Lookout over my working route: 1st shift

Cherbourg Travel Blog

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Leaving Cherbourg
There won't be anything particular to write about this exact day... besides that it was a fast sailing and back to France. I more simply enter this entry (and the following sailing route I do as well) to show my high mobility done about every single day from Poole for work (Since my summer job is to work as a Steward and qualified Ordinary Seaman onboard the High-Speed Vessel 'Condor Vitesse' of Condor Ferries.)

About the ship, the ship I work on is named 'Condor Vitesse' and is basically based in Poole for the summer season. It is a fast craft ship which can do about 40 knots, and it seems it works on a better based petrol consumption system as the company is one of the only one to still offer fast services crossing to France.

Condor Ferries have another sister fast-craft (Condor Express) which is based in Weymouth.
Leaving Cherbourg Harbour
But I will be working in Poole as I live in Poole. The other ships are mainly conventionnal ship, for cargo and based in Portsmouth.

We can carry up to more than 700 passengers and nearly 200 cars. There is a cafeteria and a bar and the passenger sits on 2 decks... There is also a Duty-free shop as the company is the only one who can offer duty-free goods during the sail by the fact that they actually are based in Guernsey (which is not part of the UK nor the European Union) and sail there every day. That also means that I don't have to pay tax to England and that I actually didn't even needed a visa to work on the ship (just like my New-Zealandese colleagues onboard did).

We are about 30 crews on the ship, and quite an international one which is pretty great.
Me on the mooring station
The officers are not following the same work pattern as we do but we get to know them pretty well anyway. My duty has varied from simply being a 'spare floater' crew on the cabins and working as required to working at the cafeteria or the bar... that's for my Steward tasks part.

I also received the training and qualification of an Ordinary Seaman (Cat3 seafarer) (we are 5 onboard so we work on a rotation as 3 cat3 seaman are required) which brought me to work on the mooring station (the place where you tie up the ship to the quay) and on the car deck. It also made me having to do maintenance duty (repair and major clean-up) for a couple of night shifts.

This qualification also means that I'm allowed to do tasks or be at place on the ship where others are not.
Back up to work on our ship
As for example, being on the outside deck beyond the fence or on the roofs etc... That has happened a few times when passengers lost something beyond the security fence.

About the Cherbourg run, basically we run that scheduled sailing on behalf of Brittany Ferries who rent our ship and crew to offer a fast service to Cherbourg from Poole. So we have to try to work with their system which is not always suitable and quite an hassle when you have to allocate the passenger to their seats.
Mainly though, I will have been working on night maintenance shift during that sailing or will have been working on the car deck. So I did not do the Steward tasks pretty often then.

We have to be on the ship by 6am and we are sailing not too long after (by 7h30am we are usually gone).
Leaving Cherbourg Harbour protection fort
It's a great shift because it's a short one... it takes us only 2h30 minutes to cross to France and the same back. So if its a sunny day we can enjoy the afternoon, as the sailing goes pretty fast... if nothing breaks!

Cherbourg Harbour and coast is not offering the most amazing view. The harbour protection itself is nice, with the jetty that looks like a sort of fortress and was meant to protect the installation during the war (built by the germans?). Anyhow, the city seems build on the edge of a cliff and looks pretty industrial when seen from the ship. As foreigner in the harbour, it is pretty unlikely we would be even stepping ashore somehow.

May 29

A normal quiet sailing to Cherbourg... we accumulated one hour delay (overtime!)

This was my first day of my first 4days shift row, We didn't have that many passengers.
A view of Cherbourg Harbour
So I also slowly get to know my fellow working colleague, working with Saul Porter as a Cabin Manager. For the rest I also showed my interest at doing the certification as a Seaman, they basically started giving me the training in the following days.  Still living in Branksome, the walk to the harbour is hell long... I basically hitch-hiked after meeting with Aleks on Ashley road to go to work and it worked.

I took all the pictures on the sailing of June 11 but well I did not bother being genuine on the date.

Back home, I had to do some of my finance. I received my first salary! Which is of course only the training pay but it makes a nice pillow in my account. The sad thing is that it is already all spent for my first month of rent and that actually I need to take some from my Canadian account as well to pay the deposit.
Tony and me on the mooring station next to the french coast
.. so I will have to wait the end of June.

Floh came back from Berlin on the last days and its a bit the farewell mood as the flat gets empty, Eamonn tries to repair the hole in the wall. Floh is sad or gets mad about the ugly carpet and all daily things goes by. Basically the fridge is quite empty as we are about to leave as well.
Floh is not often around anyway as he either goes to work (long hours as he had lots of delayed files to finish) or going to visit people. Eamonn is working long hours as well, so the flat must be bloody calm those days.

I got a mail from an Hungarian girl through CS that is living in Christchurch for a month aupairing, we usually set to meet up in Poole by the week end.
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May 30

Another working day and spending time at home with my fellow flatmates.
Leaving Poole Harbour
And one hour overtime.
Basically, we walked again to work today and got a ride with the paperboy just on time.
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May 31

Another sailing day, walking with Aleks on the misty calm morning leaving by 5am from Ashley road to be on time. There is really no traffic at all and its bloody calm, besides that a shop alarm was ringing.
It is shitty that there is no bus whatsoever before like nearly 7am!
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June 1

Bloody hell... waking up 5.40 am... I need to be on the ship by 6am!
I tried to call Aleks immediately he didn't answer, so I thought he must on the way to the ship already. I jumped in the shower and went directly to the taxi booth. With all this hurry I made it to the ship by 6.10am

It quite sucks, being late on the last day of the shift! Aleks wasn't there either.
The Condor Vitesse Car Deck
I called him a couple of time and he picked, he had overslept too and hurried to come by taxi too.
The shitty thing was to spend nearly 1/3 of the day salary on the taxi.

The the day went on and I simply went back home walking (it was sunny) and slept a bit and relaxed doing nothing special besides the laundry. Floh left to the countryside (?) and Eamonn as well to look about what he was going to do in a week. So I was mostly by my own.
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Leaving Cherbourg
Leaving Cherbourg
Leaving Cherbourg Harbour
Leaving Cherbourg Harbour
Me on the mooring station
Me on the mooring station
Back up to work on our ship
Back up to work on our ship
Leaving Cherbourg Harbour protecti…
Leaving Cherbourg Harbour protect…
A view of Cherbourg Harbour
A view of Cherbourg Harbour
Tony and me on the mooring station…
Tony and me on the mooring statio…
Leaving Poole Harbour
Leaving Poole Harbour
The Condor Vitesse Car Deck
The Condor Vitesse Car Deck
Leaving Cherbourg getting full spe…
Leaving Cherbourg getting full sp…
Heading back to England
Heading back to England
Oli, Tony and Adam on the mooring …
Oli, Tony and Adam on the mooring…
Cherbourg
photo by: Linqueen