Thursday, February 3, 2011

Captain's Blog 2/3/11

Oops, I missed a day. A few days ago I received some directions from the agent in Barbados that a new entity, the Joint Regional Security Task Force (which apparently has jurisdiction throughout the eastern Caribbean Islands) has imposed new reporting requirements for ships entering their ports. Boy was I stressed - you may interpret that word differently if you like.

Anyway, we had to access each and every cadet and crew's personnel files and extract information that had previously not been reported. Then we had to reformat existing data lists to match the form that was required. Then it was supposed to be transmitted to them in advance of arrival. I was only successful in getting the advance disclosure to them waived, but once at the dock they wanted the whole enchilada.

Monday was spent mining the 693 files, then on Tuesday we had six cadets with their laptops sitting in my room entering the data. I felt like I was a conductor of an orchestra. It was funny really, and actually pretty painless. One cadet was in charge of music - although I am afraid my selection was not to everyone's liking - and another was in charge of making the coffee, tea or hot chocolate in my K-Cup system. By noon time the data entry was done. In less than another hour I had fine-tuned the format and made sure the data fields were all populated. All done before the fire and boat drill at 1600!

Last night the cadets held their annual Talent Show. I was impressed with some of the talent too. A duet on guitars doing an original song - a woman doing modern dance (on a very slippery Helo Deck) - another cadet doing a rather dark rendition of a Johnny Cash song - a cadet close order drill with a rifle - a small group doing rap - a standup comic - and the winner, a cadet playing his head, where his fists were the sticks, and his cranium the drum! Of course we were treated to one of our engineers - Bill Tracy - doing a sea ballad sing-along with enthusiastic fiddling.

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