Thursday, December 15, 2005

Making waves

On the morning of our departure I was volunteered to help out. The ship needed to be turned around so the crew could test one of the landing craft, so four of us went ashore to cast off lines while the ship turned. I don't think I impressed any of the crew with my rope skills..... It was very impressive to watch the ship turn though, it's incredibly maneouvrable for such a large vessel, just pulled out sideways from the quay, turned 180 degrees and came back in. We departed in the afternoon, and after a quick safety brief were pretty much left to our own devices.

Life on board is very good, we have an excellent galley serving full cooked breakfasts and a huge array of dishes for lunch and dinner, a lounge/bar to relax in with a well stocked beer fridge. You take what you want, tick it off on your sheet and it comes off your account. This provides an excellent way of not knowing how much you're spending on beer..... There are two quieter rooms where people tend to read or play cards or chess, also a couple of TV's with a large selection of videos and DVDs to choose from. There's even a gym in the hold, and I've been to it twice, although the rowing machine is a little too authentic in rough seas.

So far I've had no problems with seasickness, although we've only had a couple of rough days so I think we've been pretty lucky. The ship has a kind of figure of eight motion in the water which is quite hard to predict, so moving about can be tricky. There are stories of people being thrown out of their bunks in the middle of the night but so far I've been OK. The ship moves around much less when there's sea ice around. Although not an ice breaker, the ship is ice strengthened, and moves very easily through what looks like very thick ice. Everyone got very excited when we saw our first icebergs in the distance, then a few hours later we were surrounded buy them!

First bergs

Breaking through the sea ice


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