Sunday, November 25, 2012

D-26 days ... French Navy visit

When the port starts to build a container wall (the wall that we requested and were told 'no possible') you know another navy ship is about to arrive. And since this used to be a French colony we were pretty sure it's gonna be another vessel under the French flag. A few weeks ago we had a much bigger ship, but we couldn't go on board - unlike the President of Guinea, who visited both them and us within 2 hours!

I love living on a ship, because it gives me opportunities to visit other ships. Here are 2 older posts about visiting a US Coast Guard ship last year in Sierra Leone and the famous Swift in Togo.

We signed up into groups of 10 and just walked over. The sailor guarding the ship on the dock made us smile. I mean, come on, how can you take a guy serious with a funny little red bubble on the top of his hat??? :)

We were greeted by a very tall guy in very short shorts... (blush blush). His first question was 'who is the translator?' He was obviously pleased when one of the girls (who happens to be a French teacher on board) said she would do it. Heaven forbid, otherwise he would have to have spoken in a foreign language!!! :(

The boat (refuse to call it ship, it was way to small for that and French for crying out loud!) had 95 crew and 7 officers, all male. We got a short tour, which was great! Again, it made me realise how spacious our home is compared to navy vessels with 3 bunk beds above each other and super confined spaces.

Here are some pictures I took around:

The first one is - of course - me and my new video game. I got permission to have a picture taken with a gun turret, but I guess he didn't expect me to actually grab the joystick and try to aim... Man, was he quick to jump in and tell me no!  :)

Steep stairs with low decks
Engine control room
'Ze Engine Roum' as our guide said it :)
The tiny galley; 4 guys work here.

The Big Gun

The tiny capsule from where they control the big gun :)
on the Bridge

Looks like a robot to me :)
Our teachers standing in awe at the tall Frenchman with short shorts :)
Looking at our home from the French boat full of guns...

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