Yesterday, we got to do a tour of the bridge. I can't post photo for security reasons so you'll have to make do witht a photo of the ship!
The tour with the Captain and Staff Captain was supposed to last 30 minutes but we were there for an hour. It was fun to see all the instruments and screens and hear about how we approach a port, how we line up the gangways with the dock, which are the most difficult ports to dock in, when is the most dangerous time, how many crew are on the bridge at any given time, how far we can list before we capsize and so on.
It's that time again already. Time to say goodbye to my Vancouver friends and head back to work. Tomorrow (or technically later today) I fly to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then on Sunday, I'll sign on Carnival Freedom.
I have had a great month in Vancouver. The highlights in no particular order:
I'm sure there's more. But at 2am that's all I can think of. I'm sad that I didn't get to meet up with Susan or Kyla or even get to talk to Carlea and Andreas or Steph and Scott or Jacqui and Sean. I wasn't able to get to Kelowna to see Heather, Yves and Isabelle or to the Sunshine Coast to see kayaking friends, or to Whistler etc. A month seems like a long time, but then it just flies by and it's time to leave again.
It's day 2 of the advent calendar, or it was. I'm a little late posting this.
I've been updating my Christmas music. I've added two new (to me) albums to my Christmas playlist...
The second album I downloaded?
What are you listening to this Christmas?
I'm running late. I forgot to buy an advent calendar.
What's been happening lately?
In my world...
I'm working part time at the Vancouver Christmas Market. Because everyone works during their vacation.
Tate and I spent three days in Disneyland for US Thanksgiving.
I've been able to catch up with several friends during this vacation.
Back to work on another ship at the end of this week.
Let it out slowly, push your knee against my hand, cough, say ahhh, follow the light, read this line, make a fist...
One of the joys of working on a cruise ship is having to complete a medical every two years. I didn't time mine very well. My current medical is going to expire mid contract. So I have to renew it now. Pfft that means I only managed to get two contracts out of one medical.
Not only was today a fun day, not, it was an expensive day.
$17.00 for a return train ticket to the clinic in downtown Vancouver. There is no suitable doctor out in the suburbs. My family doctor is not certified or whatever to do the cruise ship medical.
$14.00 for a passport photo to attach to medical form. I guess so they know it's actually my medical and not someone else's.
$150.00 for the physical examination
$80.00 for the CBC and chem panel
$30.00 for hemoglobin
$60.00 for the drug screening
$200.00 to test for HIV, Hep B & Hep C
$15.00 for a pregnancy test
$90.00 for chest X-ray
$30.00 for P/E VDRL - I don't even know what that is!
$686.00 later. And I won't know for three weeks if I'm fit to work or not. Oh joy.
The really fun part of today? Besides spending 3 1/2 hours of a beautiful sunny day at the clinic, the lab and the X-ray place? The lady at the lab misread the stickers and drew too much blood. Only needed 6 vials not 10!
I warn you this is going to be long winded.
Have you seen the show on telly, Upper Middle Bogan? It's hilarious? If you're not an Aussie or haven't spent time here you may not get the humour. Take my word for it, it's very funny.
In one episode we watched one of the characters mentions she used the New Idea recipe for satay chicken lasagna.
Jo immediately decided we needed to make it. But no amount of googling could find a New Idea recipe for Satay Chicken Lasagna. So Claire volunteered to bake one.
I was assigned dessert. Jo informed me it couldn't be an ordinary dessert it had to be a classic with a twist just like mixing lasagna and satay. Ummm okay.
We thought about jelly slice with chocolate frogs in it but every kid in Australia has had jelly slice with chocolate frogs for a birthday at some point. That wasn't twisty enough for Jo.
We love Jaffa pudding. When I was home in March we ate our weights worth of Jaffa pudding. But it's not sold in Tassie anymore! How dare they! Don't know what a Jaffa is? It's a ball of chocolate covered in a hard orange candy shell. We always bought a bag of Jaffa when we went to the pictures (movies) as kids.
So Jaffa Jelly Slice it was. I couldn't find a recipe but let's face it Jelly Slice is not exactly a complicated thing to make.
