Friday 30 March 2012

Let`s introduce you to....

Today, we would like to introduce the man who was among the busiest on this voyage- as the light weight survery was in his hands:



Name: Stian Simonsen
Position: Chief Engineer

How long have you been working for Hurtigruten?I have been working for the company for almost 16 years, since 1996.
How many times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten ship?
Many. Maybe 8 or 9 times.
What do you like best about equator crossings?
The outdoor life. Sunshine and BBQ.
What are your jobs now during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?
My job is almost the same no matter where we are.
Is there something you always bring with you on board?Books, movies and a horrible sense of humour...

Thursday 29 March 2012

Sun shine in Las Palmas

We spent the day in port. During the entire day we had the weight control. Among other things it included that the vessel had to leave the pier.  As crew, there are not so many possibility to stretch the legs so quite many used this opportunity to go into the city again. Today was a general strike in entire Spain- but it was very quiet here in Las Palmas. Only a few demonstrations were going on and otherwise it rather seemed that the beach and Las Canteras  promenade area were rather busy in the sun shine.


Las Canteras Promenade


Now it is 21:45hours and we have left the harbor. The lights of the city have vanished already. The next days will be filled with final preparation for our Easter Voyage- and we are very much looking forward to having guests on board again...

One could descripe Art as the good soul- as a "General Purpose Utility" he is the man that can work in all areas. Among other jobs, he is responsible for the crew mess and he is always in a good mood.



Name: Artemio Panlilio
Position: GPU (General Purpose Utility)

How long have you been working for Hurtigruten?
3 years.
How many  times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten ship?
5 times.
What do you like best about equator crossings?
For me, the baptism at the equator is the absolute highlight!
What are your jobs now during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?As a GPU it depends on our house keeper Jenny. She is the one who decides on our routine while on the crossing.
Is there something you always bring with you on board?I always bring memorable pictures of my family.

Its nice to feel ground!

At 18:00hours the pilot came on board and guided us to the Muelle Grande in Las Palmas. Garbage and other things were already discharged today and tomorrow is the "weight day" of MV Fram.
We admit- it is so nice to have the smell of some trees, go into the shopping mall, walk through the streets, have a coffee at the playa and watch the people passing by! It feels a bit like a different life! After duties, nearly all crew went out and just enjoyed the evening ashore. Funnily, most of us met up at one restaurant that we have all been to a few years ago!


Las Palmas is the ninth largest city in Spain, with a population of approximately 384.000. Today it was dizzy when we arrived in the evening light. Nevertheless, the thermomether still shows 19C and a researcher a while ago said that Las Palmas "enjoyed the best climate in the world". One might argue with this- but we are very happy to be here.




The crew member of today is Cecilia- even though among crew she is only known as Mamita.
 
 
Name: Cecilia Robinson
Position: Nurse
 
How long have you been working for Hurtigruten?Since November 2005.
How many times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten Ship?
6 times.
What do you like best about equator crossings?
I love the climate, it is nice and hot. I enjoy socializing with all the crew members.
What are your jobs now during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?
Reorganize the clinic equipment and maintenance medical equipment. It is not a really big difference.
Is there something you always bring with you?
Beauty kit.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

And the winner is....

Certificate day! One might think of graduation & examinations, sweat, studying hard until late at night, maybe some fear.... And yes, that was us! It was not only one certificate that was given out today. Oh no, there were quite plenty and our show master Bong as well as Judge "Arild Baba from Hollywood" (also known during normal sailings as Captain Arild Hårvik) had lots to do.

Of course- do not forget the equator baptism! It seems like a long time ago- but all of the ones receiving the certificate today will make sure they never ever forget it when they go on board a ship! One of the ones that does not have to fear this anymore is Jan who is part of a team of Polish workers that are here on board with us right now: congradulations!

Jan from Poland- holding tight his baptism certificate!



Blas- and his well deserved bathroom scale

And then there was the weight competition: how much extra weight did we have on board? How much have we measured with bathroom scales/ hand-hold kitchen scales during the first days of the crossing? And only Blas got it "nearly" right": He guessed 137.5 tonnes- and was the closest to the actual weight of 144 tonnes! Well done!!! And what did he get for his first price? Of course, what would fit better than.... a bathroom scale...

Now, after fighting firce competition, many sleepless nights and tactical strategy planning... it was time for the announcement of the winner of the Olympic Games here on board Fram! During the past years, the deck/expedition team usually took the price home! But we have to give it to the fantastic Galley crew- you really, truly deserve this years first price!!! Not only was it great team work you showed, but also great singing, clapping, cheering skills! Of course, they are the team with the biggest picture here in the collage.

