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I have been off the ship for 24 hours and am currently sitting in bed drinking good coffee with with this girl who picked me up at the airport who was by far the hottest girl at the airport.  Heaven……


February 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1- Rough weather off cape Hatteras

In about 24 hours I will be off this ship- for all the good and the manifest bad, this chapter closes tomorrow.  The sea today is gun-metal grey, the wind is at our back so it isn’t howling at the outside door to my office, but the winds are shifting so that might change. 

As you can imagine there was a big party last night and it started for a few of us at a Mafia party.  There are a lot of Philipinos on the ship and they hold a number of influential and not so influential positions.  The ones with influence look the other way when the ones with no influence make off with things from ship’s stores and decide to have a party. 

The food was literally amazing.  I was so pissed off because all the time on this ship with shitty food and you give a couple of guys who are not even cooks some galley access and they turn out the best food I have had on the ship either in the mess or the fancy restaurant. 

Then, predictably, the party moved to crew bar where it was packed.  I stayed late but not till close and am paying for it now, might have had something to do with mixing vodka and wine.  In my stomach not in a glass.

Tomorrow will be a long day, but am so looking forward to seeing home.  You are never more from where you are than when you are not there.  I have never more proudly proclaimed by home town as when I have been on the ship and I don’t think I will ever be as happy to be on final approach as I will be tomorrow. 

This will be my final post from the sea.

February 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

2- Holy shit I have to pack

In about 48 hours I will be walking off this boat no longer under contract, lugging my 50 Kg of goods to the bus that will take me and 100s of others to BWI to catch our flights.  I’m really excited about getting home after 4 and a half months.

Things I will miss:  The friends I have made. The travel at times was cool, I had fun on days off.  Wine and cheese nights were fun.  I sure got a lot of experience treating lower back pain. 

Let me keep thinking on that one for a while……

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

3- first sea-day of 3… Baltimore looms

Things I am looking forward to:

It is hard to say that I am looking forward to seeing my wife without thinking that anyone reading it would knowingly snicker.  Snicker all you want, I’m looking forward to seeing my wife and my son and my friends.

Water- cold, as much as I want-fresh water, big comfortable bed, cooking, fresh vegetables, good beer, fast internet everywhere , on demand TV that doesn’t make my laptop screen look big, no boat curfew sailing time, not being a second class citizen (which is why I won’t go in guest areas in my off time unless I have to), swimming in fresh water (Barton Springs here I come) non smoking areas (lots of smokers in the crew and lots of crew areas are very smokey) breakfast tacos, a good margarita (not necessarily at the same time) good salsa, a good pizza

less than 80 hours now….

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

7- St. Croix USVI

This cruise is crap.  I am doing all the things I have done in the past to get patients to come see me and am getting a lot of smiling and nodding.  The people who on every other cruise would have been buying packages are insistant that they only get 1 treatment and when I tell them why that is a bad idea, they dig their heels in.

Well… all that goes away in 1 week, I have finally hit the one week mark.  Yesterday in between my 2 patients I went out with friends to go parasailing.  The crew welfare organized a few cheap trips for crew this cruise and that was one of them. 

One of the amazing things about this job is how quickly you go from being at work to being on vacation.  In the morning I was in uniform and name badge doing my thing and then with a quick change of clothes I was on a boat full of friends going parasailing in the virgin islands.  Then a quick change of clothes again, I was working.

This morning I am at work for a couple hours, then I am taking the rest of the day off and am planning on going to a beach, drinking some beer on said beach and then back to the ship. 

There are aspects of this job that suck, but they are pretty well balanced out by the things that don’t.  I think if I didn’t have such good stuff waiting on me back home, I could do this for a while.

Well, like usual.. my patient just showed up.. half an hour early.  So I think I will go stick needles in her.

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

8- St Thomas

The idea of comnig to the caribbean for vacation never entered my mind.  For as long as I have lived in Texas, if I am going to leave it.. in the Summer I want cooler weather and in the Winter I …. want cooler weather. 

 Our first round of sea days is over and we are in our first port of call on this itinerary, St Thomas USVI.  I love St Thomas because my phone works here and that pretty much sums up what I like and dislike about St Thomas.  Given the things to do here and the short amount of time I have off the ship, I have just never put in the effort.

