Sunday, 27 April 2014

A Very Large Week

And on the Seventh day he rested..... Maybe.

Well that has to be one of the most intense weeks of my life.

I can't remember a time when my brain ached more from crackling synapses. I arrived in France last Sunday in a pretty good state. My flight(s) went smoothly and my only angst was felt in the cavernous Dubai airport which for reasons unbeknownst has a million curiously busy toilets and a swathe of people seemingly living inside the airport.

I landed in Nice and was greeted with a grand sight. A driver carrying a name board with the clan name McConnell. Let it be known that I still am humble and to see my first driver carrying a name board made me very happy indeed.

Soon enough I was on board my newest Mega Yacht. The ship was running a drill soon after I arrived so I dodged this drill by hanging in my temporary cabin. I was at pains to explain that utilizing me in a drill after 40 hours of travelling would be very dangerous. The drill soon took out all of the lighting in my cabin. This was by design but luckily enough like all good ETO's I had packed a head torch.

I met my rotation partner who was very friendly, very knowledgeable and very German. I soon learned that we had no Radio system and we would attempt a repair the next morning.

"Everything was going fine until we tried to fix something"

Power cycling is sometimes bad. When we power cycled the rack which supplies the brains to the radio system one of our core switches did not turn back on. The other switch lost its marbles. Neither switch had been turned off for 4 years. I won't share more technical details but needless to say the rest of the week was spent fixing problems and trying to get a full and comphrehensive understanding over the numerous and very complicated systems.

I thought I had an endless appetite for technology but after a week of ramming my brain with passwords/address's/names/procedures I am deeply tired. I have started to question why we need so many blackberries? Why do stewardess's need iPads to read napkin folding books? Why do Chefs need iPads to read recipes? It goes on and on and on.

Compounding this week has been the very real and present threat of Guests who have been using the boat. Stealth has been needed for and being quiet.

I did take time to draw some diagrams which have served me well.

Today my rotation partner left. I am all alone but I do now have a batcave to call my own. We should have a few days to catch our breaths before it all begins again. I am hoping to see a Nancyless Sam who flew away today. Do you remember Sam? The quintessential English man?

Did I tell you I am tired already? zzzzz.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Back to the France

And so it begins again. One more journey to France. Another boat to learn. A Mediterranean summer and all of the grind and trimmings. Its been a couple of years since I was in France. I expect things are much the same. France is infinitely more attractive when you have employment. It is also a great place to catch up with Yachties. Sam and Nancy my friends from Barcelona are there until the end of the month so I shall do my best to catch up with them. It has been a while........

Expect a few updates as I wring a bit more inspiration out of Côte d'Azur. Hopefully I will not need to resort to drink. Much.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Chapter Closed

And so ends one of the more trying, ridiculous periods of my life. My foray into Holland ended awkwardly with me flying home after 6 days. I thought things were going well but I was given flights home with no reasoning. To say I was furious is an understatement. Two months of wasted time, countless emails. Five interviews and at every stage I was told things were progressing well.

I still don't have a reason but after countless hours of musing.

"I was not posh enough"

Needless to say my brain toiled on the 30 hour flight home coming up with wise and pointed things to unleash from my fingers at the vessel. I would sink it with vicious verse. To this very morning I was still going to write this angry email but I lost motivation when I got offered another much more suitable position.

Yacht recruitment is a strange and curious beast. A lot of the good jobs are never advertised. The crew agents spam Captains and HOD's with hundreds of CV's and it is very hard to get that face to face interview. After a couple of weeks of badgering crew agents I did have a bit of a brainwave.....

I have not been doing much writing and I would write my way out of this predicament. My words have always served me well but over the last year I have abandoned them. So I wrote a covering letter/story which tells my tale. I solicited some good luck from proven candidates. I then had the good fortune to find out about a position that was not advertised. 5 days later I have a job offer and will be flying to Europe next week.

There is a nice symmetry with this. It is five years ago just after easter Anna and I began our tentative steps as Sailors.

Five years at sea. 

Doesn't that have a nice ring to it?


I am not counting my chickens just yet. However I hope my next update will be a happy one from the wrong side of the planet.