The Life of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

This is so me when I heard he’s going to be helicoptered in to a remote offshore location…

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When he’s home, like he’s been for about a month, I can totally erase from my mind the fact that he’ll have to leave –a little amnesia — and when “the call” comes in, I get all cranky and whiny, because it’s time for the fun to end and my other life as a single woman starts all over again.

It’s another critical situation and so far away only a helicopter will be able to approach — and then what? Land on a boat? In the water? Will he be dropped down a rope? Loaded in a basket?

He isn’t here right now as he’s a a United States Coast Guard class for licensing maintenance (at least it’s local) but when he comes home, I will definitely get the answers to my questions, not that any of them will make me feel great, but at least I’ll know what to expect.

All I know for sure is that whatever it is,  it’s dangerous.

And I’d rather have him here, at home, with me.

But he has to go, and like he says, the sooner he goes, the sooner he’ll be home.

Or something like that.

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The Sometimes Dangerous Life of a Mariner

ocean-quoteThe ocean is magical, but can be deadly, too.

Being a professional mariner means ongoing education, whether it’s Dynamic Positioning and other technology, or survival training.

(Read about Dynamic Positioning here: https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/08/29/why-would-a-tugboat-need-to-stop-motion/)

This is the part I don’t like to even think about.

How would you like to be trapped into a helicopter that was submerged upside down? Under water. IN THE DARK.

That’s where my tugboat man was.

He had about ten seconds to unhook his harness, smash open the window, swim out and up, all the while holding his breath.

AND WITH HIS EYES CLOSED.

It’s called “Helicopter Underwater Egress Drills” as part of Tropical Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (T-HUET)

You know what it really is?

A whole bunch of my nightmare scenarios all rolled into one.

When hub told me all about it, I could feel myself freaking out.

I’m not much of a swimmer; I HATE being underwater, and cannot even imagine how panicked I’d get in that situation, even if it was a drill.

The purpose is to “equip delegates with the basic emergency response knowledge and skills required in the event of a helicopter emergency with specific focus on escaping from a helicopter following ditching and
sea survival techniques.”

Yup, he’s leaving soon for one of those potentially dangerous oceangoing assignments  — not exactly tropical as the course title suggests, because he’ll actually be in freezing or below freezing temperatures.

It’s no wonder I require a daily telephone call or email and why, if I don’t hear from him, I start to worry.

Such is the life of a mariner’s wife.