Last weekend, I went aboard the ship for the first time in nearly six months to remove the rest of my gear from the first mate’s cabin. It was bittersweet. It was nice to walk around and talk to the old girl again, but I was saddened and dismayed by what I saw. She was looking shabby and unloved.
I stubbornly, maybe foolishly, held on to my keys and other items hoping that things would change or improve. I should have known better.
I was going to write a bitter, pull-no-punches post. A week does wonders. I’ve calmed down. I’ll save all the depressing details for that tell-all book I’ll write someday.
I will say I never really got much respect from the people associated with the ship, because I wasn’t a “waterfront” person (in other words, I don’t have a maritime industry job). Yes, this was actually said to my face at a meeting. After six years working on FOC, I’d like to think I’ve developed some waterfront cred.
Despite this sad end, I don’t regret all the hard work I put into maintaining the ship. To balance off the frustration and anger, I learned a lot and met a lot of wonderful maritime and historic ship folks, who I am very proud to call my friends.
Well…I’m off to the ship to turn in the keys.
An end and a beginning.