At Sea in a New Year – Some Odds and Ends

Throughout the ship and on our stateroom TV one can easily locate our current position along with some navigation data:

Each morning I retire to my “office” on the Port Side Aft in the Lido Dining room on deck 11. Here is where I catch up on email and text messages from family;

This morning the seas were almost flat, except there were swells coming off our port quarter that caused some rolling. It’s a great place to meet other early risers as well as the morning “Prep” crew.

I want to relate the story that caused me to include the next image:

But first I need to explain that our crew is made up of hard working folks for whom English is not their first language. You might say that some things have the opportunity to “get lost in translation”!

A few days into our cruise I noticed that the faucet for our bathroom tub had a slow drip and it took great force to stop the incessant drip, drip,drip. I filled out a maintenance report which was cleared in a timely manner. The second report was filed with the Front Office, which was quickly cleared.

In my third report, which I made using the feedback form on the electronic systems Navigator Program, I stated that “This is my third report, and would it be forwarded to the department head in charge of ships maintenance. And if there are no parts to fix the drip, could our stateroom be provided with a pipe wrench which could give me greater leverage in closing the valve.”.

I received a call from the Front Office advising that it would be necessary to shut off the water for our stateroom and the one adjacent to ours for an hour and would that be okay. Since we would on tour, I said that would be fine.

When we returned later that afternoon, the drip was still there! When I inquired as to when the work would be done, the reply was “The work order was cleared at 1:16 PM”. I said it was still dripping. Christopher, the Front Office person, I Was speaking with, said “I will come down with the plumber so that we can get this cleared up”.

When I explained “face to face” to the plumber and Christopher where the problem was, it became obvious that my earlier reports “had been lost in translation”. The plumber thought I meant that the drip was emanating from the connection to the shower hose and not the faucet!!! Ten minutes after they arrived, a brand new faucet was installed.

Hence, the photo. It is standard on every HAL ship that we have sailed on that all shower/tub faucets have only two controls; the one on the left turns on the water, one on the right regulates the temperature. Fantastic – works great.

When we visited Kangaroo Island, our tour made a stop at a small village called American River. The local folks we selling old books to help finance the building of a replica of the U.S. Schooner Independence, that was constructed by a stranded Seal Hunting Party, back in the day.

Barbara purchased “The Red Heart” illustrated in the following image:

The book was published in 1944 and is full of fascinating tales of explorers, stockmen and indigenous “blackfellows/sable mates who passed through the pages of Australian History. One such story is entitled ” Goodbye Mick Considine”.

Mick was a sixteen year old stockman who was fond of Banjo Paterson’s collection of “Old Bush Songs”. Mick had met his demise when the horse he was riding “put her foot on a loose gibber, stumbled, fell, threw, Mick and rolled on him”. Mick had died beneath the brilliant stars.

As they were packing his possessions they found his favorite book open to the classic poem “The Dying Stockman” which reads:

A strapping young stockman lay dying,

His saddle supporting his head;

His two mates beside him were crying,

As he rose on his pillow and said;

“Wrap me up in my stockwhip and blanket,

And bury me deep down below;

Where the dingoes and crows won’t molest me,

In the land where the coolibahs grow.

What a sad coincidence that even while memorizing these mournful lines, poor Mickey Considine should have met a stockman’s death in the lonely Vast Open Spaces (Quoted from the author)

This book was a page turner and for me it brought to life those rugged Australians that sought to tame this vast deadly continent.

I’ll close with a peak out our picture window decorated with the remnants of our two towel animals, with one doffed with a gift New Years Eve hat from HAL.

Still sailing over the bounding main, apparently in the Indian Ocean, but still crossing the Great Australian Bight.

5 thoughts on “At Sea in a New Year – Some Odds and Ends

  1. Wow, Jack….so enjoyed this post. It just got better and better, as I read through it several times….and, lo and behold….you put a “pot of gold” at the end of that rainbow of a post: towel animals, with the deep blue sea outside your cabin window! Makes me feel like I’m right there, onboard! I can feel the ship beneath my feet….hear the waves against the hull….

    Loving this journey!

    Happy New Year to both you and Barbara….and a Happy 55th (I believe) Anniversary (two day early) as well!

  2. Good 2019 morning ! That was a good read Jack. And a fitting picture at the end. Enjoyed it. So when are you starting your book? I’d love to read it.
    Happy travels.

  3. Happy New Year to you two! I love the picture of your morning “office”, Wow, what a blessing. Interesting about the story of your bathroom water leak. It takes some extra effort and patience to communicate accurately. It may have gone smoother if you had pointed to the leak or taken a picture of it and shown them! Sounds like the ship’s maintenance crew is prompt though. Our morning temp today around 8:00 am was 31 degrees. No rain, but cloudy. I can see the frost on the roof tops of our neighbors. SO glad you are enjoying the sun. I am sending the biggest hugs and kisses to you two for the new year!!! Love you guys

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