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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Joining the ship - first emotions



Hi everyone!  I'm posting this in La Spezia, Italy after about 4 days at sea.  Thought I'd share with you my journey from the beginning.
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A very emotional day today.  It was the day it hit me that I’m going to be on a container ship, for approx. 1.5 months, travelling to Hong Kong!
                Joining the ship was easy.  I made my way to the Cruise Terminal in Piraeus, the port of Athens and there the agent for this particular cargo line met me.  He took care of all my paperwork with the authorities.  I was lucky enough to also meet the new Polish Chief Officer who joined the ship with me.  He’d been on this ship before and was coming back from his leave.  I immediately warmed to his avuncular nature:  kind eyes with a weary, yet friendly demeanor, he assured me that any questions I had, he’d be more than happy to answer them.  “Don’t think any question is silly.”  Ahh, that’s re-assuring.

                And so on to the Cargo terminal.  A taxi took us to the front gate of the cargo area where I had to clear security.  This took about two minutes whilst they inspected my paperwork and passport.   The cargo area is huge and it’s not as if you can wander on down to your ship, so we boarded a minibus that drove us around to our ship, my new home for the next one and a half months!

We passed several ships on the way.  These are pretty big I thought, until we rounded a corner and came to a halt. Nothing really prepared me for just how big ‘my’ ship was.  I looked up, and up, and up.  And there she was in front of me, the Hanjin Boston in all her glory looked like a huge apartment block and as soon as I saw her, I embarrassingly burst into tears!  To say I felt overwhelmed is an understatement.  Chief Officer smiled good-naturedly at me & patted my shoulder (I think I have a father figure here who’s taken me under his wing).  You’ll see from my video how overwhelmed I felt…the emotions expressed in it are no exaggeration.  
Super cargo cabin
Shown to my cabin by Nelson, the Steward, I’m sure you’re all intrigued to know whether it’s very basic or not: see for yourself.   But rest assured I’ve been sleeping incredibly well the last couple of nights, even in the daytime.  My cabin gets cleaned daily and the bed sheets/towels changed once a week. 

Fab double bed!

 
Due to set sail later, wish me luck everyone!  



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