One packet of chocolate mousse mix
Milk (tells you in the side of the box how much you need)
Make mousse according to instructions on side of mousse mix box
Pour mousse on top of biscuit layer
One box of orange jelly crystals
Make jelly according to instructions on side of jelly box (told you jelly slice isn't hard to make)
Cool jelly in fridge for a bit and make sure the mousse has set.
Pour jelly on top of mousse
Refrigerate for 4 hours
Cut with a hot knife and serve.
Claire and I both found the chicken satay lasagna to be good but a little heavy. Jo loved it and a week later is still eating the left overs. We all loved the Jaffa jelly slice.
It's been a long time since I've been to the Royal Hobart Show. A long time. I wasn't old enough to drink. I don't think I was even old enough to drive. Pretty sure Mum or Dad and to drop me off and pick me up.
The show is held the third week of October every year. For my Vancouver based friends it is similar to the PNE but smaller.
It was much smaller than I remembered. Of course that could be because I'm a lot bigger.
I am still amazed by the fact that "show day" - Thursday - is a public holiday. School day is Wednesday and family day is Saturday. Really? A public holiday for show day.
We made it a family event. Well almost a family event. Shaun and Kelly have gone away for a long weekend. So Jo filled in as an honorary Wilson child. Something she probably does better than the real Wilson children.
First up we checked out the farm animals...pigs, sheep, llamas, alpacas, ducks, goats, chicks... Jo was very disappointed that there were no coloured chicks this year. I think it's long been considered not very animal friendly to dye the chicks pink and purple and blue and green.
We did get to see Shaun. Shaun the sheep, not Shaun my brother. Shaun was lost for 6 years and was very woolly when he was found.
Next stop was the crafted items. You know, where people enter their knitted, stitched, painted, drawn, baked goods and get a pretty ribbon for best of show. This section was definitely much smaller than I remembered from 30 years ago. We did get to see the winners of "decorate a Girl Guide biscuit." It wasn't even won by a girl guide. I think a school boy won.
We all marvelled and the fruit and veggie picture. Apparently in previous years the red apples have been at the bottom of the picture and people kept eating them. So now the bottom of the picture is all eggplant and celery and squash and other such delicious veggies.
Time for morning tea or breakfast, if you were like me and slept in and didn't have time to eat before we left home. Show food was a much welcome improvement from the 80's. I remember Dagwood dogs, fairy floss and soggy chips. All of which are still available but we chose a breakfast Rosti from the Rosti Chalet instead. Potatoes, bacon, eggs, very tasty.
The feature event we had all been looking forward to? Watching the wood chopping. Well my Dad was looking forward to it. Jo just couldn't believe that Tasmania had invented the sport of woodchopping. Yep, that's right. Woodchopping as a sport began in Tassie back in the 1800's. We even have a wood choppers hall of fame. Although I think it may have a more official name than that.
After some sawing and chopping we went to watch the Canadian Lumberjack Show. It was okay, not bad but not great Nothing overly unique or Canadian about it. In fact one of the lumberjacks was a Kiwi. Many of the jokes were not very family friendly, they had to "bleep" out quite a bit.
Time to go and see a man about a dog. Actually a lady. My mum's friend, Jo (not to be confused with my friend, Jo) shows chow chows. So we went to say Hi. Her dog had won a few ribbons. A blue one and a yellow-ish one. I know, I'm full of useful information. Maybe mum remembers.
Lunch time. Gozleme. Don't know what that is? The. You are missing out. It's Turkish. The dough is filled with a variety of things, mine was lamb, feta and parsley. After being grilled it was wrapped around spinach and capsicum. Yum.
Back outside for more wood chopping.
A quick walk through the venomous snake display. Did you know snakes are not aggressive or mean? They only attack if they feel threatened. They become accustomed to human contact. Yeah, right. I'm still not getting close to them. They might become accustomed to human contact but I no chance of ever becoming accustomed to snake contact.
Our last stop was at the show bag pavilion. I have memories of buying lots of showbags as a kid. Mostly the chocolate ones. And leaving the show with bag after bag hanging off my arm. Showbags are expensive? How did I afford so many as a kid? Or did I just nag mum and dad so much they bought them to shut me up? I'm pretty certain I used my own pocket money or in later years my wages from Kentucky Fried a Chicken and the florist.
