Last Hours...

Hey ya'll...

The hours are ticking by till my end of my time on the ship...

I just thought you would like to know that - :)

I'm excited to be leaving, but sad also at the same time, but more excited by the doors that could open following this experience - and particularly sharing my story with people...

Must stop procrastinating and get back to packing - and stuff....

All my love,

10 days...

Whoa back nelly! Its the 18th today and in 10 days time I'll be watching the Doulos leave me behind. I'm going to be sad! But, I'm also very excited... about the big door that could be possibly opening before me. It kinda scares my socks off or freaks my head off the possibilities that could come from this experience but its just as exciting to see where this adventure will now lead.

But back to the original statement - 10 days left. I was originally told that I'd be leaving the ship on the 27th. Then a few weeks ago we were told we'd be leaving the ship on the 24th. NOW its been confirmed [only yesterday!] that we'll be leaving on the 28th - the day the ship leaves to head to East Timor.

This means that in just under 2 weeks I'll be back in South Australia. I land in Adelaide the evening of the 3rd, then possibly on the 5th I'll drive over to the Eyre Peninsular to meet my brothers first child. Oh my. I am a little anxious about that. Not so much because there's soon to be a new relative, but because I want that child to have the best in life and I want 'its' parents to be the best they can be - even if they aren't going to be together. Perhaps that is the part that is greatly affecting me the most - the unknown of the entire situation. But hopefully I can be a good influence into his or her life and to my bro's and his former girlfriends. I believe all will work out amazingly because I know my bro is going to be a good Dad - he's got alot to learn though and I think only now realities really settling in...

So I'll spend most of my time in Port Lincoln to be close to my brother and new family additions, but I'll also try and spend and evening at Mum's place and then at Dad's too. If only they all didn't spread out over 2.5 hours of driving, it might've been easier to see them all more and spend more time with them. I might even try and steal a day off from all of them and go to my Uncle's place in Coffin Bay and just chillax there for a day. Beauty.

And then around the 11th I'll be officially back in Adelaide. And then looking for a job [Oh No!]. Part of me would like to just ask my former job for a casual role till the end of the year... this will depend on the work they have and if they need the help. That also would be the cheat soloution. Other jobs could be to use the newly certified skills as Coffee Barista and work in a Cafe' till the end of the year... or if desperation reigns I'm sure I could get a job back at the Supermarket. So many thoughts and possibilities... and unknown too...

Well, my friend Emma [Brisbane] has arrived now so we're going to laze around the Fremantle area and have lunch in the park on this fine day before we both start work this evening.

I hope your day is just - delightful...!

Carola xxx

Update! Get your Update...!

[This post was written on Saturday the 4th of October - very shortly after we made berth in Albany...]

Wow, I am totally being blown away being on the ship right now. Well, that is an ironic statement, the only thing literally being blown away is [cold + nose = something nasty].
Yeah, as of today I’ve got a cold, and feel like trash. BUT I’ve probably had the most fun this entire trip thus far in the recent week of sailing we’ve just had.

Because our duration of the voyage from Geelong to Albany was for 5.5 days, taking into consideration that the previous two voyages of 2 or so days I’ve not had to work, this voyage I was pretty keen to actually do something. Even for 2 days I felt like I was wasting time and allowing others to work overtime while I fished off the back of the ship. So when our Barista team leader said in a saddened tone that we’d actually have to work, I wasn’t shy about hiding my excitement. Then she asked me if I had anywhere I’d like to actually work – and immediately I said “Deckie!” – because the idea of scrubbing the deck surprisingly appealed to me.

The first day of the voyage all Barista’s were given the day off – which was pretty groovy – though we also found out that the Deckies actually didn’t want us – or perhaps it was that they didn’t need us. Bam. Slam that one in the face. There’s a no-go zone for me. So slightly saddened I had a chat with a few people and it was suggested that I ask an Engineer about working in the Engine – cool but, how?

Well, God certainly provided opportunities because while walking through the Mess [the room that everyone whose a grommet can eat so they don’t get all the civilised chairs dirty] I passed 2 Engineers having a break – and after walking straight past them, turned back, picked up my courage off the floor and asked what they thought about me working in the Engine. “Come back at 8:50am before devotions and speak with the chief engineer”… al-righty-then!

To be honest I was actually really positive they would say I couldn’t do anything – but amazingly I got to join the team. The work wasn’t anything technical but it was work that helped out the Engine Department and it was good quality dirty work. No kidding, I went in the first day relatively clean and came out in cover-alls and boots covered head to toe with engine dust, oil grimey sludgey stuff [though this was helped by having a oily grimey sludgey fight while down by the PST tank [basically the place the sludge of the engine lands]], paint and rust converter – pretty much anything I touched ended up on me.

The jobs we’re the most mind boggling but they were really fun! First job – hack rust off pipes and metal, clean up, apply rust converter, primer, and then a finish coat. Twist was that you literally had to twist yourself around poles in order to get to all spots. 3 guys and a girl going hard at rust and painting was pretty hilarious. Job done, moved onto the adjoining room and put primer on the converter that the boys had previously put on. Can I just say B-E-A-YouTIFUL!

Jobs following this generally consisted of cleaning floors [that have a time span of 2 minutes being clean before a big ugly oily foot print was planted in the middle of it], cleaning sludge [as previously mentioned], painting tanks and generators, cleaning the tunnel where the propeller blade shaft resides [surreal because it was the coolest place on the ship and the closest to the ocean – trippy!], cleaning above the control area’s panels [so dirty and black!], vaccuming [psh!] but seriously my favourite job was wire brushing nuts and bolts with the electric brush. Oh my goodness I came out so black and with so many cuts from getting my fingers a little too close to the brush on too many occasions – but the joy I felt when the boys were impressed with how well I did with all my work – that was just another highlight.

