Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Part - !!! (Plan B)

With all that has happened these last few days, you would think crew change would pretty much be a blur by now? Think again! I have never seen a more complicated set of plans drawn up for one single crew change :|. But what with the demonic weather conditions and the absolute necessity of our crew being off for Christmas, shore support (thankfully!) went into complete overdrive! Over the weekend we were informed that crew change would be a part ferry, part helo affair!

So at the crack of dawn on Monday we were ready with the small boats to accomplish some ten trips to transfer the bulk of the crews between the Trident and the Foveaux Express. The thick haze that hung all about us boded ill, but the sea was as calm as I'd seen in weeks. Then I actually saw the ferry. I wasn't expecting anything very big, but this was tiny!!! It didn't even look like it could fit in 40 odd people on board, and luggage :(. And then suddenly I recognised it!! This was the same boat I'd seen from the Trident, getting battered by the quite moderate seas on its way into Bluff, while we had been waiting to go in for our port call some 3 weeks earlier :-S.

Thankfully, the transfers all went well. (That is to say, everyone got to where they needed to be and no one, or their bags, got dipped in the water.) I was on the crew for the first few trips, and I can tell you, it wasn't fun turning away from the ferry every time, when I could have simply hopped across :-<. Eventually managed to get off on the last trip, and then it was straight for Bluff! By then it had gotten seriously rough and the rain had picked up from a light drizzle to a heavy downpour. Unfortunately, I'd packed my jacket in, not realising that we weren't getting our bags back till we got to port!! So I ended up spending the almost hour long trip freezing my ass off :|. It was a fun trip though, bumpy enough to throw a few people off their seats, but not enough to actually make anyone throw up :D. The familiar sight of Dog Island and its lighthouse brought relieved cheers from most, and in what seemed like absolutely no time, we were off at Bluff, and on a bus to Invercargill!It was only then that it occurred to me that we now had an extra two days with no car and possibly no accommodation in New Zealand!!! Frantic calls to the car rental ensured we had the car a day earlier (and rather inexplicably, a lot cheaper!) and the bosses ensured we had rooms in one of the rather nicer hotels in town. That sorted, the better part of the crew proceeded to relieve the pent up tension by collectively swarming every watering hole in sight.I don't clearly recall a whole lot except that we started at about 11 am and by the time I called it a night around midnight I'd realised two things, one, when in Kiwi-land go with Speight's Old Dark. And two, Invercargill has more pubs and bars that cafes and restaurants, and we'd probably been to almost everyone of the former :P.

(was) Feeling: pretty good
Listening to: Nirvana - The man who sold the world

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