Writing a blog is a relaxing pastime, however maintaining it is something else. The intricacies of the ‘back-end’ are complicated, especially for someone such as me, with limited tech skills. For example, I think that the ‘add a comment’ link has been misbehaving for the past few days. I believe I have corrected it, so I’d be pleased to know if this is the case.
Manta, Ecuador; we’ve called here before of course, almost exactly a year ago. It’s a Fishing port in the main, although there’s a cargo ship next to us, the majority of the boats in here are Tuna boats. The area thrives on the sea and the restaurants along the beach-front are renowned for their seafood.
Another early call, 3 a.m.; on the Bridge for 3:30 and time to become accustomed to the darkness (and have a coffee), the 2nd Officer, Ineke has the watch, she is assisted by Anthony, one our 3rd Officers. As is the norm, we supplement the Bridge team for arrivals, both the Staff Captain, (Gerd) and I have to be there too; the Engine Control Room is similarly supplemented; the Chief Engineer, 1st Engineer and Chief Electrician in addition to the normal watch-keepers all have to be there.
The arrival was a little more complicated than previous calls, insomuch that our usual berth was occupied by the cargo ship. As a consequence and because we had to berth starboard side to the dock, (for gangway reasons), I had to swing in the harbour and then go astern. The dock is shorter than the Amsterdam, however, because we had to use our long gangway, (stowed on the foc’sle head), it was imperative that we could get the gangway ashore, which meant we had to use all the length available.
Down near the stern was a ‘portaloo’, (one of those portable toilet cubicles). It made a good reference point to judge how far I could go; I believe it’s the first time I have had distances from a toilet called out to me over the radio 🙄
We exercised the Officers and Crew in a drill this morning. Starting with a Fire drill we progressed through our Stage 2 and 3 scenarios which is ‘abandon ship’. We exercise continually during the course of the voyage; it involves ringing of alarm bells and announcements, however our guests are very understanding as to the reason.
While all this was going on, Karen was ashore, my camera in her bag. I have deleted the blurred trees and sides of cars, (she took some out of the taxi window 😯 ), however she managed, as always, to get some nice ones. I will leave you with a selection. We depart at 9 p.m., 8 days at sea as we cross the Pacific to French Polynesia!