Friday, March 15, 2013


Like a recalcitrant child, the runaway has returned. 

Reality is under no obligation to be realistic. 

Hondo is back.  As Sarah was preparing to get into Brian's so generously loaned car and drive back to OKC she got a call from the Sherriff's department.  They had found Hondo and he was in 'fair' condition.  Of course he was in 'fair' condition when we last saw him.  Essentially nothing changed.  The only thing even missing was the papers in the glove box.  Sounds scary, but Sarah had gone through all of that prior to leaving the car in a hotel parking lot in Ft. Lauderdale for a month.  It cost around $200 to get him out of the impound yard.  She drove him home and is now safely in Oklahoma getting ready to take over for Michelle.

Something totally unexpected being trumped by its own and even more unexpected reversal. 

I guess Hondo still sees enough adventure left for him with us. 

In other news, I wasn't as grumpy today as yesterday.  I think the extra work of 1st call day served me well.  We were in Costa Rica and I managed to get off long enough to make a few small purchases.  And, we parked next to this really cool ship.  Sea Cloud II.  Square rigged tall ship.  Awesome. 

Today I was reflecting on what a grumpy prick I was yesterday.  I started to think about the other cool things about this job and I came up with a few more things.

Sandra, Mary, Ayu, Chris, Jon, Kelli, Captain Willems, Badar, Jay and so on and on.  Again, in no particular order.  The people have been cool and very friendly.  I have only come across one or two that even began to rub me the wrong way.  I minimized how friendly they have been whilst enjoying my pity party and I shouldn't have. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


The best things about this job, in no particular order.

 - Michael's shout of, 'Whooaaa, awesome!" when he sees something he really likes.
 - Max fist bumping and high-fiving his "A-deck friends"
 - Sarah standing at the railing with the wind blowing through her hair and smiling
 - Sarah and the boys excited, words tumbling over each other to tell me what they did on today's adventure.
 - The kids as Club HAL and Sarah and I get alone time. 
 - Michael getting excited about seeing new animal species, scanning with his binoculors and studying the books.
 - Max so easily making every girl on the ship fall in love with him.

Sensing a theme? 

For those of you who leave your family for an extended time on a regular basis, I don't understand you, at all.  I feel like an idiot right now for not being with mine.  This job isn't really fun without them. 

I'm hoping Miche's arrival and excitement will help. 

As I always say, life is tough, get a helmet. 

I really think I would be better at least somewhat if I had something reliable to write on.  I just feel like a complete waste.  Ugh.

I'll get over it.  This is a personal journal as much as it is a blog.  I don't just record the pretty stuff.

Personal note.  Try to remember, or even write down, the lady who fell into the jacuzzi.  "Almost a widow!"  And the umbrella. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Third call day, sea day.

After leaving the infirmary at around 0100 this morning, I went in to the room and the TV was still on...rerunning Lincoln.  There was about an hour left until the part where I had been called away and I just couldn't resist.  So I stayed up and watched it then went to bed around 0300. 

That decision didn't really seem all that bad until the next call at 0730.  Luckily it didn't require much time and I went back to bed until just before lunch. 

Then I go an email from Sarah.  Somone stole our car from her parent's driveway.  Of all the places we have been and all the places we have taken and parked that car for extended periods, to have it stolen from her parent's drievway seems weird and oddly fitting.  I like to think that Hondo the Adventure Car just got mad that we were taking the ships on adventures and not him so he ran away.  No use dwelling. 

I did get laundry done tonight and then got my haircut.  Do I go to the fancy salon upstairs or to the chair in the hallway below decks?  Need you even ask?  I sat in the chair before a plain square mirror suuspended by a string on the bulkhead while Ungtang danced about me.  He weilded old clippers held together by white athletic tape and his crush grip.  After a brief moment with the scissors he moved on to the clean up, for which he used an old fashioned double edged razor blade pinched between his sweaty fingers.  Fantastic haircut.  If I still had the beard it would be longer than my hair by far.  He charged $5.  A bargain at twice the price.  Every once in a while other Indonesian crew would walk by and double take at the shirt down here in their world.  They would speak rapidly to each other and the only word I could make of the conversation was, "Doctor". 

