Well, I count myself lucky that the majority of my first watch back can be spent on things I want to do, rather than cargo operations.
I got to NY last night, and stayed at the usual hotel set up for us by my employer. As always, it was 90% full of refugees and homeless, but for once, the screaming and fighting wasn't overwhelming once I had my door closed. Just a background annoyance, at that point. I guess the city of NY turfs their dependents at discount hotels within the city. At any rate, it's in a modest but safe neighborhood, so what the hell, the price is right. I can't get much sleep there, but it's a good way to transition from the pleasures at home to the austerity of HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/Hot Dog Emporium.
Towards the end of my watch we'll head for a terminal to load up on heavy fuel oil, and from there, it's on. But for now, I was able tonight to cook some portions of my meals ahead of time, pay bills, get caught up on work-related emails and do a walkaround the HQ to see what there is to see. Prepositioning myself, in other words, so when we do work, I have minimal distractions and can get back into the groove.
I wish it was always at this pace. Still, I was a touch groggy when I woke up for watch, but that got dispelled fairly quickly. I was able to get a 4-hour nap before my watch, so that's a good start. Hopefully I'll repeat that at the end of this watch too.
I can't remember the last time I came back to work rested and in a state where I was ready to work, where it wasn't a trial of patience. It's been too long, too many months of working extra weeks. This was my second time in a row of not working any overtime, and it's paid off in terms of my well-being. I feel better. Hopefully this translates into a more peaceful and rewarding tour than the last few!