Thursday 31 March 2011

Land in sight- Las Palmas

We have land in sight, we have used 17 days from Buenos Aires to Las Palmas. During the morning hours we arrived back to civilisation for a few hours. The Pilot boat arrived approx 0830 and at 0900 we were at pier to commence bunkring. In the early afternoon hours we were back out at sea. A couple of shipshandlers appeared on the pier, well aware of a crew who have not been shopping for almost 3 weeks. A little mini-mall on the pier made a nice diversion for many of the crew.

The evening games in the Group Olympics had its last tow evenings of competetive behaviour across all department borders the 30th and 31st of March.
On the pictures below you can see some of the final games. The first picture shows a game called hepp hepp hello. There are hand movements involved in it and you have to say the opposite of the one before you. The second activity picture shows an impressive effort by the galley team, as they won the game of  5 people dressing, running, undressing in jumpsuit, helmet, big-big-big boots and welding gloves.
The third activity picture shows a really messy game where both contestants are blind-folded and have to feed the opposite sitting person with whipped cream. Funny and messy.
The last activity picture shows an eating contest where the Chef has prepared a lot of things, you are not able to choose what to eat, but you draw two notes where it says what to pick up. 3 from each team participates. As you might see from the picture some of the food was tough to get down.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

A couple of bumpy days

The last couple of days have been quite windy and bumpy. You feel the waves and adjust your movements for every few seconds, and in the end you do not even think about it. The human hard drive adjusts accordingly. Funny thing the human body as such. Onboard the many tasks are concluded in accordance to plan, others found obsticles and are running a bit behind, but overall we are en route with our "Crossing tasks". We are heading for Las Palmas, due to arrive Thursday morning for a couple of hours to get fuel. Next destination "Lisbon" April 3 until April 7th, where we start our "Spring in Western Europe Voyage", ending up in Dover April 15th.
We have a questions to our biologists out there if you follow the blog a bit, we have been passing belts of this seaweed several days both before the Equator and after.What kind of seaweed is it? We can see it's drifting far out in the ocean. Our current position is Latitude 24 degrees 3,2 N Longiude 019 degrees 7,2 W and current temperature is 22 derees Celcius.
The evening entertainment last night reached a new level when our sporty Hotelmanager Bjørn Erik performed his excellent story about the Italian "Antonio" visiting New York, and having slightly language problems when in the "Big Apple". Very entertaining performance by Bjørn Erik, before we continued with Olympic Games. Guess the song, longest clothing line and fetch 15 things were on the program. We were running after cottonpads, douvets, umbrellas, knifes, bandaids like our life depended on these items for  while there. Loud shouting and positioning of team members at strategic places were part of the game strategy.
Todays Interview is:
Name: Ardalyn P Villanueva
Position: Waitress/Stewardess
How long time have you been working for Hurtigruten?
6 Years
How many times have you crossed equstor with a Hurtigruten ship?
9 times
What do you like best about equator crossings?
Relaxed working durng the day and lots of fun and excitement during the evening.
Is your job different when the ship does crossings?
Which tasks do you have during the crossing?
General cleaning all over the ship

Monday 28 March 2011

The last few days in a nutshell

How blue is the ocean? We can assure you this photo has not been "fixed!. This is how blue it is. Picture taken Friday 25th of March at approx 5 degrees north. It is incredibly beautiful!!
Friday was a quiet day after the grand ordeal of baptism the day before. The single events were concluded at night. On Saturday the 26th the FRAM Olympic games started. 5 teams Dining, Housekeeping, Galley, Deck/Engine, and the Leftover team (Officers and Medical Team).

First game out involved running up and down the entire ship answering questions, and the last task was to find a trapped stuffed penguin in a passenger cabin. The group answering the 7 questions first got a head start on the search after the trapped penguin. Left overs were leading for all the questions, Dining and Deck just behind.

When the search started Deck department found the penguin and won this first game of the Olympics. It took a toll on quite a few of us having to run like crazy people up and down the decks after ha heavy barbeque dinner. Chef  Eduardo shows how most uf us felt afterwards. On Sunday there were three new games amongst them were egg race and "Guess the Word". The score is now a tie between Deck and Dining, that can change, keep following the Olympics on the FRAM!!
Our current position is Latitude: 19 degrees 18.1N Longitude: 023 degrees 44.6 West
We have 25 degrees outside temperature

Todays Interview is:

Name: Janardhan C Bambulkar
Position: 2nd Engineer

How long time have you been working for Hurtigruten?
For the past 4 months.
How many times have you crossed the Equator with a Hurtigruten ship?
This was the first time.
What do you like best about the equator crossings?
The people singing karaoke in the bar at night
Is your job different when the ship does the crossing?
No it is the same
Which tasks do you have during the crossing?
Cleaning of coolers, condensors, sewage pipelines, blackwater tank cleaning.

