Sunday, 11 December 2011

We're Sailing!!

Once the hospital was packed and locked down, and all the other departments had successfully tied everything down, we were about ready to sail.  In the last few days before we left, I was reassigned from hospital duties to security.  I was a little uncertain what in the world that might mean, but on the whole, it was a FUN week.  Part of my job included searching high and low for things that weren't meant to be here.  I was given access to pretty much every part of the ship (on my assigned decks), and a clipboard to keep track of things.  That part of me that loves to explore, the kid in me that went on grand adventures exploring the neighborhood, the woods, or anything else I could was let loose.   I was amazed at how many areas there are on ship that I knew nothing about.  
At the end of the week, there were a couple of nights where I helped watch for stowaways and got to hang out on the stern for a short watch with a friend.  
So, all done packing and checking and watching etc... we got set to sail on Saturday.  Role-call was done in the form of an emergency drill, where we all had to put on lifejackets and practice for any at-sea emergency.  

And then they got busy bringing in the last thing from the dock... our gangway.  We all watched in growing excitement as it lifted off and was brought onto Deck 8.  Time to release the mooring lines and rev up the bow thrusters!

Actually, I'm not sure how much they revved, because I didn't notice any extra noise as I sat on a chair on Deck 7 talking with someone when they called out from the railing that we were pulling away from the dock. We lined up along the railings of Decks 7 and 8, waving goodbye to those who had gathered on shore, to the city of Freetown, to our sweet Salone (the locals don't call it Sierra Leone, but rather Salone).  

Slowly the ship turned around and headed the other direction... so we ran across from the starboard to the port deck and continued to watch this home of ours fade further away.  

The pilot boat followed us out and the pilot left as soon as we were out of the harbour.

As most vehicles here do, the pilot boat let out a big black cloud as it took off.  

The excitement over, and out into open waters, we decided to grab some lunch.  On my shortcut to my room I walked past the pilot door, which remained open.  I... chatted with the deck hand and slipped into the room to check out the open doorway.  Sooooooo cool.  I wasn't allowed to get too close, but I did get up to the yellow/black stripes! :D

Later in the evening, right around supper time, they opened up the Bow.  During the sail, so long as waters are calm and there's no other issues, they let us on the Bow between sunrise and sunset.  One of our nurses doubles as a deck hand (and LOVES it), and you can see her here on lookout... she spotted some dolphins, but I wasn't out at the time.

The sun set while we were out... sadly it was hazy and didn't make for  good pictures.

 The water is blue-blue-blue when the sun is high, and even without the bright sunlight you can see the blue as the waves crest on the Bow.
 No sunset on the Bow is quite complete without guitars and worship!

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