Woke up to this terse email from my tugboat man:
P.S. What he means by “go in” is sailing into a safe port, but now the weather is swirling all around him, and best practices dictate staying offshore. Oh, and “shitty” is a mariner term too haha.
I’m pretty sure I can speak for most mariner spouses when I say that we’re not completely calm unless our guys are on land — terra firma — and in our sightline.
There are just so many variables out there on the water; like that routine voyage from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico, which my hub has done a zillion times—can be fraught with danger.
IF everything goes wrong. Not just one or two things, but as in the case of El Faro, EVERYthing went wrong. Loss of engine power, taking on water, steering directly into the eye of the hurricane. Like that.
I checked the National Weather Service offshore waters forecast for the area he’s in and it’s not great: high seas and strong to GALE FORCE winds with a late hurricane season disturbance.
In mariner terms, winds are categorized on the Beaufort Scale. Here’s a graphic:
Even though I know he’s the BEST captain in the world-
Even though I know he’s the SAFEST captain in the world-
Even though I know he’s been through dozens of bad storms all over the world-
Even though I know all of that, the El Faro tragedy is so fresh in our minds that it causes more worry.
I keep the boat phone handy—just in case.
I monitor the weather—just in case.
I put the company phone number on speed dial—just in case.
The worry is a constant thread that runs right along with all my other thoughts.
Like keeping a tab open on the computer and refreshing it every couple of seconds.
The worry is there at the gym during an (amazing) kickboxing class.
The worry is there grocery shopping.
Watching television can’t drown it out, nor does reading a book. (Poor choice of words.)
It’s very stressful, and when retail therapy doesn’t work its magic, you KNOW I’m super worried.
Tugs are very sturdy vessels; I’m sure he will be FINE.
After all, we have to decorate the nursery, right?
To all the mariners out on the high seas, be extra careful.
And a little merchant mariner humor…