Friday 25 March 2011

The day of judgement is here!

 This picture says it all. The equator baptism were upon us very soon, always the same day as crossing takes place.This time it was March 24th at 02:21 we we crossed the equator.

  Already in the morning Chief Purser Aleksander boldly and in good spirit showed his defeat of not bringing his certificate from his equator baptism a few years back. The result is that King Neptune will not admit anyone into his Kingdom unless they show the certificate on the day of judgement "Baptism day".  You might have to click on the picture to see the entire text he wrote around that t-shirt.

At 15:00, March 24th the ordeal began by Safetyofficer and Captain announcing King Neptune's arrival. The ceremonial event could commence in all it's horror.First on the program was to double check position. Did we really cross the equator? It's not like it is a red line. Yes we had, all in order. Bring out the the victims!!Neptune and his Police and Medical Personell have a job to do!!

                      Very few words can give any justice to the feeeling og being soaked in a mixture of old fish and god knows what. The smell was as you see from Marilyns face quite distinct.We also would like to direct attention to Safety Officer Andreas excellent binoculars. After the ordeal all 22 victims went through, some justice was granted by the bosun Renato who hosed the worst "dirt" off. But they all stank even after several showers. Last picture shows that Aleksander went through it with grace, and Hotelmanager Bjørn-Erik as well. We have to give a big credit to the official Baptism photographer Eduardo (Souchef), who put together the collage of pictures.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

We are back !

Hello all, we have to apologize for not blogging for a whole week. We can justify only not blogging from monday to wednesday really when we had no sattelite connection at all, and we were truly alone in the big blue open. So we are blogging a bit in retro-spect now. During the days that have passed we have seen interesting things, which we think our biologists that normally travel will us in other parts of the world find interesting. We had a gathering of 6 "Masked booby" birds soaring along our way, suddenly a big dark bird appeared in their midst. We ran out with the camera, shouting, we have to get pictures for John and Manuel on this. After looking in the book we think this is a "Frigate Bird". It is described that this bird harasses other birds, and we can confirm it does. Several times it toke a dive to attack the "Masked booby".

Head chef Johan-Ludvik brought his deep-sea fishing equipment for this trip and tested aft on deck 3 after reports of sword fish was spotted, but no such luck this time.
We would also like to announce that we have opened up for anyone to comment on our blog. By mistake the comment was set to team members only.

Todays interview is:

Name: Irvin Igtanloc

Position: Motorman

How long time have you been working for Hurtigruten?
Almost 4 years

How many times have you crossed equator with a Hurtigruten Ship?
3 times

What do you like best about equator crossings?
Baptismal ceremony
Is your job different when the ship do crossings?
No differcence, it is the same as always
Which tasks do you have during the crossing?
Night duty in engine control room.

Monday 21 March 2011

Sunday and we finally have birds

We start today with yesterday evenings events. We have had crew activities at night all week, and singles games with darts, table-tennis, chess, and last night air gun shooting.We end up getting very competitive, and next week we continue with team games which we guess will get even more competitive. This morning we got a phone call from our Safety Officer Andreas, who reported "birds" soaring around the vessel. Quick camera, need to document for John. So here it is. We have a theory after looking in the book that this is a "Masked Booby". If John or Manuel should read this, could you comment on the blog to either confirm or give us the right name? They kept us company for many hours throughout the day.

Todays interview is:
Name: Johan-Ludvik Johansen

Position: Head Chef

How long time have you been working for Hurtigruten?
Since 1989

How many times have you crossed equator with a Hurtigruten Ship?
11 times

What do you like best about equator crossings?
Cleaning all storerooms, barbeque arrangements, sun and warmer climate.

Is your job different when the ship do crossings?
Yes time for more planning of the future cruises.

Which tasks do you have during the crossing?
All the provisioning of the upcoming Europe cruises, and preparing new menus. Also make sure the crew have good food on the crossing.

Sunday 20 March 2011

The hunt of the "Ekvator Certificate"

At 09:20 the "bing-bong" of the PA system sounded, and "Radio Ekvatorrrrrr" were transmitting a very important message to "ALL CREW". If you were not able to produce the one and only accepted evidence of your prior baptism over the Ekvator by 19:00 today, you are doomed on the day of judgement, which in this case is very close. It is the day we cross the Ekvator. You will be pabtised after the terror-regime passed down by generations of sailors. For those of us who have done it, we are in no hurry to do it again. A slight panic in more than one corner (especially the galley according to ships rumour) emerged after the message were transmitted, some went desperatly to their cabins to see if they had it. Others called thousands of miles to get there husbands and wifes to roam around and find this important document. The picture above shows the result of both methods used to retreive it. How many actually did not have the document by 19:00 today, will be reveiled in the blog on the day of judgement. So keep following us:-) 

The weather is beautiful, there is no other word to describe it. Temperature 29 degrees celsius, a comfortable 21 at night. We have had barbeques on deck every evening, how lovely is that?!! The lounge on deck 7 is a cool oasis after being outside for a while. One of these comfortable seats can be your on a crossing in october for approx 500 NOK per day included all meals. 

