Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Into the Dry as in VERY DRY DOCK

We had a few fun days in Tenerife and while most people were busy visiting a fast food chain with a golden arch and terrible, crappy and expensive food, we went out to a local restaurant and had Tapas, Paella, Sangria and other great local dishes and drinks. :)

This week was also set aside to lighten the ship before we go into dry dock. For the first time ever we saw this note on the Captain's notice board: USE MORE WATER! Waaaaa-hoooooo! No more 2 min showers! :)

Landrovers, containers, even life rafts and anything that's "heavy but not screwed on" was removed so that we can sail over to Gran Canaria for the actual dock yard work. The wake up call came at 3.30am and by 5am we were on our way. As you can see we had some nice big waves between the 2 islands:
Leaving Tenerife at 5am

Here are some more shots as we were getting close to the harbour:
Darren was working on the Satellite dish as we were sailing.

Now you can see how many M-SC containers are in each port :)
Big boat vs. little boat. Size DOES matter! :)

The ship needs to sail towards that tiny concrete bay, then be turned around by 3 tug boats so that we would back into that special berth. 2 smaller boats came with the massive mooring lines and quite literraly they pulled us in.

Once we were deep into that bay, the little tug boats manuevered out and pushed us all the way in. Then the fun part for us, spectaculars stopped for a while as the divers took over. They had to go under to ensure the ship is coming in straight and will lie on the proper blocks. We had lunch and what we noticed was that our ship started to rise. A few hours later the wooden platform we were sitting on came all the way up. Lazy seagulls showed up right away to snatch the tiny fish and other sea creatures that were caught up in our platform-rise.

Water height when we pulled in.
Water height 0 as the platform rose.

We went outside again only to notice 3 yellow TRACTORS to come close. We didn't see much of what was happening right under us, but the captain said that they were attaching some ropes with the intention of actually PULLING THE SHIP! A 16.000 tons ship!!! Ok, we were on wheels, but still. They kept on trying without much luck so eventually a fourth tractor was called and amazingly, they were able to make the ship move! We had to stop a few times, but soon enough we made it all the way to the end of the dock yard.

That's all we could see from the top looking down. 3 tractors making us move.
Here is one picture of the ship in dry dock. How is life in dry dock and how the ship looks like from the bottom up? Well, that's in the next post :)

Both Darren and I were taking pictures and making videos from deck 8 as we were coming into dry dock and we managed to work together for the first time to produce this clip:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sailing - the highlights + video

We were sailing for 10 days, left Lomé, Togo on 15th June and arrived to Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain) on 25th June. Here are just some highlights of what happened while we were at sea.

Some of the pictures are taken by my good friend, Debra, you'll see her signature on them. The rest are mine.

I made some short videos during the sail and edited them together with Enya's Sail Away song - one of my favourites. (BTW ever since I heard this song a good 10 years ago I decided to visit all the places she mentions in the song - and I am almost finished!)

Yes, we had some impressive waves, but sadly only for a few days. We had some dolphins, too, click here for Darren's video.

Captain Jon on the bridge

Deckies working on the mooring lines at the bow

Gangway being lifted up

The last 3 lines that connect us to Togo
Tug boat to help us turn
"Arm Guards" - I suppose they meant to say they have guns to protect themselves
Leaving the port area
Pilot climbing down the rope ladder

Leaving Togo and our wedding location - a bit sad :(

All the Landies are on deck 8. 

We enjoyed the waves and beautiful sunsets on the bow every evening
Since it was a long voyage we had some fun activities every evening. As you can see Pirates Night was a big hit among the children (and some older children) :)

Most of us went with the black and red colours, some fake tattoos and scars and head cover. I bought Darren that blue Muslim head cover in Kara, the northern part of Togo a few months back. Most people questioned him, so we explained that most of the pirates are from the very Muslim Somalia who more likely to look like this than Johnny Depp :))  

We had a little "chat" with the Captain and Chief Mate.
I think I made my point clear...
We needed a pirate captain to be a proper Pirate Team so we borrowed Captain Luke Davies. Notice the Angry Bird both Luke and I have on our shoulders...
The other pirates playing the famous dice game from the Pirates of the C. movie.
Me with a cigar, hubby with his tea. To each of its own...

And yes, we took over the ship as well when we stormed the bridge. :)
What a night...!
We also had some drills, one of them was a Man Overboard drill. Unlike on Doulos here we used only a brown paper bag and not "Ray, the dummy". Still, we were able to observe how fast this huge shipc an turn around - it's quite impressive!

In case you were wondering, the answer is YES. The ocean IS INDEED BLUE!
The 2 little dark spots are Darren and me standing at the railing.

Wedding  :)
Capturing the sun in my hand
US :)

The PR Shot

Worship at the bow at sunset :)

Charlie's Angels on AFM
(from left: Debra B, Darren, me and Lesley B) 

Jumping into the sunset :)