Oh yeah, I barely left the cabin today.  I was engrossed in a book called Mountain Madness which is the biography of Scott Fischer who died on Everest in the 1996 storm.  Quite a good book.  Now I am reading Mountain Medicine about a doctor in Hood County Oregon who performs mountain rescues.  I sense a theme.

Wherever Hondo is, I bet it is an adventure. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


First call today, but through the generosity of LMO Chris, I was able to go ashore to take a few photographs and run a special little errand.  I had been wanting to get a few close up shots of the graffiti I photographed last time.  Well, the day was really cloudy and overcast, so the light was awful.  I took them anyway.  Who knows what the weather will be like if I ever get the chance again. 

The errand was, I bought a small wooden carving.  This will be the prize for the challenge in the forums.  Hoepfully it will inspire someone to write something. 

It is turning into a busy first call night.  Two calls during dinner.  I finished up just in time to get to my cabin to watch Lincoln.  Then two more calls during the movie, the last of which resulted in me sitting here until midnight to redraw labs.  Hopefully it will give me time to upload a few pictures.

And the prize. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


Well, it is official.  I don't like Aruba.

Now don't get me wrong...if Aruba was the only Caribbean destination on the trip or it was the only option, it would be fine.  But, it doesn't have the same character and color as Curacao, doesn't have the Panama Canal of Panama or the scenic beauty that Costa Rica has, that I haven't seen.  Aruba is mostly booze, shopping and beaches.  None of those things are high on my list. 

Also, Aruba is BBQ night on the ship.  This is where they eschew using the Lido dining area, where things are set up to serve a high number of people food in a smooth and efficient manner and instead set up temporary BBQ grills on the aft pool deck.  Then they try to arrange lines around in what appears to be a total Charlie Foxtrot.  Now, the poor passengers who have just figured out where to go and how to go about the ship are faced with this new thing.  It has less food options, is inefficient and confusing, but it's outside!  Not like it is constantly windy in Aruba or anything. 

I think it is one of those ideas that sounds great on paper. 

So that was my day.  Tomorrow I am first call. 

I finished the book I was reading yesterday.  Ahh the power of a day off with nowhere to go and no laptop on which to write.  It was OK, but nothing spectacular.  I got a new book from the library about Scott Fisher.  He was one of the mountain guides who died on Everest in 1996.  Should be interesting. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013


A sea day...third call.  I am on the same rotation as the first cruise, which means all my third call days are sea days.  Not too big a deal I suppose and it should mean that I am off on a couple of days when Miche is here, so no complaints.

I didn't do too much today.  Got a workout in, two miles on the treadmill while sailing 9 miles from Cuba.  As though there were any other distance to Cuba. Got a new book from the library, "The Survivor's Club".  It is about people who survive ordeals and why.  Air crashes and whatnot.  Pretty interesting and gives recommendations for further reading which is interesting.  I helpe my LMO, Chris set up a blog so she can share the details of her upcoming trek to base camp of Mt. Everest.  I sure hope she follows through and puts stuff up.  I will be following her and there will be a link up here soon.  Just giving her a bit to get set up. 

Other than that, not too much.  There was a fire safety meeting today with the decision makers on the ship.  It was a discussion about a main space fire scenario.  Pretty interesting and took me back to the fire drills on the Shasta.  I kept wanting to volunteer as a somewhat trained firefighter and kept realizing I was more valuable in a medical role.  It is amazing how that training sticks with you though.  Firefighting, dewatering and clearing smoke.  Good times. 

Tomorrow is Aruba.  I am second call.  I don't know if I will get off.  I might take some of Chris's call in hopes that she will take some of mine on Curacao.  There are a few pictures I would like to take.