Second working shift route: Channel Islands and Brittany
Saint-Malo Travel Blog› entry 124 of 144 › view all entries
June 4th, 2007 – by: maplefanta
The St-Malo run is the longest one... it takes more than 5 hours to reach St-Malo and we start sailing from Poole in the afternoon (when the Cherbourg ship comes back!) and stopping at one of the Channel Islands on the way and on the way back. This means that we aren't back in Poole before the following day by night. So it is usually pretty tiring and we act a bit like zombie.
But it goes fine, unless when the sea is rough. Which has happened a couple of time and yes I have been sea-sick by then. Until I manage to sort out how do I need to cope with sea-sickness in stormy weather... the passengers though never copes with it and the ship turns out being a vomit run!
So usually we sail most of the time to Guernsey (St Peter Port), which is actually the only Channel Island I have visited.
I have not been working as a Seaman on this shift too often and more qualified ones did it instead. So then its been more Steward work for me... and most of the time at the cafeteria or floating.
The sailing life for this 12+h crossing is basically to tidy the ship, ensure all passenger are at their seats and serve them when needed and clean up the tables... so that basically they may consume more. With the stock (cafeteria - shop etc...) it means to make a stock rotation and work as a packer and retailler.
As there isn't many places where you can be out of the passenger sight, you always end up being with another colleague. So you can't either appear lazy in anyway or escape the view of an officer (basically the Cabin Manager who is responsible for the Steward, the Captain, Chief Officer for the whole ship and the Bosun who is responsible for the car-deck.
We have the mess-room, which is tiny, to have a lunch, sit and read newspaper or otherwise the back of the cafeteria if it isn't too busy. The car deck is way too loud by the engine to be killing time there and only good if you want to go have a cigarette (on the outside lower deck by the car deck) or fresh air.
The task as a cat3 means to throw the rope ashore when in port and tight the ship, park the cars on the car deck and lash them and ensure everything is secure and you can fit as many car as possible... so you park them tight. Also you need to ensure the safety of the gangway for pedestrians and assist passengers that needs support on the car deck or to go ashore, that has allowed me step onto the harbour in Jersey and Guernsey! The maintenance consists of doing minor repairs to the ship and clean up the outside. You also have some special safety tasks in case of needs, such as ensuring all fire equipements are correct and that the ramp as well as the garage door well closed.
St-Malo harbour is amazing, you are just next to the old town and have an amazing view on the fortifications and the rocky coast line with all its villas. It is probably the most beautiful coast we are sailing to during our duty. I should be taking pictures of it somewhen!
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