Todays interview is:
Name: Rune Andreassen

Position: Captain

How long time have you been working for Hurtigruten?
25 years

How many times have you crossed equator with a Hurtigruten Ship?
6 times

What do you like best about equator crossings?
Nice summer weather, and baptism of new crew that never have crossed before
and those who have forgot their certificate. You will never forget your first crossing

Is your job different when the ship do crossings?
I have more time for paperwork and planning of the operation ahead.

Which tasks do you have during the crossing?
Preparing for the next season in Europe/Greenland/Spitsbergen. Planning for the itineraries
for 2013, follow up with the ships management all maintenace and preparations conducted on the crossing. I am also judge for the FRAM Olympic games starting today, and will be going on for more than a week after duties.

Saturday 19 March 2011

The days seems all the same now

The days comes and goes, and they all seem the same now. The chores and the view do not change much. Although the position on the screens do tell us that we are on latitude 29 south now. It is getting considerble warmer day by day. No birds today John, we think we will see more when we approach the brazilian coast in a couple of days or so. We are looking. As you see from the first picture it looks quite inviting to take a plunge in the jacuzzies onboard. They are really nice!
Our Navigation Officer Clyde always seems to be busy on the bridge during his watch hours, although his view is a bit more monotonous than usual. Our medical team spends their spare time puttig together this large puzzle.
Todays crew interview is with
Name: Clarice Tabanao

Position: Receptionist

How long time have you been working for Hurtigruten?
5 months
How many times have you crossed equator with a Hurtigruten Ship?
What do you like best about equator crossings?
The games, and the time to relax
Is your job different when the ship do crossings?
Which tasks do you have during the crossing?
Inventory of the shopstocks, inventory of the office supplies and tidy up reception area
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Friday 18 March 2011

She will shine

Today was the first day our crossing tasks commenced "full force" after leaving Buenos Aires. All hallways and outside on decks were filled with water hoses, buckets, cleaning liquids, you could smell soap in every corner. A bit bumpier and windy today, resulted in a brisker walk on deck for those of us who do our daily excersice walking deck 5-6-7-8 for an hour or so.

We have arrived at 30 degrees south now and our average temperature is 26 degrees celsius during daytime. Quite comfortable to be onboard at the moment.
A message to our resident ornithologists and birdies. Our own John Chardine sent me a mail today saying "Karin, please have a look out for the tropical bird on the trans-atlantic crossing" Aleksander and I will do so, and promise to post pictures if we see any bewinged friends on our way.
Tonight as we are blogging the Fram Olympic games have started on deck 7, individual events first tonight with darts and table tennis. On my way from the lounge to do this blog the crew asked me to extend a heartily greeting to all you family members who follow us on the blog.

We will present one crew member every day for the duration of the crossing. We have some standard questions which they all will answer

Todays crewmember is Maria Luisa Nagasawa, Leading Stewardess.

How long time have you been working for Hurtigruten?Since 2004 (7 years)
How many times have you crossed equator with a Hurtigruten Ship?
14 times
What do you like best about equator crossings?
Baptism, weather, but do not like to sit too much in the sun, barbeques on deck, Olympic games onboard
Is your job different when the ship do crossings?
Which tasks do you have during the crossing?
Clean all passenger and crew cabins, make them shine and spotless. Organise all lockers and do inventory

Wednesday 16 March 2011

And then there were no land in sight

Another season in Antarctica is over, the 9th on a row since we started expedition voyages in 2002. Thousands of pictures and impressions of a landscape and atmosphere have been taken, it is hard if not impossible to explain for anyone who has not been there what those photos really show. So if you are reading this blog and have a wish of seeing something spectacular and unlike any other journey, a visit to Antarctica should be on the "bucket list".
 After saying goodbye to colleagues who have been working for months at end, a deserved vacation was well deserved. Peter, Frieda, Bob, Julian, Manuel, Petra and all staff members from the entire season, thank you, thank you for your passion, knowledge and your enthusiasm you bring to this product. Anja & Karin (Expeditionleaders FRAM)

The days onboard on a crossing is quite different from the rest of the year. We have plenty to do, but the pace is somehow slower and relaxed. Imagination runs wild with us sometimes too, as the picture of our new state of the art sound system proves on this picture. Chief Purser Aleksander created a sound room in reception area by using 3 plastic boxes on a wobbly chair, faced his ipad to the microphone of the PA system, turned it on, and voila sound system "extraordinaire".
Here you see Aleksander viewing his new invented sound creation from his office on deck 4. As you see the attire is also less formal on a trans-atlantic crossing. Uniform has been replaced with sneakers and jeans, but as Aleksander so elequently put it, "the work is still the same".