We were due to be going back to college in January of this year, but as our group is so small, the college decided to amalgamate us with the FD group that had started in May '09 and bring us back in February. I found out about this in mid December and, as much as I love my parents dearly, the thought of sitting around on my backside at home for that long didn't appeal. I was struggling with the Work Based Learning (the project work we have to do for college while we're at sea) so I asked if I could be put back onto the Patricia for a few weeks. My company were very obliging and I joined the ship on the 30th December. I did 6 weeks this time and I am unbelievably grateful for that time, as I was able to get all my loose ends tied up and produce a body of work that made my tutors faces fall as I plonked the huge folder on their desks! This was mainly due to the fact that, on several occasions, when I went to see the Chief Officer in the morning to find out what I'd be doing that day, they asked if I had any project work to be doing, and told me go and crack on with that. This then is the abridged version of the log I kept over those weeks, with as much of the fun stuff as I can remember thrown in. Days that are missing I was either doing work in my cabin. Or greasing. There was a lot of greasing.....
I joined the ship in the afternoon, having once again stayed with my friend who lives down there, and once again feeling slightly jaded from the night before. This time I was not sent below to the cabin I had been in before, but was sent up to the lower bridge deck, where the Captain and Chief Engineer also reside! This was not because I had been promoted though, it was far more practical; the berths below were needed for the maintenance crews who we would soon be taking out to various lighthouses and I was simply being put somewhere out of the way, for the moment anyway. I wasn't complaining though, I had lots of space, a lovely big desk, two windows, (one on each side, which gives the cabin it's nickname "The fishbowl") and oh joy of joys, a bath! I never actually had a bath, but knowing that one has that option is always comforting.
The ship didn't sail that day, so I had the day to re-familiarise myself with the ships layout, and then in the evening I went out to celebrate New Years with some of the crew. As I'd sailed with them before I didn't feel like the 'new girl' and we saw the new year in with the help of quite a lot of drink!
Falmouth - Bridport
We began the drill with the Junior Catering Rating raising the alarm using the manual call point in the aft alleyway (using the test key), this set off the Yodalarm. He then closed the shutters to the mess, closed the doors from outside and isolated the electrics using the emergency buttons outside the galley. He then telephoned the bridge to inform them of the situation and the actions he had taken. Meanwhile the fire teams were mustering and the incident party arrived at the scene, we established comms with the bridge via radio and requested the fire fighting team and first aid team to muster in the alleyway.
Pics from this trip can be seen here .
So, that's the end of my first sea phase, I'm sorry it's taken quite so long to get up to date, but, as you may have gathered from earlier entries made over the last 9 months, college has been keeping me busy! Anyway, there's not much I can blog about while at college, not much happens in Fleetwood and I have no desire to bore you silly with details of lectures, and I can never remember enough of the nights out to make a good story! But it's over now, and I'm feeling a little bit smug (OK, very smug but I'm trying not to!) ..... I came top of my class, with an overall mark so far of 95%. It's not over yet though, I have some more of the old WBL to do, and this time it counts for something like 40% of the overall mark, so no pressure then!
I am off in the morning, catching the National Express to Gatwick (damn snow's buggered up the trains) and from there I fly to sunny Bridgetown, Barbados to join the Wind Surf, a cruise ship with sails. (I realise you all hate me now). And, now that I am up to date, I intend to keep up to date, although as we all know, the road to hell is paved with such good intentions... Anyway, if you enjoy this, would you let me know? I sometimes feel a little lonely on here, with post after post bereft of comments... I am also on twitter, @size4riggers should you wish to hear random snippets of ships life and/or my general musings, and I have been proudly cultivating my flickr photos, (I was 2 years behind a few months ago, there has been some serious work going on!). They go back through the whole of my first Caribbean experience on the TS Pelican, and I will be interested to see if some of the places I visited then have changed. It's all neatly organised, if you have a peek at the collections and sets...
I'll stop the shameless self promotion now, and go get another glass of rum. I would have cider, but I'm at my sister's, and one has to make do!