I think I may have mentioned I’m quite busy, and a bit tired. Here is a summary of my week, so far.

Tuesday 23 January 2007:

07:30-07:55 – breakfast.
08:00-08:55 – Associate director’s devotion, and community announcments
09:00-15:30 – final transferring of water, sounding tanks etc to prepare ship stability for sailing.
16:00-17:00 – stand-by for mooring stations
17:00-18:30 – mooring stations, leaving the port, preparing the anchor, and dinner squeezed in while others were on anchor watch.
18:30-19:00 – Dutch dance “dress rehearsal” to check dance quality for the programmes
19:30-20:30 – “Port report”, community meeting to see what happened in Manilla, exchange news, stories, etc.
20:30-22:00 – Lying awake in bed with the light off.
22:05-23:45 – Sleep is a lost cause. Drinking coffee, chatting on yahoo, and getting dressed and ready for sea-watch

Wednesday 24 January 2007:

…-04:20 – Sea watch on the bridge. Training 2 new helmsmen while supervising lookouts, keeping watch, steering the ship, etc.
04:30-05:00 – Getting ready for bed, I still have no bathroom, and so have to use one down by the engine room.
05:00-07:00 – Sleep (2 hours)
07:00-07:30 – Breakfast
07:30-08:45 – Bible Study groups
08:45-11:30 – Lifeboat Drills. More about this later.
11:30-11:45 – Grabbing an apple for lunch, showering, and getting dressed for sea-watch 11:45-16:20 – Sea watch on the bridge. Continued training of one of the new helmsmen, while
keeping lookout, etc.
16:20-17:30 – Sitting in the mess, eating carrots, waiting for dinner.
17:30-18:00 – Dinner.
18:00-18:20 – Preparing for bed.
18:20-23:00 – Sleep (4 and a half hours)
23:00-23:45 – Preparing for sea-watch, drinking coffee, etc.

Thursday 25 January 2007:

-…04:20 – Sea watch on the bridge, you know the story.
04:30-05:00 – Getting ready for bed.
05:00-07:30 – Sleep (2 and a half hours)
07:30-07:55 – Breakfast
08:00-08:45 – Teaching session on Galatians.
08:45-10:30 – Mooring stations, arriving in Cebu. Most experienced people just left, and we have a new deck officer who doesn’t speak English perfectly yet (although he knows everything completely in Korean).
10:30-11:30 – Soundings, getting water checked out, and filling log books.
11:30-12:00 – Lunch.
12:00-13:30 – Check emails, write new Job Description for watermen, prepare other jobs, find out whats happening with the water this port.
13:30-14:30 – Help with packing down the lifeboats, and settling down to wait for the first water truck to arrive.
14:30-15:30 – Find out that the water trucks (about 20 of them) will arrive at 19:00 tonight, so decide to write a few emails then sleep til 17:30 for dinner…
15:30 – Now.

So. We’ll be loading water from 19:00 or so until midnight or around then. Probably later. 200 tons. It’s free, though, which is nice.

Dear Steven Covey – Thanks buddy! Sectoring my time is really helping me be efficient (and facetious – right now.)

About the lifeboat drills, I’ve just been reassigned, I found out at breakfast, to coxswain of life-boat 1. Very cool. Very nice lifeboat. But I’ve not actually been in boat 1 in the water before. Nor have I ever been coxswain before, outside of the training a few months ago, in a totally calm harbour, after all the theory and going through all the procedures with everyone about 10 times.

Today, we had a man-overboard drill, so not only do we decide to use boat 1 (the smallest fasted lifeboat), but also a man-overboard, which is more complicated. AND, for man-overboard we don’t use the normal crew of boat 1 (not that I’d ever worked with most of them on the boat before anyway), but all of the other much more experienced coxswains are the crew!

So I had to assign them to various jobs (bowman, sternman, ladderman, starting the engine, etc, tricing-in lines, and so on), then have pretty much of the whole of ALL the lifeboat crews of ALL the boats watching me and standing around getting slightly in the way, and doing stuff ONLY when I told them to, rather than when they saw it needing doing (which in a way is good, I guess???), then we went to the water, I was at the helm, with as well as the normal man over board rescue stuff, a photographer and video-cameraman in the boat to get extra footage for projects, in calm (but nevertheless ocean) waves, picking up the man-overboard-dummy, and bringing back along-side to be picked up, with all the other coxswains giving lots of helpful advice (ahem.) for this lifeboat I’d never been in before.

Anyway. It wasn’t a complete disaster. At least it was a drill, not for real. I learned a lot. I’m more humble now than before, I think. I hope. The captain, chief mate, and second mate all said well done to me, for my first drill as coxswain. (in reality, I “ran over” the dummy, because I turned the tiller wrong way into the wind, with the motor still going a bit too late), a boat-hook broke (not my fault), the exhaust pipe fell off (also not my fault), I had to come in along side twice (my first time in this boat, with a motor (also first time in ages), first time at the helm of a lifeboat while at sea, with currents and waves and all that too, so no surprise, but a bit embarressing with all the crews watching me, and all the experienced coxswains giving “advice”, two passengers taking photos and videos and all, a nurse worrying about the health of the man-overboard dummy, and the man-overboard dummy, who just grinned at me the whole time in a most disturbing way.

So yeah. That added to the fun of the day.

Anyway, I’m going to sleep now, or at least rest. Start work again at 18:00.