Location: Nakhodka Bay, Russia
Shipped lined up waiting for days for the fuel ships to deliver the cheapest fuel on the planet. it took three days of straight fueling to top her up.
We arrived in Nakhodka Bay in Russia where all the ships stop to refuel, there must have been two dozen waiting for the cheap quality fuel. But no one can deboard the ships. The immigration officers got on board with their Russian rabbit fur hats on, both ladies and before I knew it I was told I could go. Which was a bit of relief.
That afternoon I got my sim cards and couldn’t get them to work much at all, which nearly broke my spirit. I finally gave up and went to sleep early, knowing that I would be tattooing the 3rd mate the next afternoon. Still I couldn’t sleep without the Tylenol pm and some scotch.
Sun shining on Russia, totally frustrating that i could swim there to go check it out, but id probably freeze to death on the way.
Morning came early, about 4, I couldn’t sleep, I told myself it was going to be a good day, and it was. I woke to 3G service and starting texting, reaching a handful a friends that gave this whole mission across the seas new meaning. It gave me perspective that I was missing until that first text came through. Holy fucking shit how could I have missed the meaning of what I will have accomplished until now?
I ate lunch, and immediately following did the tattoo. It gave me meaning again. Then I spoke with my parents and that caused tears of joy. It was only about 6 minutes of talking through Skype, but it was everything, all of a sudden I was standing proudly, having crossed this ocean and slayed the fucking dope dragon yet again, for now at least, I’m too wise to its trickery to say forever.
The sun shone brightly and with this rebirth I recognized who I am, what this is for and how important it is to continue. I give thanks for all that is given to me, all the opportunity I have, friends and family in my life. I am a lucky man, richer than any man I have ever met. It only took a little over two weeks to forget and its amazing how the smallest gestures from those special few can bring you to tears of joy, elation and a new sense of maverick purpose, I am but an instrument of the Gods. Every time i find myself low, i find stronger hands than mine lifting me up, thats the meaning of life i suppose and the great gem of knowledge i have earned crossing this great ocean. I learn it again and again throughout my life.
That afternoon Cadet Oliver, my hero, knocked at my door, it was around 330pm and we did a tour of the ship that lasted till about 6. it was incredible. our daily lives are completely dependent on these containers and these few men that ferry them around the world. the ship is massive and Oliver is like a 24 year old mad scientist who detailed so many things about cooling systems, fire systems, ballasts and engines, generators and every kind of compass and navigation system known to man. the fuel ship is next to us now, it takes 3 ships and about 50 hours to refuel, they only refuel in Russia once per round trip across the pacific and back. the fuel has to be heated in order to be put on board and a bit off putting to know that I’m sitting on a giant petrol bomb smoking cigarettes end to end.
We will be leaving tomorrow morning, a day early passing North Korea and onward to China after 3 days at sea to the port town of Ningbo, China. the next 3 ports are 18 hour visits or shorter, which means no shore time probably.