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After Leave

Now that everyone’s back from their leave we can finally concentrate on making all necessary repairs to the ship. And as soon as we get back, everyone does just that: we concentrate and concentrate.

Problem is that our boats are disposable, which means that once you’ve made them - that’s it. Yeah sure, we might not have any other disposable products in our vast country, but disposable boats are another story entirely. I mean, of course they’ve stocked us with an ample supply of spare parts; but the parts we have are all wrong - we might as well just throw them out - and the ones we need...those ones you won’t be able to find anywhere. Well, except perhaps if you have some pure grain alcohol to offer in exchange. And then only in phenomenal amounts.

(You probably thought we drank it all ourselves? How wrong you are!)

And this goes on for years and years....

I’ve been on twelve patrols. Usually two a year. And more often than not under extreme conditions with “urgent deadlines” when an impossible job needs to be accomplished “no matter what.” When you’re out in the wind and snow loading supplies; when you haven’t slept for days; when all your strength has been sapped and you are so frustrated that it’s all you can do not to scream out; when you feel like pounding the ground with all your might; and it’s not until you are at sea that you can begin the slow process of recovering....

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