2 sea days…..Bliss!

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The view of the Timor Sea from my office.


Yesterday and today we are at sea heading for Darwin, Australia. There is a long low swell rocking the ship lazily. Heavy clouds over the Indonesian Island have slowly dissolved to blue skies. The humidity has reduced. A little. It is 30 celsius outside and the air conditioning is working overtime.

I love sea days. I get a chance to wander the ship and see how she is performing, meet the guests and chat to the crew. It is the best way to get a ‘feel’ of mood and to watch how the ship is behaving.

Yesterday we conducted a crew emergency drill. This gives me an idea how the response of the crew is and to target resources into areas where actions need tweaking or procedures need altering.

Team Trivia started at noon. There are around 8 teams which for day one is amazing. I asked my question which was to guess the gross tonnage of the ship. The nearest to the answer without going over got the points. The answer is 32477 Tonnes. The nearest answer from 2 teams was 32000 Tonnes. I was impressed.

Todays question was about the man overboard flag. Code letter Oscar, O. I show the flag and ask what it means with a little clue. I think 4 teams got it right today.

Right. On to todays crew members of the day. Well not strictly true crew members these men are part of the Fleet safety training department. They spend time going around the fleet honing our skills in dealing with emergencies, introducing new techniques and procedures. Their knowledge is invaluable and more importantly their ability to impart that knowledge to the crew is what makes them an asset to us. So, in their own words here are David on the left and Garry.

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We spend 8 months of the year traveling between the ships of Seabourn and Holland America Line, delivering emergency safety training to the officers and crew. Every member of the crew gets a small amount of refresher training for actions upon finding a fire or damage control and all of the officers and crew who have a duty during an emergency get job specific refresher training about their role. We travel all over the globe traveling between our ships. Just the last few months has seen us moving between Alaska, Seattle, Manaus (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro, UK, Bali and we will be returning to the UK from Sydney for a well-deserved Christmas break.

We are currently sailing on the Seabourn Odyssey, not to conduct their regular training package, but to deliver a program of safety enhancements that Carnival Corporation have developed for all of our operating lines. This is so that every ship within the corporation has the same exacting standards and responses during an incident, however unlikely.

We both previously served in the British Royal Navy as engineers and bring a combined knowledge base of 50 years’ worth of experience of fire-fighting, damage control and emergency response actions. We enjoy this job and consider ourselves lucky to be able to continue working at sea, meeting the multi-cultural mix of crew and being able to support the ships working so hard to provide Seabourn Moments. David has two young children; Jessica 7 and Jack 11. Although being away from home for long periods is often difficult, modern technology makes the distance shorter, and David is still able to help with school homework and sometimes make surprise ‘appearances’ at birthday parties, if only on an iPad screen. Garry’s 2 daughters, Megan and Eilish, are both adults now, allowing his wife the luxury of joining him on this cruise; her first with Seabourn. Allison says she is thoroughly enjoying the experience – but who wouldn’t??”


We arrive onto the Australian continent tomorrow and will sail along her coast until we eventually leave Melbourne on Christmas Eve.

Mark Dexter 2015