This should read, work on a cruise ship and see the inside of a cruise ship! I was excited yesterday, we arrived back in Ushuaia at 6pm, it was great to see the southern most town from the cruise ship, instead of seeing the cruise ships from the southern most town as I had done so for a month before.
But let me share my day in port with you, which was literally a day in port.
1800 Arrive Ushuaia
1815 Start work for passengers last dinner
2300 Finish work early and go out into Ushuaia to enjoy the freedom. And of course I had a few beers, the beer seemed to taste better as well. There is nothing like getting out of your 100 metre cage that has housed you, walking on land, having the freedom of walking up whatever street you would like
0300 Get from town, back to cabin, get some quick sleep.
0550 Beep beep beep, dazed, confused, wake up
0600 Start unloading passenger luggage
0700 Set up for breakfast buffet for opening at 8am
0900 I am on provision loading team, so have to load all the provisions, eg food etc, for the coming 18 day cruise. As can only be expected the local Argentinean agents were running on local time and saw a lot of waiting. (Other dining room staff are currently embarking new passengers. On a port day we drop guests off in the morning and pick up a new bunch in the afternoon for departure in the evening)
1600 Finished provision loading. Go and get 1 hour sleep before passenger general emergency drill.
1730 Passenger general emergency
1750 I’m writing this blog post quickly before dinner.
1845 Start work
2400 I will finish work all going well. J
So as you can see, a day in port for an assistant waiter aboard an Antarctic expedition ship is exactly that, “a day in port”, although usually we are meant to get 1-2 hours off the boat, but today was not that day.
But I still really enjoyed the day, I spent it doing the kind of work that I love, real kind of work, working with the crew, lifting boxes of random vegetables, working hard but laughing and listening to the Filipino music as we lifted boxes along our human chain. It felt like a holiday from the high pressure environment of the 6 star dining room and intense kitchen. I had a smile on my face which is pretty easy when your working with the energetic fun Filipinos who I am sure are all born smiling.
Every now and then I would get time out on deck as we waited for the next truck to arrive and I would take in the mountains that seemed to take on a new brilliance.
At one point I had 20 minutes off and went onto the pier and looked back over the promenade where I use to go stand every day looking out over the pier and the cruise ships that I so desperately wanted to work on. It was a great feeling looking back over that spot, remembering those countless hours I spent there, thinking, drinking mate, pondering, trying to keep positive, thinking of new plans of how I would make it happen. It was a great feeling to have actually made it, I was standing on the pier working for an Antarctic expedition cruise ship, I had wanted that for so long, and now I was doing it.
OK, I was going to write more, but run out of time. At sometime in the future I will write a post on everyday life on board, do a little video of my cabin etc, give you a little insight, and I will try and get some posts of the landings I have done on Antarctica. This trip I’m currently on is also taking in Faulkland and South Georgia Islands, so hopefully I my schedule coincides with the landings. OK, gotta fly, HAVE A MERRY XMAS.