What a Captain and Mate will do for their ship!

In April-June 2005 Captain Leppington and I sailed the Pacific Link to Fiji where we spent 3 months working on board the ship while it carried out its medical outreaches. We worked all round the clock from navigation, chart work, bridge (port and sea) watches and anchor watches, to chipping and painting, sanding and grinding and sign writing the ships name on the bow, both sides.

Riddle: - What runs fore to aft, port to starboard, left to right, stern to stem and there are three of them on a ship? – Guessed yet?

Captain Leppington and I spent a few months training crew in bridge watch duties, ship maintenance and ship board safety training procedures. Full time work, lots of hours on deck and little sleep gained by all on board. Grinding would start at the crack of dawn and noise s=would start to cease by sunset. There was no chance for an afternoon nap for me in Fiji.

Fiji was such an amazing place to experience 3rd world life. The lives children live in the villages are quite fascinating. They get the most out of life by making use of what is around them. For example one day in Levuka on Ovalau Island we replaced all the mooring lines on our ship. We placed the lines on the wharf one night and in the morning they were gone. When the Captain and I went for a walk later that afternoon we came across kids swinging from big ropes hung from the trees. They had takes our mooring lines from the wharf and hung them in their trees for the children to play in. It was quite touching seeing children’s eyes light up when they see something like this which they have never come across before.

Make the most out of what you have in life, you never know when you may loose it. What is rubbish for someone may be someone else’s treasure.

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