Day 97

22nd January 2002

A Momentous Day!

Why I hear you cry is this day momentous?…because by some god driven miracle I received my parcels today! I woke up to some banging on the fore deck but didn’t emerge to see what was going on as I knew we were expecting to re-fuel today with the tanker, I’ve already watched re-fuelling and it’s not interesting enough to get me out of bed twice for. Anyway as it turned out I was wrong. We had indeed refuelled but much earlier, the banging was the crane lowering the service boat over the side. We were servicing with the Christina (actually spelled Cristina) and Cidade de Amarante.

I packed some books into waterproof bags and wrote a quick note to each of the observers on the other vessels. I took the parcels up to the bridge to be sent across to the respective ships and started down the stairs again when I saw Gill heading up the stairs with three boxes and Armando carrying another package…and here is the best bit – they were all for me! To my dismay just as I took my parcels back to my cabin the captain shouted up the stairs to remind me lunch was waiting so I had to leave my unopened parcels and go for lunch. I wolfed lunch and apologised for hurrying away from the table while they were still on coffee…I really honestly could not wait any longer.

parcelsI started with the parcel sent by Lisa with presents and cards from Aunty Chris, Pete, Aunty Gerry, Uncle Barrie, Nick, Joe, Lee , Jac, Beth, Jodie, Annie, Tom and of course Phil, Lisa and Luke. I couldn’t believe that everybody had sent something! I had a massive smile on my face and savoured every bit. I’ve been cursing myself for forgetting to bring a scarf and what did Aunty Gerry send…yep, a scarf! There was even tinsel on the package which made my home-made Twix- wrapper tinsel look demure! I had everything from chocolate to socks to whiskey!

After that I started on the first of the three boxes from Mum, Dad and Abby. There were cards and letters from everybody and also packages from Nan, Karen, Steve, Josh, Jake, Tally, Toby, Vik, Tim and Kezzie. I cried like a baby reading the letters (my bladder is behind my eyes – I blame it on the family, emotionally excessive all of them!) and truly relished each thing in the box. I have never appreciated anything as much in my life. More chocolate than I have ever owned, cards, presents, photos. One other thing that I had been stupid not bring was a hot water bottle…meu mae e pai sent one for me ‘Hot Water Bottle With Plush Cover’ it said on the label (lately since it has been very cold I have been sleeping with Evian bottles covered in socks (which were labelled ‘Socks For The Canadian Workforce’ as hot water bottle substitutes! For some reason I found both labels amusing).

I had forgotten the golden hues of proper tea until just now. I ran down the stairs clutching my newly acquired tea bags to quench my cravings. The tea (Cha) on board barely tints the milk but I was pleased to watch the trusty Tetley bag turn the milk ginger. I let it get really strong and enjoyed the sensation of furry teeth. Feeling quite high on tea I came back to my cabin and brushed my furry teeth with lashings of toothpaste now I have a bountiful supply……I had enough left for 1 or 2 days more so it came just in time, otherwise I might have been known as halitosis boy.

I feel guilty now as the parcels I sent to the other ship were meagre to say the least, all I had to offer was books. If I had got my parcels first I’d have shared some chocolate with them…I have enough to feed all the observers for the rest of the trip. It’s nice though because I have some nuts, sugared almonds, Belgian chocolates etc. that I’ll be able to share with the crew and still have enough to make myself sick on every day until I get home!

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