Sunday, June 27, 2004

(Feeling MUCH Better . . .)

Well, I am late once again, sorry to my loyal fans. :( I was on duty again on Friday, and it was a pretty slow week, and again Mihai was off at the local doctor so I couldn't even trade for a bit. So, it will have to go out on Monday.

This week was pretty uneventful, really. I was on duty on Monday and Tuesday, so I didn't leave the ship. Tuesday (in Dominica) was also a boat drill, so I couldn't have gone much of anywhere anyway as most of the tours start before the drill would have finished. I got some more pictures this time, two of the crowd of life jacketed people on the muster station with me. I'd love to stand at the top of the ladder you see in the second picture, as I could get a picture of all of this deck and the one above. I am pretty sure that they won't let me, though. Here are four pictures of the lifeboats also, I promise not to take any more. :)

I TECHNICALLY did get off the ship on Tuesday right at the pier, but this doesn't count much since I was still in uniform and still in pager range. There is a guy who pulls up with a pickup truck there every Tuesday with the whole bed full of green coconuts. Mihai, his girlfriend, and Julio always go to him to get a coconut to drink. When they are green, you can hack the top off with a machete, stick a straw into it, and drink the water. Then you hack it in half with the machete, then use the knife again to hack off a tiny edge of the shell, and use the shell to scoop out the insides. It is about the consistency of firm yogurt. For those who aren't familiar with coconuts, it is filled with water when it is green, and dry inside when it drops to the ground. When the grind up the green nut's pulp with the water, it is coconut milk. I don't buy these, because it is more sugar than I really want, but occasionally I will go to him and get some small broken pieces of a ripe coconut that they have cut open. It tastes, looks, and feels almost exactly like a certain nut that I can't remember the name of. The nut is dark brown, large, has a thin outside shell, and is white and crunchy inside. I got a bit of that, and tried a small bit of coconut fudge (which was also very good). I went back to the boat while the other three stayed to shop around the little market.

Wednesday was my first day off this week, so I decided for once to sleep in. I got VERY little sleep last week with the cold, and was still a bit congested this week. Of course, I woke up around 6 am, and didn't fall asleep again. It felt good to stay in bed 'till 10:30, though. Lots of rest, even though I didn't sleep. I went to lunch, then took a cab to the Boat Yard to go to the beach. I relaxed there for a couple of hours, then walked back to the boat. I dropped my camera and towel and such at the boat and decided to go for a walk around the main part of town. I stopped in a few small shops, mostly I just wanted to walk around and see what shops were around. I spent around 3 hours walking around, it was a pretty relaxing day. I decided not to go to the Boat Yard that night, I was still tired and not in the mood for really loud music.

I will interject at this point something upon which I have been remiss. To those who were reading my earlier entries and were wondering, "I wonder if he is still reading?" the answer is yes. I did take a small break on books and caught up on some magazines, but then have moved back once again to my books. I have read quite a bit more in the past couple of weeks, since I have been sleeping less and was on duty during a lot of port days. After finishing the Piers Anthony series that I had mentioned, I went the reverse route and read Alien Plot. I say reverse because instead of a series, it is a single book full of short stories. It is the second such book of his that I have read, and it was o.k. Like the first, it had a theme, which was that it was a bunch of stories which were formerly rejected (sometimes many times). He thought that each had merit, and gave a short story about the path that each story took before ending up here. I liked it, and the stories about the stories were interesting, but I like the first anthology of his better (Anthonology). I then read PLASM, by Charles Platt. It is interesting because (like several other books I have read) it is connected to Piers Anthony. He seems to be a big fan of helping out other authors, and sometimes will lend a hand with one of their books. In this case, PLASM is kind of a sequel to one of Piers Anthony's books (which I haven't read). It was pretty good, and now makes me want to get the CHTHON books (I can give out my address if someone feels like sending them . . . or any books for that matter as I am going to run out before the end of my contract). :) I moved on from there to read Memoirs of an Invisible Man, which I thought was a much older book. It was a bit longer, but very entertaining. The author put an amazing amount of thought into what would happen if you were invisible, down to every little detail. For the things that aren't possible to know he made up fairly plausible explanations. I was given The Devil's Teardrop (by Jeffery Deaver) for my birthday, which I read next. For those who haven't heard of him, The Bone Collector is also his (and was made into a famous movie a couple of years ago). It was very entertaining, a good action/suspense/FBI sort of book. I also received In a Sunburned Country, which I am about half-way through at the moment. It is an excellently-written book, basically the observations of Bill Bryson (the author) as he meandered around Australia. Most of the book is based on one trip, but he has been there many times and it is kind of a conglomeration of these visits. The title is a slight mangling of a school-age rhyme popular in Australia. He tends to be interested in an awful lot of what I would be interested in, writes about it well, and randomly interjects somewhat-related stories and history as he goes.

Thursdays, of course, we are at sea, and then Friday and Saturday I was back on duty. Today was embarkation. I DID go to a phone to call Tonya to wish her a happy birthday, but she didn't have her phone. :( It started pouring just as I got back, so I didn't take the computer out. That pretty much brings us to the present, I plan to upload this page tomorrow. I am also to go to a small crew party (but on shore) tomorrow, then a big one on the ship Tuesday night (the last event that I am partially in charge of), and I am going to play golf in Aruba on Friday. I haven't played in around 14 years, so it should be entertaining. It is supposed to be one of the best courses in the world, though, and it is free to me (it normally costs $250 to play). I just would hate to pass up the opportunity. :)