Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A Sail with a Twist

This sail to Congo has definitely been different from all other sails that I have been on. Firstly, we began our sail only a couple of days after I arrived back on board in Tenerife, Canary Islands, after being away for 5 ½ weeks. I had left the ship in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, and said goodbye some of my dearest friends, knowing I would be coming back to a ship life without them. I knew I would still have friends on board, just different ones. It takes some adjusting, finding a new space for yourself, but setting sail for 13 days really tends to help you bond with those you hang out with.

Last day on solid land

Enjoying the tastes of Spain

Goodbye Tenerife!

Hello sailing buddies!

During this sail I have completed Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). Needless to say, most days I have had my nose in a book studying or sitting in a ‘classroom’ (a rocking and a rolling international lounge) learning and practicing new skills. My brain has been stretched (a very nice feeling) and I have enjoyed acquiring some very useful knowledge. All the while, the ocean, stretching as far as the eye can see and further, has continued churning beneath us and rocking us side to side, but the day goes on. There are things to be done, books to be read, jobs to do and at the end of the day, we find time for facing the wind head-on by standing on the bow, searching for dolphins and whales, counting flying fish and singing praise songs as the sun sets on the water. It is magical.

yep, they're whales!

the whales made us all jump out of our hammocks to watch

One night while hanging out with two friends, we were supposed to be studying but ended up chatting and somehow by the end of the conversation, we’d decided to begin a 10 day Detox diet. So, what can you eat? Fruits, vegetables, nuts and drink water. That’s it. That’s all we can have in our already limited supply on board. We decided we’d better begin soon before all the fresh produce on the ship that was stocked up in Tenerife ran out. So far, we have enjoyed a large variety of fruits, plenty of salad, plain vegetables... Well actually that’s not true. We have eaten those things, but perhaps I wouldn’t use the word enjoyed. When I looked at the dinner options tonight and I saw Chicken Cordon Bleu (chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella and bacon and crumbed) and then back at my plate, scattered with green beans and the same salad that I’ve eaten for the last 7 days, my heart sunk. Each day I’m hoping that the fresh produce will have run out, enough for us to call it quits early. So far, no luck. It is truly amazing how much of my satisfaction in life comes from eating good food!!! At the end of my salad meal, I rack my brain, trying to think of what I could find to eat, within my limitations that could satisfy me. Nothing. But somehow the three of us have found the willpower to do this and not give up and I’m proud of that effort!

The most exciting part of the sail to Congo has definitely been sailing over zero degrees latitude & zero degrees longitude! This makes me a Royal Diamond Shellback! And to add excitement and commemorate the event, I, along with two friends, decided to get a piercing so that we will never forget. Haha and we will never forget! After spending an hour or so in a friend’s cabin, time spent with ice on ears and noses (not mine Mum), IV needles piercing holes and earrings and nose studs being pushed through, the group of us had bonded forever!

Jay with his victims. (I had the smoothest piercing- lucky me)

After the piercing party, we went up to deck 7 as the captain spoke through the overhead speakers that we were seconds away from crossing 0.00, 0.00. We had photos taken with nothing but darkness in the background. Nothing to see, but the memory of knowing where we had sailed and three of us have holes to prove it!

Photo by Josh Callow

Art by Josh Callow

And we sail onwards. Congo is only days away and so much more adventure awaits.

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