Are you ready for it? We have news! Stuart got off the ship on Monday and is home in Scotland today. Hooray!!
Normally Stuart would work three months on and three months off. Anyone that has read anything on this blog knows that he was well past three months. The majority of deck and engine officers work 3 months on 3 months off. There are two main reasons for this, the first is to avoid burn-out. Keeping them from being burnt-out mentally and physically helps keep them from making mistakes and have them more ready to respond in an emergency. This was part of the reason why it was so important for countries to allow crew change to happen. I can attest to how exhausted the crew was when I left – over a month ago – but, also how exhausting working onboard is. The longest contract I worked was just over four months and I was whooped by the end of it. The second reason is that promoting good working conditions encourages them to continue to work for the company, advance through the ranks, and have some long term company loyalty.
So, Stuart’s contract that is normally supposed to be three months (this time he was going to stay an extra two weeks to help out in dry dock), turned into 5 months and 18 days. Just a slight extension! Side note: We still have friends onboard waiting for their flights, although on the Amsterdam most will be heading home in the next few days.
Now that Stuart is back in Scotland, what does that mean for us? Well, I am going to head to Scotland. While being separated for the past month wasn’t any fun it did allow me to get some time with my family in Vermont and as I just got that time with my family here, now it’s time for us to have a chance to spend some time over there.
Travel restrictions and challenges due to COVID-19 are definitely still happening so when I get to Scotland I will have to quarantine for 14 days. Additionally, once I am done with my quarantine Scotland has had restrictions in place to stay local. While they’ve started lifting some of this my guess is we will still stay fairly close to home.
We’re hopeful during the next month we’ll find out when he has to go back to work and then we’ll figure out how long to go to Vermont for and what the rest of the year will look like. But, as I don’t know all those things I’m focusing on what I do know, and that is that I get to see my husband next week and that he is off the ship and for the first time in nearly 6 months tomorrow morning he can sleep in and wake up without an alarm clock.
A quick recap of mine and Stuart’s journey on the high-seas:
February 9th: Join m/s Amsterdam in Santiago, Chile
March 6th: Ashore in Sydney, Australia for dinner. Last time he was on land.
March 12th: Cairns, Australia – the ships last port of call before everything shut down.
March 21-23rd: Fremantle, Australia – passengers disembark.
April 5-10th – Durban, South Africa: 5 crew disembarked
April 25th – Malaysia to refuel
April 28th – May 6th: Jakarta, Indonesia: 172 Indonesians disembarked
May 12th – June 21st: Manila, Philippines. Over the next 6 weeks Filipino crew and non-essential and non-working crew disembark for flights home.
May 26th: The day Stuart’s contract was supposed to end.
June 20th: I disembark in Manila, Philippines. 100 days at sea.
June 26st: The ship leaves the Philippines for Indonesia acting as a ferry ship.
June 30th: Indonesia
July 5-9: Singapore
July 10-26th: En route to Cyprus via the Suez Canal.
July 27th: Stuart disembarks in Cyprus. 143 days at sea.
July 28th: Stuart gets home to Scotland.
August 5th: Iris flies to Scotland and we see each other again.
After that… time will tell. ☺