Friday, March 7, 2008

another day at sea

Due to unknown reasons, we've had  comms blackout for almost 24 hours.  I'm not sure that it won't return at any moment.  It took me 20 minutes to load up my gmail this morning and while comms are good right now, I'm not overly optimistic for the near future.  Operations are also suspended due to extremely bad weather.  We're looking at 10 meter seas for the weekend.  The loss of comms when not working is torture.  There's just nothing to do.  No work, no surfing, no email, no phone calls and no training, because it's all web-based.  Boredom, in the extreme.

Worse, it decreases the options for crew after shift and suddenly you find an extra half-dozen crew crowding into the gym with you.  I was appalled at the number of people we had to cram in there last night.  It didn't affect me, since I was there early and always spend the entire time on the elliptical machine, but it was distracting, watching to see if the guy swinging dumbbells across his waist and then up over his shoulder would cave in the head of the girl hitting the heavy bag behind him, or if the jump rope would catch on the handle of the rowing machine.  Eventually, it did affect me, now that I think of it.  After about 6KM, it was distracting me enough to throw off my breathing.  I did the next 6KM with my eyes closed, imagining I was running on the trails in the area I hunt in the fall.  Not an easy thing to do on a moving ship, working out with your eyes closed!

Anyway, I was also shocked to find people cramming in the sauna with me. I spend many nights in there and in the 3 trips I've been on this ship, nobody has ever joined me.  I've never even found evidence of anyone using it when I'm not around.  Fortunately, one person mentioned using it before I headed in so I was warned instead of offending anyone with my beached-whale nudity.  Normally, I take a sauna au-natural and given the mix of cultures and religions, I would have been sure to offend someone and for such an indiscretion, been subjected to the wrath of some P.C., stuffed suit from one of our onshore cubicle farms.  We have a girl on here who always wears a hijab, the Islamic headscarf.  She walked into the sauna without it and it took me 10 minutes to figure out who she was.  At first, I thought perhaps somehow a helicopter had managed to land in this shitty weather and brought us some new crew, but no, I've sailed and lived with her for 8 weeks and never saw her without that damn scarf.  She looks like a complete stranger!

Stranger still is the guy who's apparently been calling me by the name of another crew member for the last 8 weeks and gone un-noticed by ME.  I'm not sure I believe him, but he called me by the wrong name twice yesterday and when I mentioned it, he acted completely baffled, explaining he'd always called me "Roy" AND the other guy by my name.  I haven't yet seen the other guy today to get his side of things.  I mean, how can all three of us be so clueless for 8 weeks?

Lastly, I had beef ragout, garlic shrimp and oregano and tomato meatballs for breakfast at midnight, tonight.  What a strange diet I have out here...

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