What was supposed to be the one day at sea became now the 2nd day at sea due to not being able to call at Grand Cayman yesterday. And what a day it was today. Flat Calm of wind. Not even a ripple for most of the day. The only wind that was there was produced by the ship itself. It made for what they call a “balmy” day. It made the sea surface look oily and anything that moved over or in it was easy visible. Thus the Quartermasters spotted “big fish” at 07.30 when I poked my nose onto the bridge. As I have explained in the past, we are now all heavily trained in recognizing large marine mammals in the water and then to ensure that we do not sail over them. Most species we easily recognize, such as Humpback, Minke, Right, Fin, Blue whales, etc. etc. Same goes for Dolphins although of those there are a larger number of variations out there and sometimes the differences are quite minimal.
This morning we saw something that looked like a small whale or a very big dolphin and all the experts on the bridge were puzzled. Thus the book “with all the Marine Mammals in the world” came out and by studying the pictures we tried to come to a identification. We really could not find it, as the dolphin that we saw looked like the Common Dolphin but it was just much bigger than the average dimensions given in the book. Thus the Quartermasters were convinced that they had discovered a new sort of dolphin which is now officially named “very big common dolphin”. (In Latin: Dolphinus Giganticus Communales) Now we have to make sure that next time we take pictures when we see one so that we can prove our discovery.
While the ship is gearing up for the official change over to the 3 alarm system, I can only wait as all the preparation work has nearly been done. I will be in full swing again when the changeover takes place. So for the time being I try to induct 24 more crewmembers in the secrets of operating a lifeboat. In the past only those who were in charge of the lifeboat needed to be certified; the rest had to be trained on a regular basis. Now legislation and also company requirements are getting more and more elaborate and that means that every crewmember now needs proof of their knowledge and their training. Certificates, stamps and other tokens that keep the auditors satisfied. With the regular change over of crew and the rotation to other ships there is always need for more certified crew and I try to help the numbers swell.
Especially the new function of Communicator needs attention. This is a new addition to the life boat crew and this person is meant to narrate and announce to the guests in the lifeboat what is going to happen and how it happens. So when the lifeboat would wobble (and they all do when being moved away from the ship in the davits) then everybody is prepared and nobody will panic. For that we need native English/American speakers and also those who can to a certain extent perform. Hence the Entertainment department is now a prime target for me. Singers, Dancers, librarians, Travel Guides, Techsperts, Band leaders, whatever function we have out there, they are all a prime target. The same is going on, on all the other ships, only there the deck officers have to find time to conduct these classes. Here on the Veendam, I will deal with it as long I am around for the three alarm system.
Thus today we had the scheduled sea day and a warm day it was. Relatively few guests were on the outside decks, many more sought their divertissement inside the ship. Ranging from the early morning Church service, to bridge, to the Lectures (about Sea Mammals !!!!) to the shop deck sale, the travel guide and the art auctioneer, and do not forget the bingo. There also came a lot of noise out of the Casino so it looks like they all had a very good time there.
Tomorrow we are in Cartagena. We are scheduled to dock at 07.00 hrs. and sail again at 13.00 hrs. We are looking forward to real Cartagena weather; Very hot when the sun is shining and still hot when it is raining. We are expecting showers in the afternoon, so we should get it all.