Yesterday was my first day as duty fireman. Once every few weeks I’ll spend a day on duty running the firestation. We had a control team page at 8pm – the laundry girls saw steam coming from one of the machines doing a 95 degree wash, and thought it was smoke! It was quite dramatic. On Christmas Day, I got paged about 20 times… insane! About the 18th time I phoned info, and asked if I could get a prize. We were loading water; the quayside is weird here, and the officers wanted to ask about water several times. Also the shipping agent wanted photocopies of receipts, and the purser…

Today was kind of a strange day. I taught puppets this morning to all the port volunteers. Now they’re all shouting, ‘Hello Daniel!’ every time they see me. Then I played guitar for deck devotions, did my soundings and water rounds (quickly), then fixed the director’s cabin door. Then I replaced a broken porthole with one of the carpenters, and then took a valve apart in the engine room, and put it back together again, stopping it leaking. All random jobs. It’s not a “normal” day for watermen; it’s kind of weird, but it’s because all our normal jobs were done already. The monthly ones in dry-dock, there are no bags needing to go up or down, and no-one has lost any keys recently.

This port is quite stressful for me. Strange loading, and Stephane has moved to another job. So I’m training/leading Tomas, the new waterman. Because it’s a strange port there is no way I can give him routine jobs (like loading water) to do every day for a bit, and I couldn’t do the random jobs today with him as he was out with a team!

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