Well here we are alongside in Hartlepool. The weather has been rather ‘British’ today with the rain falling in stair-rods and the sun well and truly hidden behind a bank of cloud! Still, undeterred by such incidentals as this, the voyage crew of LN 704 arrived at the berth to be greeted by Steve the Mate and the watch leaders. Having found their bunks and decanted their belongings into drawers and lockers, the new crew signed on. First off was a call for ‘smoko’ – a welcome cuppa with a slice of birthday cake which had been baked in the shape of a leek especially for Andy, who hails from Wales as you might have guessed!
Captain Neil Duncan then welcomed the voyage crew on board the Lord Nelson and so started a busy afternoon of briefings and drills. First the permanent crew members were introduced: Steve the Mate, Roger the 2nd Mate, Peter the Bosun; Mr Pickles the Chief Engineer with Chipps the 2nd engineer; Dave the Cook with his assistant Rosie; Rachel the Medical Purser and not forgetting the Bosun’s mates Nigel, Martin and Amy.
Once all the introductions had been made, Steve began the safety briefings. This was followed by everyone trying out their foul weather gear, as they put on climbing harnesses and with their courage in their hands and hearts in their mouths, climbed up the ratlines to the first platform and out onto the yards. Most of the new crew were just stepping back onto terra firma when Cookie put out a call announcing that dinner was a buffet and everyone was invited to the lower mess for a sumptuous dinner of salmon, beef, ham, pate, cheese, and all manner of salads and coleslaw, and fresh bread.
Thanks – it was gorgeous! After dinner the messmen got into the swing of getting the washing up done and everything put away.
Just when they thought it was safe to relax, there followed a drill which included evacuating anyone from the lower mess to the deck above who was using a wheelchair – thanks Andy for modeling for this (and Happy ‘umpteenth’ Birthday too! x) and huge apologies to Cookie who had his shower rudely interrupted!! Finally drills and briefings over, the new crew got a chance to relax in the bar and get to know each other a bit better before heading to their bunks ready for getting off the berth tomorrow.
Update By: Rachel MP LN