The longer we stay in this ship, the more cognisant I become of what we need, not want, to make it work for our family. We accept that we are called here. We have found the jobs that we are supposed to do. What do we need then to stay sane, grounded, caring, connected and functioning as a normal family?
This year, we have realised that we need time away from life onboard. As a family, we need outdoor activities. As an individual, I need trees and space. Coming from Australia, I hadn't realised how much I take space for granted. The joy of being on a beach with not another soul in sight. Of being out in the bush and hearing birds - spotting a snake, lizard or even a koala or roo.Mick writes:
Now we are blessed to be serving in Madagascar which offers fantastic opportunities to get away for a break from the ship. Don't get me wrong, we love ship life and the people we serve and serve with. However, although I am not duty engineer every day (and at present it is a glorious 1 in 7), I am on call 24/7 when onboard. I am one of two on the ship Quick Response Team and all the engineer officers are expected to respond if we experience a black out - and we have had 4 in the last week.
In November last year Tammy found this great little getaway about 111 km south of Tamatave at Mahambato. We stayed there for a weekend with Tracy, Frank and Kathleen and had a wonderful weekend. We tried to arrange another visit at Christmas but couldn't get our transport sorted. But last weekend we got together with a group of good friends and made it away for two days and nights. I only just made it as shore leave was cancelled by the Captain for all technical crew on Friday afternoon due to the proximity of two cyclones which were causing the ship to surge and break lines. But the Chief Engineer had already cleared me to go and I was gone…
The drive down is an adventure in itself - two hours for the first 100 kms down the highway and then 30 minutes for the last 7 km over very rough dirt road. But it was sooooo worth it. Great simple food, a beautiful beach by a beautiful lake, great weather, fantastic company, a few beers and nice wines, good cheese, lovely staff who did whatever they could for us.
|Upstairs bed complete with mosquito net|
|Cori - making s'mores|
|Mark and Harry|
|Jesse and Harry|
|Ahhhhhh, the serenity!|