So we bade farewell to the voyage crew of TNS 273, and set about getting the ship ready for sea once more. Cabins were stripped; bunkering commenced; sails changed; and the DOTI boat taken to refuel. Hammie our cook set to in the galley, with wonderful aromas of freshly baked cakes wafting through the decks! Our new Bosun’s mates for the voyage Tom and Eifion set to with hosing the deck house roofs, getting rid of all the sand and dust we had picked up and managing to soak one or two cadets too! It was a hive of activity and then bit by bit our new voyage crew began to arrive. However, due to various airlines experiencing delays, it was well after midnight before the last of them arrived on board. What a day for them! Still, passports were surrendered and the new crew signed on by Rachel the medical purser. So Day One ended with Chris the mate giving a safety talk for the night and everything in respect of training was put back until the morning when we had a full complement of crew.
Next morning (Day Two) we were up bright and early, breakfast was announced and then everyone was invited to the lower mess to meet Captain Simon, who told of his plans for the voyage and introduced the rest of the permanent crew members, namely: Dave the 2nd Mate, Dave the Bosun; Pete the Chief Engineer with Shiny Tony the 2nd engineer; and Hammie’s assistant Mona – and HUGE thanks to Maureen who quickly stepped into the role of Cook’s Assistant yesterday. Thankfully everyone was finally together and the briefings could begin. So a busy morning was had, getting everyone up to speed with the drills, musters and the safe evacuation of wheelchair users from the lower to upper decks. No sooner was this over than it was time for a quick ‘smoko’ with a selection of lemon and chocolate & orange muffins. Then came the opportunity to climb the rigging. So, with harnesses fitted, they gathered around the main and fore masts to listen to the instruction and then, up they went (including I believe, Shiny Tony our 2nd engineer doing something fiddly and ‘engineery’ near the button!)
So we’re underway now, with plans to sail from Lavrion to Yithion in Greece, through the Straits of Messina and ultimately to Monaco with a stop or two en route - we’ll let you know how we get on and if poor Harry survives……well, no one brought any ginger beer out with them – so the ‘dark & stormy’ low level alert still exists – if only someone would take pity on poor Harry – and he’s still on board for TNS 275!!!