Living the dream

7 Jan

video

Howdy folks,

Well after my last post I wrote, I actually got off the ship, I finished work at 2am and decided to get off the ship for a couple of hours before 6am, and I’m actually off again now as got 1pm to 3pm off to catch some sleep but I opted once again to get some land time in.

But before I get into my posts about my job and my lifestyle, which may come across negative, I just want you all to know how lucky I feel and that I would have this no other way.

Above is a video (not too sure if the sound came through when I uploaded it) I just remembered I had of my first Antartic landing, my victory speech if you will. The video and all the photos in this post are kindly taken by Richard Sidey (pictured below), check out his website for some amazing photos www.richardsidey.com or his blog www.sichonice.com.

I still can’t believe how much luck I had on my side getting this job, obviously I put a lot of effort, persistance, went all out, dedicated my life to getting to Antarctica. But the more people I talk to onboard, the luckier I realise that I’m actually here. I remember when I was back in Paraguay and decided to go to Ushuaia to “try” and find work, I said I had a 5% chance of actually getting work, and from what I hear that was probably a generous guess. As you all know I literally exhausted every option of getting to the continent.

Firstly, I was lucky I had met Sich who is a friend of a friend Hazel who when she was visiting us in Paraguay and I was applying for the Scott Base volunteer job, she showed me Sich’s blog and told me to get in touch with him. When I arrived in Ushuaia we briefly met up when his ship was in port, and then a couple of weeks later he gave me the heads up that the ships dining room crew were short staffed. Then he personally handed my CV in, and not to mention tried everything to get hold of me at the hostel when he heard there may be a vacancy.

The HR ladies that did all my paper work, weren’t too sure on how to go about my situation as they said it never happens, ie they just don’t randomly pick people up from ports, the usual procedure is that people go through the recruitment process in their home countries, ie medicals, paperwork etc and then they are flown out to the port usually to start a 7 month contract. Plus majority of the crew are Filipino, for example 95% of the dining room staff are Filipino, I’m the only native English speaker, although I still get hassled every time I say egg, “what did you say, igg, what’s an igg”.

All my co-workers ask me if I have all these sea going qualifications, seamens book etc and are a little stunned when I don’t have them. Not too mention I have no cruise ship or waitering experience, the people I work with have studied hospitality, have been in the cruise ship industry for years. The company I am with is known as being the crème de crème of the cruise ship industry, hence the 6 star rating. I have met people in my time in Ushuaia who had also been looking for Antarctic work. I was told the only reason I got on was because the person who was meant to be coming had visa troubles, and they were short staffed.

Even though at times I feel like a slave in a floating prision, I try to remember how lucky and fortunate I am to be here, for so long this was all I wanted. My Antarctic dream consumed my thoughts and ruled my life for so long, and now I’m living it, Thank you everybody who helped and supported me along the way.

Now that you know how lucky I feel to be here, in the following posts I want to share with you what life is like on board.

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