YIKES… that isn’t normal…

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                     An empty Quayside?

Well that was different! 

Aberdeen Harbour is a busy port and even during the ‘downturn’ there  has been a constant stream of vessels visiting the port! One day this week I was amazed to find that Albert Quay was empty! I cannot remember ever seeing as it was in the picture opposite! It didn’t last long and was soon occupied again!

As you all know I have been, along with many others in Aberdeen, offering ongoing support to the crew of the Malaviya Seven – the vessel that has been detained for over a year now.

It is so sad that this has dragged on for so long, but all involved have done their best to expedite the crew from their current plight. Unfortunately, this has taken so much longer than was initially thought.

I regularly visit the vessel and they have become good friends over the past year. There have been times when some have cried with me, and times when they have laughed with me. Times when moral has been high – with the prospect of a settlement to the non payment of wages, only to plummet when yet another deadline passed and they were let down. Thankfully support has been there to see them through the difficult times.

          Lunch is served!

Of course, hospitality is very important to them… many times I was offered breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I refused – not because their food was bad (quite the opposite actually!) rather it was my health that was the problem. I have diverticulosis which means any spicy food has an adverse effect on my bowels! 

                  Have a bit more Father…

So last week, during one of my visits I was ‘tricked’ into having some lunch. I thought, “I’ll have a laugh and take a little…” As can be seen in the pictures, I served myself to a huge portion… to the great hilarity of everyone. The cook tried to add more rice to my plate as well…

        Film crew and trainee??

The local TV asked if they could cook a meal on the vessel and say thank you to all those who have been helping the crew over the months that she has been stranded in Aberdeen. You can watch live later today on STV2′ program, Live at Five (Freeview channel 8, Sky 117, Virgin 159, but if you missed it, you can watch on the STV Player). As can be seen Presenter Zara and cameraman George are ably assisted by their new trainee cameraman – Captain Ashish!

Plenty of laughter as ever..

              A helping hand??

Whilst we have been helping the crew in many ways, it hasn’t been all one way traffic! The 2nd engineer helps with the broken door closer. on the cupboard for the tabnabs… or was he trying to break in? Haha!

Meanwhile, I took onboard Jonathan Mitchell to see the crew and get a few ‘professional’ pictures taken… he will be joining me again next week – visiting the vessels I visit…

On the home front, life has been so busy… Little Danno (as we affectionately call him) is growing and doing well…

                Batman Rules!

I had a visit from an old seafaring friend Davie the cook and his wife. He had been ill but has made a good recovery and he and his wife popped into the Centre one evening… all the way from Kilmarnock! It was great to catch up and they had very kindly bought an outfit for little danno. We had not mentioned to them that my son was a Batman fanatic and so when I tool the item out of the bag – I was surprised and delighted to discover that it was a Batman outfit! 

Finally, I received a call from an agents asking if we could open the Seafarers Centre around 1100 until 0200… 7 Bulgarian crew were arriving on the last flight into Aberdeen and joining a vessel which was then sailing at 0500 – doing a partial crew change!

        Keeping warm indoors?

The flight was delayed, the ship was delayed and the crew who had come from a sunny 35 degrees arrived at the Centre where it was raining and 8 degrees! Yes, Aberdeen Summer strikes again! A fresh pot of coffee and various tea and tabnabs and they were happy to be somewhere warm and friendly! I finally got them onto the vessel at 0245! The cook, who had come in shorts and a t-shirt, was delighted to have a cardigan and a woolly hat to wear INSIDE the centre!! I was invited to join them for breakfast, but declined and got home for 0300!

Better close for now… 

Enjoy your weekend!

Howard ><>

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