Thursday, July 4, 2013

Transatlantic Tow 2006, Day 12

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

Here I was, having such a nice day, when all of a sudden...

Well, let me tell you about my nice day, first.

The first picture I attached was the sunrise this morning, courtesy of Howard Granger, our Radio Operator.

We passed by the White Cliffs of Dover around 12.30 pm today (8.00 am Nfld. time). It was pretty hazy (?smoggy?) but you could see 'em. It was beautiful. I took all kinds of photos, and even figured out how to use the video function on my camera, so now it's like having a new toy. Only problem is, the files are too big to email. All of you can heave a collective sigh of relief... NOW!!

I did attach a couple of pictures to this email, with the WC of D in the background, that white line you see. Trust me, it's got a better 'wow' factor in real life. Plus, it is a hazy day, remember!

A bunch of us were standing out on the bridge wing area, looking at the coastline and all the vessels coming and going. I suggested we go up on the helideck to get a more panoramic view. We were only up there about 10 minutes, when we noticed this little twin prop plane come from the France side of the channel, and buzz by two small fishing boats, which were pretty far away from us. Nevertheless, we thought this was pretty cool. Next thing we know, this same little plane is making a beeline for us. It circled us about 4 times, way close. One time, it was so low you couldn't see it when it dipped below the level of the helideck. I got a FABULOUS video of it, a full 180 degree circle around us, but it's an 11MB file and impossible to email. What a pity! It seems that we're a bit of a novelty, even in sealanes as busy as the English Channel. (If any of you have an email program that can support receiving 4 or 5 MB files, let me know and I'll send you a little clip, if you want.)
So, needless to say there was not a lot of work done this afternoon. The weather is beautiful again today, warm and breezy. Everybody is so excited. I was talking to one guy as we were stood outside watching the ships go by, and he told me that when he flies home next week, it will be his first time ever flying in a jet. His brother has his private pilot's license, but he's never flown on a commercial jet before. There're so many people here with such varied life experiences (or lack thereof), it's amazing to think about. I often assume everyone is a lot like me, but that ain't the case at all. (Philosophical Moment is now over.)
Me on the port bridge wing.  
So, there I was, seeing the sights and pondering the imponderables. I eventually came back inside, and sat down to read my emails. That's when my nice day ended. There was an email from the guy in charge of health & safety for this project, telling me that they had a meeting in Rotterdam earlier today and decided the nurses should work night shifts, and now they're asking me for my "thoughts" on the matter. He might have THOUGHT he wanted my thoughts, but if I gave them to him, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have wanted them at all, at all. So, I resisted giving him my "thoughts", consulted with my people, and hurled back an 11-question email, basically asking "WHY??? WHY???" in my most plaintive, Nancy-Kerrigan-esque style. The jury is still out, but I'm feeling faintly optimistic that I will come out in front on this one.

Getting to the bottom of this whole stupid mess (which is exactly what having me on nights would be, for so many reasons (11) that I can't get into now), is why you're not getting this newsletter until so late today. Here it is, 11.10 pm in my world, and I'm still at it.

Just then, an electrician comes in to tell me that in my clinic, I possess the only emergency outlets between here and the Galley (next deck up). Apparently, when we pick up our new pilot at 2.00 am, who's going to take us into Rotterdam, we have to lighten our ballast and come way up out of the water. This will affect our key service generators and cause us to lose everything but emergency power. (Help me out here, Don, you know more about this than I do!) So, if everyone wants breakfast, I have to leave the health center doors wide open so they can stretch cords from here, up to there, to boil a kettle. This is a problem because of all the confidential medical files and narcotics I have in here. Anyway, I just had to go to a meeting to develop a contingency, so that's figured out. Now, I have to finish off this email, and go get a shower, because if we lose that power, we also lose our hot water. It could all be gone for up to 24 hours. Funny thing, boats.

Well, that's it for today. I am really dragging my duff around tonight, so I have to go while I still am awake enough to add the attachments.

Be good, and I'll be in touch again tomorrow. You're with me 'til the bitter end, people. Can't leave you hanging now, now that we're so close!!!

Love and kisses to all,




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