Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Voyage: Saturday November 14

Position: 49°28'48.05"N 0°10'37.59"E

We found out we're not leaving this town until tomorrow, so we decided to go into town and get some last supplies. We ordered a taxi (there was only one so he had to drive back and forth) and set off.

While Margit, Kieran, Alex and I were waiting by the boat, we took some pictures of the ship as it lay in the docks.

We'd been waiting for quite a while, and we were expecting the car back any minute. Then Margit stepped into the deepest puddle she could find and had soaking wet feet, socks and shoes. So she ran back up to change her shoes and socks. (It's 7 flights to our deck, so quite a treck). She made it back in time for the taxi to get back, but as we drove out of the port and the driver checked if we had our passes, Margit couldn't find hers. The passes are valid as a passport in the harbour, and since the boat has our passports, it's the only form of valid identity we have at the moment.
So we went back to the boat and Margit ran up again. In the meanwhile, Kieran, Alex and I searched for her badge on the quai. Stupid, really, as there was a very strong wind and if she had dropped it there, it would have blown into the water.

Anyway, we did make it into town eventually and met the others at the market. The market was great and sold lots of really nice food. Nuts, chocolates, cheese, beer, champagne and so on.
Alex got a waffle, I got a crêpe and together with Margit we set off on a long walk.
The walk eventually led us to the beach, and it was so windy we could hardly keep ourselves upright. After walking for over two hours, we were hungry and found a little restaurant near the fishing harbour. Even though we did now know that the food on board would not disappoint, we still felt we should have fresh fish while we could.

We walked some more and bumped into Speedy (who serves us food on the boat and generally looks after us together with Mario). He told us our ship can hold up to 2200 containers. That is a lot of containers.

We got a taxi back to the boat and started another part of our mission: everyone has brought three stories of the sea, and even though we were not at sea yet, we decided we might as well start. Tom and Kieran started.

After dinner (which always includes a starter, a cheese platter and either dessert or fruit), Tom found out that the crew was getting ready to watch football. Him and the other men thought it would be great to watch football along with the crew of our boat, but when we asked, they decided to try and hook up our tv upstairs instead.
They didn't manage and vanished, but Kjell and Dave fixed it and we could watch the game in our living room. Not quite what we were after, but still.

After the game we played some cards, and suddenly Xavier, our chef, knocked on the door. He introduced us to his daughter and explained very elaborately why it was not that obvious to go into the crew room. He said the older French crew are used to having that room to rest and relax in, and they're not too keen on having passengers barging in and taking over their living room.
We said we understood, but he kept on apologising.
He then went on to say, that tonight we could be his guests, so whenever we wanted to, we could go downstairs to the crew living room.
And then apologised again for saying no earlier. The mix of invitation and apology got increasingly more confusing, but in the end we understood that he would like us to go down there and join him and his daughter.

So we went, bringing a bottle of wine and a bottle of Aquavit.
Xavier introduced us to his daughter, her boyfriend, their two friends (one of which was a pastry chef in Paris), and one of the crew. They were playing darts. He explained that the older French crew had all gone to bed, and that we were allowed to come into the crew room as his guests. He also stressed the fact that this evening was an exception, that there was no guarantee this would happen again later on on the journey.
We had a great time with Xavier, he told us his favourite destination was New Zealand and he told us he didn't like Aquavit.

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