And the winner of the Olympic Games is... THE GALLEY TEAM!
(Picture left buttom)

But most importantly- we all had fun!

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Drill day

Today it was a day for normal routines- but then interupted in the afternoon when we had one of our weekly drills. Suddenly you realize how many crew are actually on board! The alarm sounds, everyone goes to their positions: on the bridge everyone is very concentrated, reception collects information, cabins are checked by the crew to see if maybe passengers are inside (which of course- we did not find a blind passenger today), fire teams go into the pretended smoke/fire areas, the hospital team looks after casulties, all muster at their stations. Today we also had a bigger life boat drill meaning that the entire crew entered one of the boats that fits in case of emergency up to 150 people. The life boats are equipped with a lot of extras like sea sick pills, water bags, water catchers, a small sea anchor etc.


Novi checking the lists on the bridge

To add some "spice" the electricity was put out on deck 5.

Safety Officer Rune goes through all equipment


Wyne checks off his team at the muster station.



Who had a lot of "casulties" to look after today in the drill was:
(you might already guess his profession when you look at his handwriting...):




Name: Alexander Rios
Position: Doctor

How long have you been working for Hurtigruten?Since 2007.
How many times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten ship?
5 times.
What do you like best about equator crossings?
Weather in every sense.
What are your jobs during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?
Reports! Location! Drills!
 Is there something you always bring with you on board?
Books, laptop and camera.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Las Palmas- get ready for us!

Last night we passed the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Senegal. We tried to convince the Captain to make a little detour- but no luck... But maybe on one of the next crossings there is a slight chance...

We have now been at sea since the 13th of March- and still have to go until the 28th of March evening when we reach Las Palmas where we will stay for one day only before continuing towards Lisbon. The sea has been really great to us with not too much wind- today was the first day when we experienced some more swell. And if you thought it is a boring time- hopefully your mind has changed by reading our blog!


Today, we are happy to introduce our "DJ":



Name: Diana "DJ" Espiritu
Position: Waitress/ Stewardess

How long have you been working for Hurtigruten?6 years.
How many times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten ship?
4 times.
What do you like best about equator crossings?
Barbeque dinner, Olympics and of course the ever so famous baptism...
What are your jobs now during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?Cleaning, cleaning & cleaning. This year we did a lot of weighting too. It is differents as we have day jobs which means more free time at night.
Is there something you always bring with you on board?My bible, family pictures and of course the baptism certificate!

Saturday 24 March 2012

Olympic Games on board Fram

Dear blog-followers,
We were not so occupied with ourselves that we forgot the blog! But - when you reach the equator, we usually loose internet connection for around two to three days. It is a bit weird- as suddenly you only feel half human. And then it is also...very nice and relaxing. But now we are back in business so let us update you on our past days.

First of all, let us introduce you to a few visitors on board MV Fram. They hitched a free ride! Pictures proof it- thanks now also to our store keeper Cristian, who- you read it already- always has his photographic equipment with him and is really good with wildlife photography. We sent the pictures to Friederike, who is at home right now but we still make her work: And she names them as frigate birds. They are the clever ones that do not go fish hunting themselves. Instead, he waits for other birds (like the masked boobies) to be the lucky hunter- and then he chases them and when they drop the fish-- here comes the frigate bird to catch it! You kind of have to admire that tactic.



And yes: they have started! The Olympic games... if you go to Wikipedia it says: "The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competition."... So the defination suits us-- somehow. We are international, but only a handful- but we had  and still have fun for thousands! So there are 5 teams on board: the galley team, the house keeping team, the restaurant, the deck department/expedition team and-- the "left-over team" (mainly officers). Games vary from shooting competions to "hopping-with-five-people-in-a-sack", dancing with a partner on a piece of paper that gets smaller and smaller, hamburger-fast-eating, dart competition... you name it, we are sure to have it!


Thursday 22 March 2012

The men of the hour

It is not just a time for relaxation here on board. The normal work continuous and there are quite a few trainings to attend. The fire teams practise, there are drills and our doctor Alexander and nurse Cecilia have trainings each day for CPR and first aid.



On a personal note:
We are very happy to announce that our Chief Officer Bjørn-Ivar is back in business! He has really been sick. A decent MAN-(in)flu(enza).
Sitat: “D e deilig å vær på bedringens vei, så nærme døden som æ har vært!” ("It is good to be convalescence, so close to death that I have been")
We are very happy that you are alive- and can enjoy your new cabin!


Today we would like to introduce a man, who you have seen yesterday being baptised- because he forgot his certificate! And he answered the questions below BEFORE he realized that. Life can be hard and cruel...