Hah – and the first day I was in Engine I walked into the Mess with my lunch and I was thoroughly embarrassed by this LOUD thunderous roar from the Deckies and Engineers who were – cheering? – at me… ha! I haven’t been that red for a long time! [Insert that I got sunburnt a couple of days later and I was equally as burnt then too]. I enjoyed all the work I did in the Engine Department, enjoyed sitting in on the Department devotions with the Electricians and Plumbers, laughing at other people… don’t get me wrong, I love being a Barista but I felt like I had a purpose even if it was minor. I got nickname “Mathias” because that’s whose coveralls I was wearing, and just spent so much time laughing.

Then the morning we arrive into Albany [oh my gosh! Pretty!] after a good 4 days of tiring work, it starts pouring down with rain via this nasty storm that decided to sit on top of Albany. Then I suddenly felt overcome with exhaustion and my body just ached. As the day went on I just kept going down hill and by 11:30am I was back in bed for 2 hours. I got up to go to work to set up the CafĂ© only to have the rain and the wind prevent this. I sat in the dining room with Gerard [Netherlands] who also has a cold and we stared out the windows. By 4pm it was clear we weren’t going to be doing anything outside for a good 2 hours so I managed to crawl back into bed to steal a few more hours sleep. And I’ve pretty much been here ever since. Totally knackered.

Albany day one hasn’t proved to be a big hit, but praying that Sunday will be glorious weather and that many people will take the opportunity to visit the ship while its here for 4 more days. Pray that I also can shake this cold just as fast as it came upon me. It really sucks to be so tired, I cant talk very much because my throat is really sore and my body is in a lot of pain. I will hopefully drag my sorry butt upstairs and post this onto my blog this evening before crawling back to bed and sleeping – again…

19 days to go…

Oh my giddy aunt…


PS – on that note about sending this blog post tonight – I just saw an email that said that the time we’re in Albany we’ve no connection to out Satellite – and we’re using another one which is really low – so not incoming International Calls and no internet for now…The joys of living on a ship that moves around the world – hahahah!

PS - to get you a bit more up-to-date, pretty much the entire time we were in Albany -so, all 5 days, I was really really sick with this flu that's flying around the ship. I spent 5 days intensley ill and ate only 3 pieces of bread and a small amount of soup [a cup one day and a cup another]. I lost alot of water which wasn't pleasant and combined with the weight I've lost in the whole duration of my trip, ended up with none of my clothes actually fitting me anymore. Bah! One bad thing about loosing weight is you have to have clothes to keep up with it. And my first real shift after getting sick I sat in the sun in a jacket to soak up some Vitamin D and managed to soak up just a little too much and ended up with a slight case of heat stroke on top of that. Then the voyage to Fremantle we left at 8pm on a Wednesday night and arrived about 9am the Friday following. We had about 20 minutes watching a whale jumping around early afternoon on the Thursday and a pod of whales jumping around right on dusk that evening.

And now we're in Freo and I had the pleasure of seeing the Fraser's the day we arrived [we had to talk through the fence because we still weren't cleared to leave yet] and then the next day had breaky with Dave, Shae & Mia... that was soooo nice!

So - thats this small update! Its not very busy at work today and I have a huge urge to go swimming - at 4pm!

Love you all!

I am sailing...

Hey everyone! So sorry that the previous entry was really - abrupt. I'll try and fill in the spaces later. Its been really busy on the ship, not just because we've just left Geelong sailing to Albany, but the weather in Geelong wasn't as pleasant as we'd hoped. The day's often we're sunny but had some strong wind, causing us to close or relocate [certainly not my favourite choice of solution but for the information about the forcasts we had, we had no choice].

Some highlights in the past week or so...

  • Getting to know the new 'Pre-Ship' has been a hoot - they are all nuts and its so nice to have fresh energy on the ship.
  • Seeing familiar faces [though not some from my home church I was expecting - sad!]
  • Being challenged with how I deal with situations of conflict [a highlight, i know!]
  • Getting to know people for who they really are and not the label I've put on them before I knew them
  • Oh - this should be number 1!! - but having a closer bond with God! I was challenged in the beginning and I put God on the back-berner but then realised that this was not something sensible for me to do and now I am trying to commit some time to God everyday!
  • Laughing - I love it! I have missed it in the past week with being really tired and just a little down but love having it back!
  • Fellowship with people: Simeon & Josephine [& David!], Luke & Rachel [& Winston!], Mandy, Hugh, the Follands and the Neohs... among many others.
  • Sailing - and the longest voyage so far... [read on for more details]
We're currently about halfway through the voyage, south of about Ceduna at the moment. Its been a very gentle voyage so far which has been tremendous though many - including the new Pre-Ship - are ill. I was allocated the Deck Department but they had too many people to train and who weren't sick so was told that this was no longer an option. I then asked some Engineers if they'd like some help - and so that's now where I'm working! I'm an un-official Engineer - woohoo! I get to wear big blue coveralls and get dirty from chipping at rust and then dirty again from painting with Rust Converter, Primer & Finishing paint. I'm very proud of the work the lads and I have done! AND - i get to hang out with the Engine guys - pretty cool! Its hot working in the Engine roome but its unique and different!

This has to been short because i'm totally bushwhacked and need sleep. Its amazing how when you do some physical work for 8 hours it makes so sleep so well at night! Don't get me wrong - I LOVE being a Barista - but its not a physically tiring job and I've been physically tired from not sleeping well for the past month or so. Thank God for voyages and for good work and beauty sleep...

Love you all - hope you're well! Have a blessedly FUNtastic day today/tomorrow...