Today was a pretty good day.
Not many deckies working’; many people are seasick, and so extra deckies are taking on other’s seawatches, and so on, so not many day-workers. Tomorrow there are only 3 of us!
Anyway. The Bosun asked me to wirebrush/clean/paint one of the compass stands on the bridge, which was a good job. Went well too. Hopefully the rain the rest of the day wont have messed it up too much….
Then in the afternoon we had fire attack-team training. Which basically envolved learning about how the breathing-apperatus worked (BA-sets). Then putting them on, and going about the ship, all of us getting shut inside a small compartment/fan-room togeather (to make sure we could cope with such spaces, and not get claustrophobic), crawling along mainstreet (the main corridoor of the ship) using only hands and feet (knees not being protected enough) and then we went up to the funnel, climbing down through inside of the funnel structure inside the engine room, (very very hot! while wearing heavy BA-sets too…) to give us an idea of how it is like inside a fire, then we had to go out along the propellor tunnel shaft (small, hot, and with the propellor axel/pole spinning half a meter away from you the whole time) and climb up the emergency escape shaft.
Then our instructor (one of the ship’s firemen) went and lay down somewhere in the lower engine room, and we had to go in to find him, and carry him out as a casualty, the whole time wearing our BA-sets. The normal cylinders we are using here for air give about 45 minutes, so the whole thing didn’t take THAT long, but it sure felt like it, as it was so hot, and carrying a human body about while wearing a set is quite hard. One of the people on the training mis-attached his BA tube to his mask, and so had to stop half way through, and go on the rest of the time just breathing normal air, with his BA-set detatched, and one of the others ran out of air 10 minutes before then end, as he is less fit or something, and so was using up air faster. But we got out in the end.
I enjoyed it a lot. For some reason many of the others didn’t. Most of the others got burns on their hands while we were climbing down through the smokestack funnel, — it was that hot. I didn’t. Family asbestos fingers coming into play, I think. Anyway. They ended up walking around the rest of the day clutching plastic bags of icecubes. One of the others as well was feeling too sick to participate. But one of the other guys, from Germany, was really really good. Very competent, and good to work with. I’m sure he will be on the attack team soon, and good too.
We left India yesterday. Kind of sad. I will miss India a lot. A lot of people on board are glad to leave, as it has been very stressful for them, what with many of the visitors being so pushy and all. For me, I didn’t get so stressed by it, even when on gangway watch, with many people coming and asking for tours, and for permission to walk about the ship and stuff like that.
I was thinking about it, and many of the cultural traits which ship people were finding hard to deal with, and much of the culture are pretty similar to Cypriot culture…. just imagine a Cypriot culture that had continued for 3000 years without being invaded every 100 years like Cyprus has…. then imagine their religion teaching that they were spiritually better than others, and that the others were trash, lower than dogs, because of bad stuff they had done in previous lives, not even to be pitied. But the aspects of everyone being out for himself, but caring about his family, or family image. Not wanting to look bad, trying to get the best for himself out of every situation, thinking he knows best, and so on. Very similar to Cypriot culture. Maybe that’s why I didn’t have such a problem.