That was our day at the show. It's been 27 years since I was last at the Royal Hobart Show. It'll probably be 27 years before I go again. When I was home in March earlier this year I went to the Bream Creek Show with Dad. I enjoyed the smaller show better.
My home state is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Sometime within the last 10 years some enterprising sole has developed the site and now it's a popular tourist attraction.
Rather than just visit the site we signed up for Louisa's Walk. Louisa's Walk is a strolling theatre moving from Cascade Gardens to the Female Factory and back - like a progressive dinner, only with no food. Wear your walking shoes, and participate when asked. It's a lot of fun.
On our tour Karissa played Louisa. A young widowed mother of 3 boys who was sentenced to 7 years in the colonies for stealing a loaf of bread to feed her family. She was not allowed to take her boys with her as the oldest was 14 and therefore able to support the younger two.
Jon played all the other roles...the magistrate, a ship's captain, the doctor, the head of the factory, and a few others.
After Louisa was convicted and sentenced to transportation she boarded the Rajah for the many months long journey out to Van Diemans Land. The Quakers gave each woman fabric and cotton to keep them busy. Anything they made they could keep. Louisa made a quilt telling her life story to date. It includes squares with her deceased husbands name and the names of her three sons.
Inside the factory we heard many stories from Louisa's time there - picking oakum, seeking solace in the chapel, doing the laundry in cold cold water. She was chosen by a man for work outside the factory only to be sent back to the factory when she became pregnant. After the baby was weaned (two weeks after birth) Louisa was sent back into the factory. Records show she was finally chosen/purchased by a gentleman who would eventually become her husband. Once she was married there are no further official records until her death certificate. She in her 70's when she died, quite old for the time.
There are no buildings at the factory, the yards are marked to indicate where structures had been, and there is a replica of a dark cell. I don't think we would have enjoyed the factory or learned anywhere near as much if we hadn't done Lousia's walk. The tour was amazing. Jo, Irene and I both got caught up in the story, we laughed a lot. It lasted about 2 hours and was $35.00 each. Well worth every penny.
Meerkat. You can adopt one. You can't take it home though.
When I was home earlier this year Mum had double booked herself. She had agreed to take a unit of 6 guides to the Scout/Guide Regatta and she had committed to organising the medal presentations at the State Athletic Championships. So guess what? She volunteered me and my friend, Jo to take the girls to camp.
No idea why they have a fake meerkat in with the real ones. Anyone?
6 months later I'm home again. 6 months later I've been volunteered to help again.
Wallaby with a joey in her pouch. See the leg sticking out over the joey's head. Ouch! Can't be very comfortable for the mum or the joey.
In November the Guides of Tasmania are having an overnight event, ROAR 2014 at Zoodoo. Zoodoo is a wildlife park about 20-30 minutes from Hobart. They needed a filler activity for the girls to do on the last afternoon.
A rare albino wallaby. Until this visit, I didn't even know they existed.
Mum, Jo and I planned a lovely day in Richmond. A bit of shopping in the village. Lunch at the bakery. An hour or so at Zoodoo. Umm. Yep. Day didn't go as planned. Jo and I got sidetracked in town. Mum was busy at Guide House. We didn't actually head out to Zoodoo until about 2 '0 clock. So no shopping and no lunch in the bakery. Next time.
When I was a kid an emu bit my hand and took my sandwich. Emus and I are not friends.
We need a take nothing, leave nothing activity. So trivia it is. As we wander the enclosures taking photos, taking notes about the animals, we are approached by a zookeeper. He thought we were animal activists preparing to make a fuss about animals in captivity. Nope, just girl guide leaders spending an afternoon of their holiday getting ready for a guide camp. We need a life.
For everyone that asks me what a Tassie Devil looks like... This is a Tasmanian Devil. Note, it walks on all fours. It does not spin.
After being distracted by the devils. And they very cute meerkats. And the marmosets... Okay so we were easily distracted. But we did come away with 27 trivia questions and 24 trivia answers.
Devils are quite small and very ferocious. Don't stick your hand in front of one. They will bite it off. I'm not kidding.
We threw in two questions that might be a little bit tricky. They're actually really easy. But we suspect quite a few of the guides (and their leaders) will get them wrong.
Okay so they don't look all that vicious when they are taking a nana nap in the sun.
Let's see if you know the answers:
When is a bear not a bear?
Where does milk come from?