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Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon
June 17th 2010
Published: June 16th 2010
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A couple days after my last update we were in Gibraltar. Although I didn’t get off the ship it seamed like a bumpin place. Lots of small little shops within walking distance of the port. From the ship you can see 3 different countries; Morocco, Spain, and Gibraltar which is technically the UK. The port is incredibly busy and apparently it’s because of cheap fuel, but it’s clear that the waters are still crystal clear and full of fish. I can’t wait to get off somewhere and go diving. The straight itself is only 6 miles wide and because of the massive currents between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic (up to 5 knots) over time the straight has become over 1000 meters deep.
Corsica is an incredible island; I think I’m going to have to come here later in life for a real vacation. I had a half day because of a training class so I had a few hours for lunch and went ashore. It was incredibly hot while in town, a thermometer said 36 degrees and it wasn’t even noon yet. There was a big market with lots of fresh foods and other local whatnot. Grabbed a slice
Me!Me!Me!

This is just off the beach in Ajaccio.
of pizza, and it was one of the best slices I’ve ever had. I even ate the tomatoes. There are lots of stray dogs and cats in Ajaccio. It’s also the place that Napoleon was born.
In Barcelona the ship was one of 5 at the port. I took a walk around on the main pedestrian quarter called La Rambla. Lots of tapas places, tons of street performers, and the streets are covered in little vendors. But the weirdest thing was all the streetside pet stores… You can buy goldfish, turtles, birds, even chipmunks (12 Euros) which makes absolutely no sense. Saw the Columbus monument, and met some other Canadians on vacation too (the mec backpack gave it away yet again).
The ship is driven by 3 propellers, 2 of which rotate instead of having a rudder and are called Azipods. The 3rd is fixed and is referred to as the fixipod. Basically it has been having some overheating problems caused by messed up bearing and it was no longer providing thrust. But worse than that, it was creating a lot of excess drag. The captain’s direct quote was “it’s like trying to swim with an open umbrella behind you”. So the decision to remove the blades was made but to have time to do it the schedule was changed. We ended up having an overnight in Malaga to have time for the divers to do the work. Each of the 4 blades weigh 5 tons and are held on by 8 massive bolts, after working for nearly 20 hours all of the blades were strapped to the back of a truck. Turns out the ship isn’t scheduled for dry dock until 2013 so the prop probably won’t be back in action until then. Now because we had an overnight in Malaga I went into town with a bunch of people for dinner. The food aboard is far from bad. Most of the time it’s surprisingly good, but the one thing that isn’t done well is fish. I had been craving some fish since I tried some crappy Whiting Fish on my 3rd day aboard. So I splurged for some fresh tuna, nearly 20 euros but completely worth it. A few hours later it’s 1:30 am and I went to work after 2 hours of sleep.

And now the little random things:

I’ve become totally accustomed to waking up at 3:30 in the morning. But I am definitely looking forward for my schedule to allow me more time to sleep.

Laundry is pretty easy, but some people have no clue. While sitting waiting for a load to finish I noticed a spoon in the machine next to mine bashing against the window while the load was running. But even worse, the dryer next to mine had only a couple pairs of boxers in it and because of someone leaving em in there for waaaay too long caused the entire laundry room to stink of burning rubber. Blech…

Because of our delay in Malaga, we ended up going through the straight of Gibraltar during the day, holy crap is it busy. With a simple 360 scan there were 37 ships in view…

There are 10 crew channels on TV here, which show some really odd things. I watched the King of Kong the other day, and now Russell Peters is on!

Most of the Filipino guys here cut each others hair, and although most of them are pretty decent. I’d rather pay $5 more to get my hair done by the hairdresser aboard.
Spanish GuitarSpanish GuitarSpanish Guitar

Just off a main street in Barcelona


The morning that we arrived in Gibraltar I found a pigeon on deck, Turns out it had been aboard for 5 days since we were in La Havre. I have no idea where it went.

I’ve watched all of How I Met Your Mother, I’ve now moved on to Modern Family after a brief meeting with Parks and Recreation. But that show SUCKS.

All of the world cup games are on TV in the crew area and on in the room. Stayed up way later than I should have to see Germany crush the Aussies :D

There are 19 Canadians aboard, I’ve met about half of them; a few musicians, some skaters, and one of the officers.

I’ve had a random guy offer to buy my white Adidas kicks…

In Malaga the other big ship in the port was the Eugen Mærsk, for those of you who don’t know. It is the sister ship of the more well known Emma Mærsk, or one of 8 in a class of the worlds biggest container ships. As well as being the biggest container ships in use they are also the longest ships in use period. Wikipedia
Garibaldi Plaza/SquareGaribaldi Plaza/SquareGaribaldi Plaza/Square

I could have sworn the Garibaldi in our area was an italian guy.
if you’re actually interested.

I’ve been doing lots and lots of training classes, 19 sessions so far with a couple left. The past few days I had been in a class very similar to the Basic Safety Training I took back at school. Because of my knowledge the Chief Safety Officer sat back and got me to teach the session on firefighting.

Payday happened! You get handed an envelope full of cash and a statement of all your expenses aboard, turns out getting American money before I arrived was kind of pointless as all crew purchases are done with your ID card.

Looking forward to hearing from you all; Send me an email
gbeier@gmail.com



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HDR photos are always cool.HDR photos are always cool.
HDR photos are always cool.

This was hand held, its just off La Rambla. The tower in the background is tha Columbus Monument, Barcelona
MalagaMalaga
Malaga

Main pedestrian quarter is covered because of how freaking hot it gets in southern Spain.
Dinner in MalagaDinner in Malaga
Dinner in Malaga

Unfortunately the "local beer" served here is San Miguel... Blech


16th June 2010

Comment?
Looking pretty crazy so far, as always and as expected solid photos. You used to having such little personal space already? The photo of your cabin looked a little scary, haha. Sounds like the beginning of an awesome adventure accompanied by getting paid. I'll be sure to fire you an e-mail updating you on things around here although not much has happened. Ill be waiting for another updated and I can't wait to see brown Garrett when you get back, haha. Cheers.
24th June 2010

World Cup
Nice to hear you are able to watch some soccer games. Hopefully there are some Aussies, Frenchmen, or Italians on board that you can remind how their teams are doing! Hopefully you bring some of those US dollars home.

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