Sunday is supposed to be a special day on the boat but with today being a port call in Shanghai and several crew members wanting to go ashore I am not sure what special will mean on this Sunday. I do know that we had croissants for breakfast and that is a Sunday only thing so something was special already.
Last night I was able to introduce the chef to C.P., this is the term we use on the fishing trips when you are not real hungry or don’t want a big serving. It is an abbreviation for Childs Portion. The chef liked that. C.P. I had a CP of spaghetti Bolognese and it was very good. Cheese and fruit to go along with it.
We are drifting outside Shanghai, there is what they term “harbor congestion” so we will be out here for several hours. Shanghai may be one of it not the busiest ports in the world. It is a parking lot outside in the offshore waters. Hundreds of ships of all classification and size are out here, just looking out at the horizon is looks like those fishing shows on TV where all the salmon fisherman are running into each other and frantically trying to find some space. I mean it is crowded.
I still have no idea if we will be given shore passes, it depends on the time we have and if the boat will be tied up long enough. I am getting used to the schedule changes. It reminds me a bit of Los Angeles freeway travel in that you never know how long it will take to get somewhere so you leave hours before you should just to make sure. Usually you need those extra hours. This is on the same level.
I am doing laundry today, there is a washer and dryer on each deck, the mini stacking washer and dryer combo. The washer on my deck is broken so I am washing a deck below and drying up on my deck. I brought enough clothing that I will only need to wash 2 or maybe 3 times on the trip. I have been traveling for 8 days so it was time to clean some stuff.
Laundry done. Cabin all straightened out……plan to go ashore about 1600. We will be on the dock in about 30 minutes and we will remain until 1300 tomorrow. I am going to get my Coke if all goes as planned.
Lunch, well forget the part about the cold kitchen, apparently that will only apply to dinner since the chef will be ashore. Lunch was special, Sunday is a special day. We had smoked salmon as an appetizer, T-Bone steak with mushroom sauce, scalloped potatoes and for dessert an amazing sweet pear with vanilla ice cream drizzled in chocolate sauce and shaved almonds. Every day should be Sunday. I actually will get at least one more Sunday on board. We are due back in Seattle on the following Sunday, the 11th so I will probably not enjoy but one special day on board.
When we arrive at each port, the officials come on board to check documents. There is always a lot of paperwork in China but this is extreme paperwork, they check cargo documents, crew and passenger documents, ship documents, declarations and on and on. When they board all the entries and exits on the ship must be secured and locked. So, for the two hours they are on board I am sequestered to the interior space of the ship, usually meaning my cabin. Now is one of those times, 1400 hours and we are being inspected. Still plan to go ashore at 1600 but this is China and if you know China like I know China, plans can change in a moment. It is never wise to plan on anything in China, you might be disappointed. So, if I receive a call we go, if not, we stay. For the next couple of hours, I will read and enjoy the spacious cabin and its air conditioning. It is hot outside, upper 80’s and steamy humid. I put on shorts again today. I hate walking around in the heat wearing jeans, just too dang hot and uncomfortable.
The crew treats me ok, not great, just ok. The French guys are much friendlier and cordial than the Ukrainians are, I don’t know, maybe it is a Russian thing. I am learning about things as we go along, there really was no orientation other than if you want something talk to the officer on duty. Stay out of the way and don’t do anything stupid. Each stop and departure I learn a little more about how this crew works and where I can be out of the way but still experience the events that are passing. I am an old hand on the fishing boats and know the routine, here not so much yet.
It is 1600 and we received shore passes. There are seven crew and myself….off we go to Shanghai.