My workbench

My workbench

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rehearsal Dinner

No, it's not for a wedding.  Last night, for the first time in my life, I dressed up in a button down blue Oxford with black dress slacks on, picked up an order book and a speed tray, and waited tables.

I was nervous; excited; apprehensive; confident.  I poured my wine with grace, and did not spill a drop.  Orders were taken, food was delivered.  An ice-cold coffee was sent back, and I only forgot one detail on an order.  All in all, I felt great.  As I mentioned, I'm pretty confident.


Oh, and did i mention that dinner service followed an entire day of scrubbing grip tape on stairs with a toothbrush, and polishing window frames with Brasso?  I've lost a few brain cells to the brasso...and never want to see an industrial toothbrush for as long as I live.

I would love to write more, but my awesome crewmates and I are heading out to see the new Star Trek film at a nearby theatre.  this will be one of our last indulgences before we officially embark on Sunday morning.

I'll see you all in October!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

All Aboard!

I am sitting in the dining room aboard the Safari Endeavour, the vessel on which I will spend the next five months.  The past few days have been a flurry of training, paperwork, introductions, learning, developing, bonding, and the occasional beer.  Minus the beer, this will all continue throughout the season.

My roommate is a pretty cool guy, despite his nicotine addiction.  I had assumed that this would be a passing thing for anyone on board a non-smoking boat, but I forgot about E-cigs.  Not as noxious as normal cigarettes, but not without their problems and drawbacks.  The smell of. . . pancakes is still preferable to that of burning cigarette.

Across the hall from our cabin in Crew Forward are the other four main stewards, all female.  One lives around here, and we haven't really spoken...but the other three are pretty freaking rad, each in their own way.  I wonder if our personalities were taken into account with our hiring, or if we were all simply fortunate enough to all wind up together.  One is a tall, lithe adrenaline junkie who seems to be extremely detail oriented and concise, while another has the sweetest southern drawl and a beautiful face, hiding the character  of a wanderer and hardcore snowboarder.  Finally there is a short, tattooed blonde with a killer twisted sense of humor; she is dripping with attitude.  Our leader is also a traveler, albeit not quite in my circles, with a quiet but straightforward demeanor and a million-watt smile.  The hotel manager seems to be a pretty cool guy as well- from the stewards to the manager, we are all relatively new (within the last few months) to this vessel, though we all bring our own life experiences aboard.  I think that this a team which, once we really begin to mesh and work together, can absolutely blow away expectations and really have an incredible summer.

You know that I will do my damnedest to make sure that teamwork happens.

The boat itself is wonderful, and the other crew (galley, engineers, deckhands, mates, wellness, expedition, bar tenders) is comprised of equally awesome and unique individuals.  Our head chef is a really nice guy who does not fail to continually impress us with delicious food meal after meal.  The sheer availability of food is a bit overwhelming, and I am finding myself needing to throttle back on my meat intake.  Water is readily available, and nearly the only thing to drink aside from coffee and tea, and will be consumed continuously.

My cabin ( port side) has two bunk beds against the far wall, with a desk on the right (towards the bow) and a bathroom (head) before that, just as you open the door.  After a transit up to Seattle from Baja, a lot of external work is necessary to prepare the boat for the season.  As we (hotel staff) are being trained inside, I can watch the deckhands and mates roaming about the boat, rigging lines, scraping, grinding, painting, and doing other sorts of work which I cannot even begin to describe.

Well, that is it for now.  I will have internet access for a few days, and will hopefully have the weekend off.  I received a tentative schedule of my season, but I was warned that it is likely to change, so I will hold off.  I can be reached by cell phone after 6PM PST...though not reliably.  That will all end as of May 19th, when we set sail for ALASKA!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Seattle

The last time I came to this city, I caught a lift with a sausage vendor doing his morning deliveries.  Things are a bit different this time around.

I got the job as a Steward on the Safari Endeavour.  I caught s train from Stamford to Newark Airport, and arrived at SeaTac airport around 9pm PST this evening.  Tomorrow afternoon I report to my vessel, where I will spend the next six months.

Prior to all of this, I was simply hanging out in northern California.  If this job had not come through, I was co side ring helping some friends for the summer, with opportunities which would have made a bit of money but would have required me to stay in place until October.

...at least on the ship, I have a daily shower.

Otherwise, life is good.  Crazy, disjoined, and schizophrenic, but good.

Just the way I like it.