21 June 2007
This is the most beautiful island I have ever seen. I want to live in that cute little home and man the lighthouse. I'll get myself a little sailboat and pretend like I'm all salty and the princess of my island.. It's all just a dream.
Though I’m not in Prince Edward Islands I feel as though I could be Anne of Green Gables. The Lake of Shining Waters as she would say. I was on the helm this morning, the water was flat calm and the sun was hitting it just right. It was like a million diamonds, the Lake of Shining Waters now has a whole new meaning to me. It’s beautiful up here in Maine.
My days are long and I’m still counting down to the 1st of September. I am trying to look for the good in this job and have actually found two things; one, the weather is not hot at all. And two, I can have as much ice cream as often as I want. That makes me happy.
Yesterday I was on the shore boat for most of the day transporting passengers to and from the ship. The weather was actually pretty miserable, but I was having the time of my life. It was rainy and freezing but it felt as though I could be up in Alaska fishing. That was the first time I actually has a genuine smile on my face since starting this job.
When You lead me through a world that's not my home
13 June 2007
Well, it has been four days since I started my adventures with American Cruise Lines… I would have written sooner but I try to use that language as little as possible… Yes, this has been hard. Probably pretty dang close to the worst days of my life. I’ve been kicked of the bridge I believe five times now. The first two days were the bad ones, today has gotten better.
I flew into Baltimore on Friday night and started work early Saturday morning. It was quite chaotic with the disembarking of passengers and keeping everyone’s luggage going to the right location. It was a disaster with four people in charge telling us all to do something different… And I thought Friend Ships was unorganized.
I didn’t get my uniforms in, so am wearing someone else’s that is entirely to large. First of all I don’t wear white tennis shoes and secondly I definitely don’t wear shorts.. This alone has left me standing awkwardly in the middle of beautiful people.
Now I haven’t been on a ship since January 2007 but still know my port from starboard, how to carry out an order and to stay on a course. But to everyone else I am a just chick that has never seen a ship…(Underway)
So I flipping work all day, I think it was like 13 hours and then I had my four-hour watch on top of that. So we get out to sea and I report to the bridge for my first watch. Keep in mind that I have actually been an officer before and this is not the first time at the helm... Anyways, so I report to the bridge and we happen to be in a narrow channel. “Permission to relieve the helm? What’s your heading?” and all that jazz. Relieve the helm, the Captain says... I barely touch the thing and he wants to know if I have ever been with American Cruise Lines before. “No Sir, not with….” Is all I got in before he removed me from the bridge. Come back when we’re out in open waters he says.
Now I have never been kicked off the bridge before, so this has nearly brought me to tears. I know how to flipping stay on a course!
It’s dark out and I have been working all day. I come back to the bridge I believe like 3 hours later to do my duty on the helm/lever.
(Pause, let me go back) I haven’t been at sea for six months and this has now just brought back all the memories of the Israel trip that I cherish and miss so very much. I don’t think there has been more than a couple of days where I haven’t looked at my photo album from that trip, but something about being at sea made me miss my friends more than I ever thought I would. I’m surrounded by faces yet am so alone. I put up the “I’m so independent” look most of the time, but the truth is, I really need a friend by my side.
So with all that said, let’s go back to the bridge.
I relieve the helm and have been standing there for approximately 15 minutes. I can’t believe I’m so far away from everyone I care about and am working my butt off for money. Do I even freaking like to sail or did I make it up?
I start to blackout and know it will pass pretty quickly because I usually never get sick or anything... I can’t see the compass and this is a bad thing when you’re the one steering the ship. “Mate, I’m blacking out and I can’t see the compass” I say. I couldn’t see a thing but could hear quite a bit. My first thought was, what’s going on and why did they sound man over board on the ships whistle? (three prolonged blasts) I’ve got you! I’ve got you! Said the Mate. I’m going to lay you on the flour! What’s wrong?! What’s wrong?! What’s wrong?! Said all the voices around me. What happened to her?… I come-to on the deck of the bridge with 6 faces rushing round trying to make sure I’m going to live or something. Now I’m embarrassed! What the heck just happened? I never, ever, for any reason pass out. (Once when I was like 14, had the flu and was walking outside to my room. But besides that, never!)
Anyway, I lay there on the deck and then sit in a chair for a bit and tell them I am completely fine, I’m not sure what happened but it wont happen again. I’m ready to go back to work. Oh no you’re not, they inform me. You’re going to lie down. But, I can do this, I tell them, I’m fine. They put me in the room next to the bridge so they can keep and eye on me, but I’m to be sleeping. The Mate comes to check on me and I ask him why they sounded the man over board signal. He said, we didn’t. You hit the danger signal on the ways down. (five short blast). Oh dear god! Can this actually get any worst?
The next day I am so flipping seasick! And it wasn’t even rough out! Yes, I have been seasick before but not like this. I didn’t even get seasick to or from Israel! And we went through how many hurricanes again? I don’t know what came over me, but that morning I threw up like 15 times. I report to the bridge again for duty and they ask how I’m doing. Said I was a bit seasick but would be fine. Come back when it’s calmer. That’s number 3 now! By this time I’m in my room in tears! What the heck am I doing here and why can’t I do this?
I come back 2 hours later and am on the helm for about 15 minutes again and start getting so flipping sick. The officer looks at me and asks if I’m alright… NO!.. Tell me what you want, he says. I’ll be right back, and I sprint towards the door. Down the passageway I freaking run to the head, throw up and come back to the bridge.. Of course I feel fine now, but this will only last for about 5 minutes before I am sick again. Go lay down! Number 4! Oh my gosh! I can do this I swear!
I’m doing laundry now at this point in the completely closed-in bow, and I pretty sure there is not a worse place I could be. I haven’t eaten now in two days because I am so flipping sick. I come back to the bridge and same story. That now makes 5 times I have been kicked off the bridge!
And at this point in my life I’m seriously thinking about jumping overboard! It’s 2 in the morning and can see land. I have to call Debi or I’m going to die.. No cell service! Could my life possible get any worse? The answer is actually no… It was the worst it could get. I actually thought that I really might die! For real! It was that bad!
I was finally able to actually stay on the bridge for two watches before arriving in Bangor, Maine. (I have never been so happy to be moored at a dock in my life!) The two Captains and two Mates seem to actually like me for some reason. I don’t know why, but I believe they think I am delicate or something. For the two times I was actually allowed to stay on the bridge they were very impressed with my work and what I actually did know. I really can do this! I just haven’t had the chance to prove myself yet.
Things have gotten better today, but I’m still not sure I’m going to make it the three months. I know with God all things are possible, but I would really like a Christian friend here to talk to.