Whilst my last post stated that I was “Busy, busy, busy…” I was on retreat with my good friends and fellow Chaplains’ at the Bield Retreat Centre – very relaxing, yet exhausting too… that said, I did return this morning to my home, hospital and ship visits this morning, then catching up with emails and letters before starting this update… as ever, busy, busy, busy… Haha! Here are some pictures from the retreat:
It was great to have a break from the routine and spend time away from the port (although seafarers were never far from my thoughts and prayers and formed the topic of almost all our conversations!
Going home was a bit harder – see the picture below!
Visitors continue to make use of the Seafarers Centre and with the new opening times in the afternoon, 1300-1500, Monday through Friday, we have seen an increase of visitors and it was good to have Walter, the Captain and the cook visit for a bit of banter…
We also had a visit from Captain Singh of the detained vessel, the Malaviya Seven…
I was able to introduce him to the delights of “Scotland’s other National Drink,” IRN BRU. He did say it was nice, but I’m not sure if he was just being polite or not!
The vessel is still under arrest, awaiting the end of the 42 days before their plight comes before the courts. Their generator hire expires next week so they will be facing more blackouts and limited cooking. Things are very fluid just now, but I am grateful to the companies who have donated financially towards their welfare needs. They have asked for no publicity and I respect them all the more for giving so generously without seeking public recognition for their actions.
Of course, boredom continues to be an issue for the crew. It is difficult during a ‘normal’ crew change cycle to keep from getting ‘edgy’ with one another, but after over 13 months for some guys on the vessel, it is not surprising that things can get a bit tense from time to time.
The 1st officer and 2nd captain enjoy a game of tennis on the after deck – and in glorious sunshine too!
We all seek to support them in as many ways as we can. There is a team of “friends” of the crew who do so much more than I do, and one person in particular, helps with medical issues, being a nurse with the NHS. I wont embarrass her by saying too much, but she is very much appreciated by the crew and all at the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre for helping out so often and in so many ways, not only with medical issues, but also taking them out on outings and generally helping out whenever she can. Thank You!
The splash in the bottom left of the picture is of a dolphin having fun when I was out with Ricky Greenhowe on his vessel Sea Cab. He does Harbour Tours and often sees the dolphins ‘at play!’ We were out as STV 2 were doing a live broadcast, the cameraman and reporter found it a bit choppy so struggled a little… even though it was lovely and sunny and not that bad! Always good to get off dry land!
And on a personal note, I am now a grandfather… my youngest son and his wife gave birth to Daniel Joshua, 6lbs 6oz on Saturday, 29th April.
My next youngest son and his wife are due to add to the Drysdale clan in July… a baby girl this time by all accounts. Below a couple of the many photographs… :o)
Well enough from this doting grandfather… more updates to follow. Tomorrow I will be in Invergordon for the Port Welfare Committee Meeting tomorrow… Such fun!