Sunday, November 05, 2006

First week at sea

It’s been a good first week at sea, all in all. After the initial bad weather and rough seas, things have now settled down and the ship is a comfortable place to be. The crew are all in good spirits, as their four month shift ends in Montevideo. There are some excellent characters on board, who all have spectacular tails to tell. Most of the lads have worked all over the world, but it was really interesting chatting to the bosun about his early career at the Merchant Navy’s Indefatigable training centre, in Llanfairpwll. Indi, and the training ship HMS Conwy, featured in many photo’s on the wall of my old local pub in Bangor you see…

Saturday night is something of an occasion aboard the Shackleton. This week the wind-down spirits were in full swing as we held a barbeque on the back deck, drinking gin and tonics whilst cruising past the lights of Santa Carlo and Madeira. Not something I thought I’d do till well into my retirement, but very pleasant all the same. (Photos here).

The Met Obs have been getting more interesting too. As I climbed onto the bridge at 05:30 Friday morning, an unknown ship had appeared on the radar directly in our path. But, as the moon set, we couldn’t see her. The officer of the watch took manual control as I scanned the sea with binoculars. Eventually I spotted a small yellow yacht, with her sails lowered and no lights. We cut circles around her, shining the massive Night Sun searchlight onto her decks. After ten minutes of circling, nobody appeared in distress and as everything looked neat and tidy, we continued on our way. Strange things happen on the high seas. Posted by Picasa


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