked, we went investigating, and pulled out a chunk of rusty caulk...and now we're left with another patch job when we've tried so hard to do all the repairs the right way during this drydock. No one but no one, not even me on my most meticulous day, wanted us to stick around for another two weeks while we fixed this pisser of an oversight. Needless to say, we will be documenting it for inclusion into the next maintenance availability. But that was a day delay that takes us to today.

Today's rock to be pushed up the hill is our shafts. Or one of our shafts. It's out of whack. If it doesn't go into whack, and we try to use it, it'll "wobble like a wet noodle," as my Chief says. We'll find out more about it tomorrow, but this was definitely one rock that I really would have rather kept at the top of the molehill (more mixing of metaphors). We were so close to being out of the drydock...only .016" is keeping us there.

I'm just whining. I have no solutions to offer, other than to keep going.

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