An interim Supply Manager has arrived from Texas allowing Tammy to revert to Supply Admin Assistant. However she is still the glue and continuity in the Supply Team. Tammy has signed up for a 9 week (3 times a week, 2 hours per lesson) intensive French course at Institute Français. She is both excited and nervous. At present there are 4 others also interested in attending. Mick will probably try and do the same course in January next year. On Friday afternoons she tries to get off ship with a few of the Mums for a drink and pomme frites at a local hotel.
For Mick the last month has been pretty hectic. The Chief Engineer is away on leave and courses for two month and we have an interim Chief who although very experienced needs advice on some things. The Second Engineer also changed for two months and the Fourth Engineer is also back in the USA on leave and courses without relief. We are also short engine ratings this month and are having to hire some contractors. The good news is that most of the machinery is running pretty well. We had our first monthly main propulsion test last Wednesday which went very well. We had our first dive on Thursday which Mick was part of the team for. It was miserable with about 15 cm visibility and lots of rubbish. He dived again on Friday which was a bit more successful but almost as poor visibility. We have not bunkered yet as there are still some deliberations over which company to buy the fuel from. Once this is sorted out we expect to bunker about 210,000 litres per month which will take about 2 days each time.
After a bumpy start to the school year and field service the boys are settling down. It is always tough after such a long break, new teachers, new class mates and a new country. The blessing is our teachers are very committed to our children and truly partner with us in educating and raising them. We have done a few trips out on Saturday mornings looking for somewhere to practice our French whilst having lunch but have not yet found anywhere to rival Sucre Sal in Tamatave. Buying Fan Ice on the way home is a winner though, at 100 CFA each (about 20 cents).
|Rode to Ouidah|
|Mountain biking with the locals and expats around Zinvie|
|Bab's Dock - Sunday morning|
We have been out to Bab's Dock twice, once for a day trip and once for the weekend, staying overnight on Saturday. It is situated on a brackish lagoon about 20 km from the port. There are kayaks and a small sailing dinghy. Mick plans to teach the boys to sail. There is a restaurant and 2 bungalows and an assorted menagerie of animals - baboons, tortoises, dogs, cats, donkeys and a crocodile. We plan to try and stay there about once a month in order to refresh and recharge our batteries.
|Mark and Harry hanging out at Bab's Dock|
Our first visit we met some German Embassy staff and along with the German crew members we hosted 12 guests onboard last Sunday. We were then privileged to be invited to the German Reunification Day reception at the German Ambassadors residence. It was quite surreal dressing up and attending a reception again - our past life colliding with our current life.
Cheers, and Blessings,
Mick, Tammy, Jack, Mark and Harry