Here we sit at the beginning of Week 9 and are hard pressed to believe that the time has passed as quickly as it has. Many of us will be departing in two weeks and returning to our various lives. A few will hold on to the very end and take this great lady of a ship into her final port of call in Singapore. It will be her last for a few years as she is going in for major reconstructive surgery during dry dock at an as-yet-to-be-determined shipyard.
The photos seen in this installment are but a brief glimpse into the activities that have occurred over the last few weeks. After a very exciting helicopter transfer (we got fresh fruits and veggies!!!), we set sail for the Andaman Islands. After 2.5 days of rough seas, we finally arrived on site. We were the first to drill in those waters off the eastern coast of Little Andaman Island. Our mission there was a success, and 7 days later, we find ourselves sitting at Site 18, off the northeastern coast of India, waiting to do it all over again. To get to Site 18, we've endured almost three straight days of torrential winds and rain as we crossed the Bay of Bengal and it doesn't look like it is going to let up anytime soon. Ahhh...the JR has arrived to monsoon season in India!
Shortly before departing for Site 18, Mother Nature blessed us with our first (and only) breathtaking sunset. So, I hope you all will enjoy the sunset as much as we did with the photos found here.
Have a great day!
P.S. Many blessings to the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel Oviedo!! Have a great wedding day kids and enjoy your Hawaiian honeymoon!
India Gallery #3 Photos (click on the "Image Info" button under the photo for caption)
People really are what makes a job memorable. As you click through the photos of this week's installment, you will see the faces of many that I have sailed with before or for the first time on this cruise.
In the 6+ weeks we have been at sea, a variety of visitors have graced us with their arrival on our little ship. We've had giant water bugs, similar in appearance to a fist-sized cockroach, and hordes of crickets. We've also had the occasional moth make an appearance. In looking over the pictures for the past couple of weeks, trust me, the people are far better looking than that cockroach thing.
That is why this week's picture show is of the various people that help make this ship a home. I've also included photos of the ship, our trip into Chennai at the end of Leg 3A, and a couple of sunsets. Be sure to check out the videos and turn up the volume on your speakers for a real feel of what life is like on the ship. Of the videos, the tuk-tuk ride through Chennai is my favorite.
We have just a few more weeks to go at this point. On the 17th of July, we will have a helicopter transfer of personnel, so friends will be leaving and new faces will be coming on. After everybody gets settled in, we begin our transit to the eastern coast of the Andaman Islands, where we will be for the rest of July and the first part of August. Come August 17th, the expedition will be over and we'll all begin our journeys home. Wee!
India Gallery #2 Photos (click on the "Image Info" button under the photo for caption)
Okay, so here it is guys, my random observations and ramblings of my time in India. I arrived here on June 4th and it has been a wild trip up to this point. Fortunately, I've had friends join along the way and help make the sensory overload a little more manageable.
I stepped into another world when I left the Chennai airport at 4 in the morning. Those that have had the torture of living with me know that the last thing I am is a morning person. Combine that with very little sleep over a two-day period and facing a whole new world, I found a deep well of patience that I did not know existed until that time.
A friend said once that India smells exactly like you think it would. At four o'clock in the morning, the air is heavy with the smells of humanity: spices, sweat, fruits, cigarettes and "other" smells. It can be quite overwhelming, but the smells are nothing when compared to the traffic.
I will never complain about Houston traffic again. I read once that if you can drive in India, then you can drive anywhere. In Chennai, what is considered a four-lane highway by the powers that be is considered an eight-lane highway by the locals. The lane dividing hash marks are just "recommendations." A driver in Chennai would be lost without his horn.
The sensory overload tour continued over the few days of freedom we had remaining before having to board the ship. I met up with my friends Karen and Lisa at the hotel after some much needed sleep. From there, we shopped and photographed our way through parts of Chennai and eventually down to the shore town of Mahamallapuram, which did sustain damage during the 2004 Christmas tsunami. The pictures you will find on this site record our time there and in Chennai. Most of the pictures I took, but I've also included a few pictures that Karen and Lisa snapped.
People sometimes come to India for enlightenment. I came for business and found patience and the head waggle.
Chennai Photo Gallery (Gallery #1) (click on the "Image Info" button under the photo for caption)