Name: Eduardo Valdebenito
Position: Assistant Chef

How many years have you been working for Hurtigruten?
8 years.
How many times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten ship?12 times.
What do you like best about equator crossing?
To prepare the disgusting mix for the baptism!
What are your jobs now during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?Cooking for the crew. And it is different as there are no early breakfasts.
Is there something you always bring with you?
My suitcase.





The Royal court has arrived!

No more need in saying anything else than: yes, we have crossed the equator! And Neptun has 18 freshlings now in his kingdom! Let the show begin!

The time has come: the equator is near!

William getting ready!

MV Fram music band






No mercy...











Chistopher from the restaurant- the others have way too much fun there!!!

Sorry Eirik- also dancing does not help!


This used to be our assistant chef Eduardo


Rune is still smiling...


...but not for so long...


Espen....- not quite sure what is on his head :-)

And also Carlo does not have to do it again.
 


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Spectators...

Pharao on MV FRAM?

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Smiling in the sun and rain...






Tuesday 20 March 2012

Want to take a guess?

Question of the day: Guess the total weight of what we physically have been putting on the scale the past days? So far, answers of the crew vary from 79.5 tonnes to up to 120 tonnes. Soon the answer will be revealed by our Captain...

And- we were spotted today: we had a very small propeller plane flying low coming towards us and circling a couple of times before it disappearing again. At least we know that we are not alone out there. Maybe they just enjoyed the view of some of the crew sun bathing in their lunch break? We will never know. But whe have this super duper clear picture of Musti to proof it :-) There are still a few more days to get practise though...






Name: Elmer Eullaran
Position: Bartender

How long have you been working for Hurtigruten?
7 years. Since 2005, first ship was MV Nordnorge.
How many times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten ship?
14 times.
What do you like best about equator crossings?
What I like best about equator crossing is the baptism ceremony given to first timers! I was once baptized, but now I always play as a barbar!
What are your jobs during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?During crossing, I do general cleaning.
Is there something you always bring with you on board?
Aside from all the foods and goodies that I bring with me when joining, I also have my holy rosary with me I am keeping for 12 years now. I have it with me every time I travel.


And now a picture of Elmer in all his glory:

Our crew!

A question that pops up reguarly is how many crew do we acutally have on board MV FRAM and where do they come from?

At the moment we are 74 crew on board. Lets start with the highest number- from the Philippines there are 54 crew members that brave the Arctic and Antarctic waters with us, work in the galley, on the tender pit, our excellent team of boat drivers, the waitresses/waiters... From India we have two crew members (our Navigation officer and an engineer), from Indonesia there are two ladies in the reception and two come from Chile (store keeper as well as assistant chef). Our medical team (the doctor and nurse) is from Panama and most officers (11 in total) -like Captain, Chief Engineer, Chief Officer, Hotel Manager, Chief Purser etc- are from Norway. And we have a lonely German (Expedition leader) as well. Contracts vary quite a bit- while some go home after 5-8 weeks, others stay here for 3, 6 or even 9 months.

In the past days alone you were already introduced to our Captain from Norway, some crew from the Philippines-and now it is time to go to CHILE:



Name: Cristian Silva Castillo
(on the picture to the right, left is his assistant Roger)
Position: Storekeeper

How long have you been working for Hurtigruten?
Since November 2003, the first season on board MS Nordnorge.
How many times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten ship?
10 or more times, on board MS Nordnorge and MS Fram.
What do you like best about equator crossings?
The chance to enjoy some time in a fun way.
What are your jobs now during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?Inventories, cleaning, arrange every store. It`s a more deep counting of stocks.
Is there something you always bring with you on board?Yes, my music collection and my photographic equipment.

Sunday 18 March 2012

Certificate check day!

There is life around! Today we spotted quite a few of the Masked Boobies. This large sea bird can have a wing span of up to 165cm and they are spectacular divers- once in a while you would see them plunging diagonally into the ocean at high speed.

At reception it is also busy: y
ou would not believe how many crew are there right now! It is just getting crowded! Today is the - lets call it- proof day: Do you have an equator crossing certificate? And the next question: is it real or is it a fake? Among sailors we know what will happen if you DO NOT have one! So if you have one- you protect it with your life! Some have serveral copies of it stored at different places in case one gets lost: you find the copy on iPhones, computers, hidden among official documents...

One who does not have to worry about the equator crossing is:


Name: Jennifer Armasa
Position: Leading Stewardess
How long have you been working for Hurtigruten?From 2004 until now.
How many times have you crossed the equator with a Hurtigruten ship?
12 times.
What do you like best about equator crossings?
The Barbeque outside deck 7.
What are your jobs now during the crossing? Is it a big difference to the normal routine?
It is the same for us.
Is there something you always bring with you on board?The certificate of equator crossing!