With two in diapers, and one in preschool, my boys take up a majority of my day, so yet again I do apologize for the lack of postings. With winter lay up coming to a close, and the start of the central Canada's commercial navigation season on the horizon, I hastily enrolled myself in the new, Transport Canada approved, Marine Advance First Aid course, being offered at the nearby Western Maritime Institute, in Nanaimo. A day into the course, and I am seeing some new items but hardly much to justify the massively increased price for the course, since a few years ago, when a basic first aid course was all that was required by TC. Well the good news is that the "ticket" now last 5 years instead of the previous 3 years.
My time off was well enjoyed so far. My last trip aboard was quite challenging and bit frustrating and it has taken some time to recover from. Time off for a mariner is full of honey do items, yes the "honey to do this" list, as generated by the significant other force in our lives. One item was actually a big, but enjoyable, project that I did this time off, and that is a new kitchen renovation. Yes, I am sure you are excited to hear about this great engineering development ! I will post picture later and leave it at that.
I, once again, have many great story ideas floating in that head of mine, of course no time to commit to but, one that did catch my eyes was the latest Olympic "breaking news" out of Vancouver.
The Olympics are hosted this year by Vancouver, BC, in Canada, and the near by resort town of Whistler. The area in general, is heavily impacted by the sea, and as such, it was only natural that cruise ships would serve as temporary accommodations for the influx of visitors to the region, for the sport shows.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that the Norwegian Star, destined to house tourist, pulled out at the last minute. But that wasn't the only cruise ship calling Vancouver's harbor home, for an extended stay during the Olympics. Carnival Corporation's Carnival Elation, Oosterdam, and Statendam (the later two flying the Holland America banner) are all under tight control of the Olympic security team, as it is their temporary homes for the durations of the games. The ships, berthed at Port Metro Vancouver's Ballantyne cruise terminal in Burrad Inlet (Vancouver's inner harbour), are housing thousands of military and police staff. Seems Carnival might be making a sideline business of housing security personnel, most notably after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and now the Olympics.
A news story has been floating around the local media for some days now about the discovery that one of the crew members, aboard one of the un-identified cruise ship, was diagnosed with the disfiguring disease, Leprosy. The news report, presumably under tight control of the spins doctors at Carnival and VanOC, went to great lengths to make sure to say that no one was ever in danger of coming in contact with this terrible affliction, since the crew member worked in the engine room. Pheew ! Thank god we lock those guys out of sight ! Interesting story I must say, even though details are so few.
The crew member has since been expelled out of the country, at great expediency no doubt, further out of sight, back to his undisclosed homeland. No mention of treatment for the poor chap, but the rest of the crew did get a mandatory shot of pharmaceuticals to ease the public's fears.
Of other interesting maritime news in the area, the Russian tall ship Kruzenshtern is docked at North Vancouver's Burrard Drydocks jetty. A extensive photo montage is available from You Tube (below). The tall ship is open for visitors, and is promoting the next winter olympic's in 2014, by host city, Sochi, in Russia. Over in near by town of Squamish, not too far down the road from Whistler, hosting the Olympic alpine events, the cruise ship Mona Lisa is docked, and housing a little over 1400 Vancouver 2010 personnel.