Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Port Douglas, or...
The Tortuous Torrid Tale of Tender Seventeen:
9am: Alarm goes off. I put it on snooze for a while.
11am: Finally roll out of bed. We are in a tender port, so it should be clear for crew by now. Skip the shower, since I might be heading to the beach.
11:15am: waiting in line on the M1 to get on board the tender. That song is running in my head:
The minute you pulled up to the ship
I could see you were a boat of distinction!
A real big tender!
Good lookin', so refined.
Takin' a hundred fifty passengers at a time!
Okay, so there were only about 18 of us. Sixteen crew, and two passengers.
The tender ride is going to take about fifteen minutes to reach the shoreside dock.
11:20-ish am: get on board the tender. The sun is out, it's a beautiful day.
11:35am: the tender comes to a halt. We have run aground on a sand bar. Engines rev in reverse and forward. We are stuck. Rocking gently back and forth. The tide is coming out.
12:00NN : The emergency life boat comes to rescue us and pull us from our predicament. No luck. We are stuck. The tide continues to go out. The water is getting shallower around the boat. The waves are gently lapping the new shoreline.
The rescue boat tries to pull us out. The rope breaks. It is decided to take us off in groups of five. Passengers first. I'm thinking "It would just be easier if we all got out and walked."
12:45-ish pm The boat stops rocking. Sand all around. The rescue boat gets stuck trying to get the passengers off. Mario the first officer gets out of the rescue boat and pushes it out into deeper water.
1:15pm Still waiting for help. There are several other lifeboats waiting to help us. Over the radio we hear "Tender 14, continue routine." Tender 14, our savior boat, goes ashore, leaving us behind. We start singing "Help, we need somebody! Help! Not just any body! HELP!" as other little boats go by, everyone taking pictures of us and laughing and pointing.
1:45pm Abandoned. Just me and the Filipinos. Maybe a Serb or two. Not many of us. Mario comes back and shouts for us to get out and walk to shore. I told you so.
2:00 We start to abandon ship. Well, abandon boat. Take off shoes and socks, cause it's gonna be sandy. Carrying shoes and socks, and camera. Thank goodness I didn't bring my backpack and my computer. All I wanted to do was go ashore and get a nice lunch at that really cool restaurant with the awesome spring rolls.
2:15 pm start walking. It's a long way down from the boat to the shore. Jump. Oy. Start walking.
2:30 pm Start sinking. Mud. Everywhere. Deep mud. Starts out ankle deep, then shin deep, then knee deep. Then thigh deep. So much for the clean shorts I had on. Why in the world is Igor wearing jeans? Dumbass.
2:45 pm arrive at the mangroves to be picked up by Mario again and Mark, the other officer in the rescue boat. Pay no attention to the sign about the crocodiles...
So the last tender for crew is at 3:30. My journey started at 11:30am, and it is now almost 3pm.
3:00 pm: arrive on the dock. My feet are bleeding from the cuts that the shells in the mud have given me. Country show tomorrow. Ugh.
Just enough time to get my pins and patches and then get back on board the tender heading back to the ship.
Next time, I'll just swim. It is now almost 5pm, and the poor tender 17 is still stuck in the sand, waiting for the tide to come in.