Monday, 27 June 2011

Day 10 (8th of October)

The ship was rocking in the night, when we woke up and throughout the day. We’d been imagining that it would be like this or even worse every day, so escaping with just the one day is pretty lucky. Might it have something to do with the Korean lady and her four-leaf clover?

As much as we’d like to think we could make it as hardy sea travellers we couldn’t help but feel queasy when we woke up. I managed a shower, but had to stop myself from falling over now and then.

Just when we thought there wasn’t really anything else you could do with an egg, a new item arrived on our breakfast plates- a pancake with Apfelmues. A nice surprise and very welcome, since I’ve been going on about making pancakes when we get to Canada all the way through Asia. Not having a death wish no ping pong was played and no cetacean watching was carried out (the waves would have made them almost impossible to spot anyway).

We went to our room, sorted pictures and Jenny tried on one of the emergency immersion suits while I took the pictures. She looked like a cross between a crab, a teletubbie, an oompa lumpa and a power-ranger. It was hilarious. Whenever we felt too sick to continue we drank lots of water and had a lie down. The main task of the day was putting our washing in the machine since we really had to use the facilities while we had them.

Lunch, which abated the sickness for a while, was mushrooms with onion, rice and carrot with what we think were soya beans. For pudding there was a bowl of tangerine slices in syrup. The waves were only a few metres high and the chief engineer was sure to tell us this was nothing, which it really was. Nevertheless we found walking upstairs and doing almost anything a hardship. Standing on the deck at the end of our corridor or sitting in the barbeque area below it helped a lot though. Jenny managed to make our room into a complete tip, while I tried to tidy it up. How with one rucksack’s full of items this is possible I am unsure, but if you’re in need of some advice on how to make a mess Jenny’s your girl.

The evening meal was potatoes, okra- the five sided green vegetable that seemed to ooze a saliva like substance (it’s tasty though), sweetcorn, carrot, pak choi leaves, and the second engineer’s unwanted tangerine slices. On the notice board the inmates were informed that room inspection is tomorrow at 15.20., we’re not sure if this includes us too. Stewie informed us that the Filipinos were having another party, but we decided not to attend because of our seasickness and the fact that we’d just cleaned our clothes that smelt of smoke from the last one. Hopefully they weren’t too offended by our absence.

Instead we took a trip to the bridge to see where we were and to be let into the secret of a few more buttons. We got a further explanation of the ship’s ballast system from the chief mate, so that it finally makes a lot more sense to us. Moving the ballast water is extremely important while the ship is being loaded or unloaded, because the weight can become unequally distributed and the ship would capsize without the water cancelling out the weight difference. Water can be relocated from one side to the other in a few minutes with very powerful pumps. In Asian ports the containers are unloaded from opposite sides of the ship to keep the balance, but in America they are just taken from one side which means the officers are kept busy keeping the boat upright. The chief mate also told us that now was the best time for the next 50 years to see Orion and its moons. Unfortunately we weren’t going to see it with such a cloudy sky and we only wish we’d known earlier.

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