Saturday, March 9, 2013

Friday, March 8, 2013



This morning we rushed and got Sarah and the boys off so she could start the long journey home.  I got dressed in my uniform and helped carry luggage up through customs.  As we stood in line, 5 or 600 people back from the agents, we saw another officer come whipping through with his family.  So, we snuck in behind them and got up to the front of the line.  I looked at my watch and had only 5 minutes to get back to the clinic because the CMO was 1st call and I had to keep the doors open. I said good bye and gave lots of kisses.

Then the kids started to cry. 

Not the bawling, red faced cry that is sad, but kind of annoying.  Nope.  Michael just pulled his glasses off and wiped the tears away and tried valiantly, but vainly to keep his face from cracking.  Max just dropped his chin to his chest and shook. 

Breaks my freaking heart.  I get misty typing it.  I'm not built for this separation from my family. 

I'm still tired from last night too.  Some sleep will help.  Getting Miche on board will help, but it won't be right again, really right, until I am together with my family. 

Sorry for the downer folks.  It ain't all sunshine and roses. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Well, last day cruising as a family for a few weeks.  While I am looking forward to getting Michelle onboard (my sister for those who read this and aren't related to me.), I already miss Sarah and the boys and they haven't left yet.

They have to be off before 0930 tomorrow morning.  Our wake up is scheduled for 0700.  I am on watch until 0215.  Good times.  No big deal though. 

Every once in a while, most often when we mention homeschooling, people give us that look.  You know, the one that a dog makes when it hears a high pitched noise.  The head tilts to the side, the eyebrows go up and you can almost see the little thought bubble sprouting from their head, "WTF?"  It also shows up when we mention that we are all currently living out of the one bed cabin.  Funny thing...the more we stay here and associate with many of the Phillipino and Indonesian workers, the less strange that stuff becomes.  It ranks right up there as FWP, First World Problems. 

The overwhelming majority of the world live in much harsher conditions than we do here on the ship.  To compare them is almost like comparing bb guns to the space shuttle.  People live happy, contented, wonderful lives without all of the things and trappings that most of us in the US take completely for granted.  Many of those things that are assumed as 'normal' I am not convinced are even beneficial. 

I was talking with one of the Dutch officers onboard.  I mentioned home schooling and somwhere in the distance there must have been air escaping from something because the head tilted and the eyebrows went up.  He couldnt' believe that we were so lax in our country as to let people homeschool for whatever reason they wanted.  It wasn't as bad with us because we obviously valued education, but most people...

It got me to thinking.  I'm not sure I do value education.  I value knowledge, certainly.  Education may mean something different though. What I want for my kids is what I think most people want for their children.  I want them to have options.  I want them to ahve enough knowledge and character to be able to accomplish what they want.  If Michael wants to be an engineer, I want to help him with that.  If he wants to be a dancer, I want to help with that. I don't want to impose limits on them.  I want them to be able to explore their own limits. 

I think what we are doing is going to help in that area.  Of course, I could be wrong. 

If I am, I'll try to help them find a good therapist. 

Since I have the time, I am going to try some pictures. 

This is, as Max put it, "My first friend on A deck."  Her name is Ayu and she just loved the boys. 

On the Zuiderdam, the Lido pool sculpture is polar bears. 

Sunset on the last cruising day of the trip was beautiful.  Only my family was more so.

Chris, the LMO, Captain Willems, Sandra the other MO and Staff Captain Jon. 
Good people.

Michael and Max in Club Hal with Jacob.  This was their Shangrila.  They loved it here.

The young lady is Bella, daughter of Abigail and the first officer.  Nice folks. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I don't really have a ton to say tonight.  We had a day in Costa Rica.  I got off for about 30 minutes and went to the enarby shopping bazaar.  This type of travel can be frustrating.  I want to dive headlong into the country and see it, experience it.  Instead I get short toe dips into areas that are made to look and behave more like the US for the comfort of the passengers.  Not sure what to say about that without sounding whinier than I need to.  Today was a sea day.

Ahhh heck, I'll put up some pictures instead.  Sarah and the boys in Cartagena, Colombia.

So, if I remember my conversion rate, that is a little over a five thousand word post.

You're welcome.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Panama day part II, this time it's personal.

OK, maybe not.  So we went back through the locks and anchored and then went back out again.  I didn't see that much of it this time. 

Last night was a bit of a rougher time at sea than we have had so far.  We discovered a wrenching new creak to the room on top of the old one.  The fan is useless against the racket.  Seriously.  And I got called out twice for the same cast member who pulled a muscle while dancing.  He apparently was in dire enough pain to call me once and then have his boss call me to wake up the crew doctor for some muscle relaxers.  He wasn't, however, bad enough to drag his own butt out of bed and show up for the follow up visit this morning.  Nice. 

After we docked in Colon, we all got off for a bit, just to get off the ship.  I brought the camera and didn't take one picture.  Not a scenic place, at all.  It is a small squre shopping center surrounded by dilapidated old buildings.  It's shipyards and industrial docks.  Since we are only there for two hours, there isn't enough time to really get out and see anything either.  So we bought a new memory card for the camera.  That way Sarah can take the current one with her and Papa can get some pictures.  Then back aboard.

The sail away was interesting.  We weaved our way through bouys while an armada of tankers, cargo ships and trawlers sat anchored off to the side behind the breakwater.  As we passed through the break, waves crashed ten feet high plumes of water against the stones.  It was neat. 

Tonight, we kept the kids and watched the first Harry Potter movie.  They liked it.  Now there is some kind of Indonesian party going on in the halls.  Should be a restful evening.  I can almost hear the walls creak.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Cartegena, Colombia

Today we stood on our second continent of the year.  Well, I was technically only on a pier which is attached to said continent, but it counts. 

I was first call, so I only got off the ship briefly while we disembarked a patient.  Sarah and the boys and Chris, the LMO went out and explored the city.  By all reports it was quite an enjoyable trip. They paid a taxi driver to take them around for a couple of hours and show them different things.  At one point they saw a man sitting under a mango tree.  He would reach up into the tree and pull down a mango, slice it up and put it in a cup for sale.  Yep, had to get some of that. 

Michael bragged that he was cockatoo's, parrots and even a toucan out wild.  He was quite excited.  Max thought it was cool too.  Of course Max become a little celebrity on the ship.  All of the Indonesian and Phillipino crew love him. He gets high fives and fist bumps from the guys and hugs and kisses from the girls.  Michael gets some too, but Max is rolling in it.  As we walked up to the kid's club he said that all the workers here were his friend.  They loved him on A deck. 

Tomorrow morning is the Panama canal.  Let's hope for a quiet night.  Sarah took some pictures today, but I don't think I will try the upload tonight.  I will get a batch up later.