Today sees the start of an epic voyage.....okay, the first voyage following the 5-month refit. No April-fool joke I’m afraid – the maintainers still onboard at the start of the day worked hard on necessary finishing touches (curtains would be nice!!). The crew for LN738 joined promptly at 1pm – those who had sailed on Lord Nelson before looked around the ship and admired her new condition (I panicked at the loss of Henry’s Villa – where can I find all the cleaning equipment now??). Those new to her had a look of amazement at her beauty – soon they would experience the full Lord Nelson experience.
Everyone settled in quite quickly, having been delegated their watches. The permanent crew all donned their whites and paraded before the eagerly-awaiting voyagers. Captain Neil lead the briefing which outlined the planned navigation – stay alongside tonight, head west tomorrow toward Devon then south to St. Helier in Jersey. After an overnight stay we would head back North and along to the Isle of Wight before returning to a berth in Southampton (that means I have an ample supply of Euros to spend in the bar).
The briefings and introductions continued – the two mates, John and Jon, Bosun Marcin, engineers Rachel and Alec, the lovely Medical Purser Rachel, three-cheers for Cook Dave and sup. Mike, and the invaluable BMs Alice, Gareth, Josh,Mike and John (Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee).
Smoko re-awoke the dreamy crew who were ready for action stations with the practice evacuation drill. Then a nervous crew were given their first opportunity for a rather blustery climb aloft. On returning a delicious meal was waiting for them with a wonderful dessert (the washing-up afterwards was, naturally, a barrel of laughs and I was tempted to get my oilskins after being splashed on numerous occasions).
The crew are now resting in their bunks or in the bar – chatting, joking and preparing themselves for what lies ahead – sunshine and calm seas? Unlikely. I’m off now to dose myself up on seasickness tablets – who know? They may actually work this time!!
(Natalie Osborne, Aft-Port)