Its been a while

Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 15:32 | by Alistair Baillie

Well I now have only 6 weeks left until I leave the Island Escape on the 7th of October. I have been very busy the past few weeks completing my operations and navigation workbooks as well as getting tasks signed off in my training record book.

Laundry tank inspection

I haven’t bothered doing regular posts as I haven’t really had much that I can say, its would be a bit boring if I just posted lots of entries saying “today I did a compass error from the sun/moon/star”, so I shall sum up the past 12 weeks in one.

For arrivals and departures where I wasn’t on watch I have been in charge of forward or aft mooring alternating every so often, as well as dropping / heaving anchor when we were at tender ports.

When I have been on watch during the arrival / departure I have spent the time plotting the ships position on charts as we entered and left the harbor – I am now quite good at doing it within 15/20 seconds with 2 ranges and bearings – although I still have the odd screw ups where I pick the wrong bit of land but the frequency of that happening is decreasing.

Uniform swap party

I have now done all 3 watches, initially doing 8 – 12, then 4 – 8, then 8 – 12 again and at present I am on the 12 – 4 watch. 4 – 8 is definitely my preferred watch, its busy as nearly all the arrivals or departures fall during it and it goes really quickly. The most hated one has to be 8 – 12, as onboard here it means you also have to do arrivals / departures but they fall outside your watch time. 12 – 4 is in the middle between the two, it sometimes goes quickly and can be interesting, other times it goes slowly, just depends on what you have to do and if there’s any traffic around.

We also had a bit of excitement a few weeks ago when a passenger became very unwell while we were steaming towards Mahon around 24 miles off the coast of France. The captain after consulting with the doctor requested a medical evacuation and a french navy helicopter was sent to airlift the passenger to hospital in Toulon.

It was complicated by the helicopter having to bring additional equipment to stabilise the patient, so the helicopter came out dropped off doctors from shore and some equipment then returned to Toulon to refuel, it returned just over an hour later and lifted the doctors, equipment and passenger off and away to hospital in France.

Jimmy and me

From our point of view it was quite good, it gave us experience of working with helicopters and communicating with MRCC’s as we were allowed to handle the communications and get involved with preparing the ship for the winching operation (clearing balconies, removing loose objects from outside decks, removing the dressing lines and lights as well as keeping passengers away from the aft decks of the ship).

For anyone wondering the information we received later was that the passenger was fine and had recovered in hospital.

As I mentioned in a previous post the dancing is still going on every Saturday. I wasn’t able to upload the video’s yet but I will once I return home.

For those who can not view the photos on FaceBook I have included 3 in this post; top: tank inspection, middle: uniform swap party, bottom: Jimmy and me.

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