Awoke to a beautiful sunny morning anchored in Braye Bay, Alderney. As the on going watch we enjoyed an early breakfast, arriving to take over anchor watch at 8am. The ensign and the Alderney flag were raised and the watch men settled in for a quiet watch. Happy hour began and Heather was looking forward to dusting the binnacle...!!! This was brought to a halt with the sound of the fire alarm.........we had been warned that the permanent crew would be running a major fire drill. The fire crew donned their protective clothing and went down below to tackle the “blaze” and then ‘abandon ship’. After everyone was safely accounted for, we were treated to the sight of Josh being hoisted down into the doti boat and then Alex, Vipin and Steve from A/S dressed in red immersion suits – someone commented that the telly tubbies had arrived!
After the organised chaos and excitement of the exercise, smoko was followed by the departure of the first doti boat to run crew ashore for an afternoon on Alderney.
Those of us who stayed behind enjoyed yet another wonderful buffet lunch on deck in the warm sunshine overlooking the beautiful island of Alderney. After lunch the crew began doing a shore run again......it was not without it’s difficulties, after all it’s not everyday that you get hoisted over the side a ship and lowered into an inflatable rib whilst still sitting in your wheelchair!!
Lol was really impressed with the competency and sensitivity of the main crew whilst helping less able crew members into the rib.
Everyone enjoyed their time ashore. Louis and John from FWD Port and FWD Starboard walked across the island to look at some WW2 German gun placements, some others only made it as far as the first “refreshment” stop. A few hardy souls took to the crystal clear waters of Brae Bay.
After yet another one of cookies amazing dinners a fun filled evening ensued in the bar. The permanent crew laid on a Race Night which would have rivalled Ascot for sartorial elegance with outfits and hats willing supplied by Rachel the medical purser, otherwise known as Little Miss Sunshine. Some crew were very good at improvising.......a kilt made from some tartan fabric found onboard with a paint brush for a sporon was quite a hit!!
Aft Starboard taking over the log ....
The race night .... Alex the 2nd Mate and Alec the 2nd Engineer were taking bets and shouting the odds. The horses were frisky for the first race, tension was high as the packed bar roared as first roll of the dice had Sandblaster, a much favoured three year old, romp into the lead, ridden by BM Jay but a rare woman rider , Rachel BM was hard on his heels using her skill and strong knees to get the most out of her horse, Dobbin. The racing was close in all the races, money was lost and won and lost again! Later it got serious with Alec announcing an auction of all the horses which would be held under the proper rules like at “Selfridges” (Alec getting his Selfridges mixed up with his Sothebys there). Several individuals and syndicates in a bidding frenzy buying up all the horses after the Allianz group started the bidding for Vindaloo Queen which they won after a strong bidding for £23, which turned out to be a good buy as a later horse went for up to £60 after determined hard fought bidding. After the racing, there was an auction for a well used sea chart of the Channel Islands signed by the crew and with the ships stamp, with Kim taking the prize with the highest bid of over £50 .. disappointment to the many unsuccessful bidders, but of course these were generous souls who dug deep knowing the money raised would go to the JST 800 challenge, a good sum of money was raised to help pay off the trust debt. People drifted off to bed to dream of what would have been, and what was to come .... oh yes, an anchor watch and a short sleep then an early rise for some as we plan to slip anchor at 7.30 am to tack across the Channel and through the busiest shipping lanes in the world on our way home. It’s certainly never a dull life on board! ..... Ian (A/S watch)