Every other time I have been here, time here has not been a precious commodity because 19 days later I would be here again.  That will all change when we pull out today.. I can safely say I have many many other places on my “would like to visit list”  that come in above St Thomas– and so, I will probably never be here again. 

I’m not sure that means that the place is going to look any different pulling away or not or if I will just look at it and say 1 port day down and 4 to go.

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

9-Single digits

Not only that but 222.2 hours until my plane lands in Austin. (so says wolframalpha)

While you would think that things would be winding down here on a ship that is destined to be sold, but quite the contrary.  Everyone of 900 crew members (OK not all of them a few are staying on board to to a transatlantic back to Germany) let’s just say a lot of crew members are going somewhere, be it on vacation, home, transfer and all of them need to get their medicals back, their passports, they need to have their cabins checked off and their bags checked, final pay issued, there are crew brunches and parties planned, things are actually getting crazy around here.

So besides being giddy about coming home all the rules are changing here so I actually have to pay attention.  I’m not down with paying attention, it hurts my thinker.

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

11- Mail Call

Even when you get a package on the ship you don’t get it right away.   It has to touch a lot of hands on its way in and not many of them really care about your package as your package is just more work for them and most of them seem to already have enough work.

So even though I got a package yesterday I just got it and that was only because I noticed it in the spa manager’s office.  Clearly giving my package was not at the top of her priority list in and among closing down the ship.

So I will have to say to the sender, Joyce– you are odd.  Has anyone ever told you that?  In the package, and this one takes the cake was a Costoc connection so I could see what kind of deals I was missing being away.  I will say the spa girls stood around the magazine from the humane society and it started to sound like a baby shower, ahhhhh, ohhhhh, omg isn’t that one cute.. just imagine it with a S. Africa accent.  And, yes Joyce I read the Popular Mechanics article in the April 2010 issue you sent on being lost at sea.  That was really nice of you point that out. 

Joyce, you guys really take a magazine about living in a gated community?  Wouldn’t have thought those even exist… oh and the girls loved the Real Simple.  I however loved the snickers bar, that in its trip had acquired properties that would allow it to be described by the axioms of plane geometry and just FYI Resses hearts don’t suffer an excess of crush resistance or torsional stability.  But I will say that they still taste good flat. 

Thanks for the package, I really appreciate the pics of the boys and the long overdue holiday cards.. that was a nice touch.


February 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

11- I have become a countdown junkie

11 days until I am off the boat, 268 hours until I am home, but then everyone on the ship has become a countdown junkie.

It used to be when something crappy happened you would just shrug your shoulders and say, meh- shiplife what are you going to do, but now when something shitty happens the response, as it was today, is- “11 days”  As in, I only have to do endure this for 11 more days.

I think counting down helps you manage the time, give you something to look forward to- it contextualizes it, it gives it a handle, something to hold on to.  When I wake up tomorrow it will be 10, but I won’t be thinking about 10 more days, I will be thinking that in only one day I am in the single digits, which I will hold onto for about as long as it takes to realize that that means in two days it will be one week.

The names of the days of the week became useless to me a long time ago.  They have no meaning here.  The names of days are, Sea Day, St. Kitts, Nassau, that has relevance, it tells me what is going to happen that day.  This last trip though, I think the thing that will supersede the name that has meaning for that day will be that day’s number.  St Croix will not be St. Croix this time it will be “7” and St Maarten will be “4”.

Stay tuned to Dave’s countdown fever.

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

18- Miami

I hate Miami, although the weather is spectacular, coolish, not too hot.  But I will stick to my Miami hating ways.  The security here to get off the ship is insane, I will have to take my shoes off just to get off the ship, like at the airport and be subjected to pat downs and other rigorous security protocols. 

I’m an American, I shouldn’t have to take my shoes off to get from a ship onto the soil of my own country, a driver’s licence should be enough.  besides, you can’t fit that much heroin in a pair of Birkenstocks, God knows I have tried, you have to spend all night hollowing out the cork and then for what?  A couple hundred dollars and a useless pair of shoes.  Last time I was smuggling smack I had to buy a new pair of Birkenstocks because you can’t walk in them right once you have hollowed them out and what are you supposed to do, keep them full of heroin??  That is just dumb.  So half of my ill-gotten gains went to buying new shoes, then after that I barely had enough to resupply.  I don’t think this is a brandable business model.

February 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment