The last thing we did in Washington was to get Himself settled in on the ship. Much easier to do since we had a rental car.
Each season everyone on the ships has to perform the survival drills. Before the ship leaves they do immersion suit practice. Also known as “Gumby suits” (I think you see why…), these will save your life if you’re forced into arctic waters.
They are buoyant to keep you floating, bright with both the orange color and reflective tabs so you can be seen, and they cover almost all of you so you don’t lose body heat.
The instructor teaches them to form a ring so they will stay together. That third set of feet from the left is Himself.
Then you are taught how to get into the lifeboats. Himself is an old hand at this and gets up there pretty quickly and with minimum effort.
Others aren’t so graceful…
See? Pretty much dry. Most of that wet are from drips as the suit came off. (Plus he got dunked a few times by a slightly panicked first-timer.)
Back at the ship, loading was in full swing.
While Himself ran here and there, I opted to stay on the dock for a bit; shooting some photos and visit with some friends I hadn’t seen in a few years before I went up to help him with the inventories.
A couple of those friends. Alex (on the left) is the most fantastic artist. And I love the dry humor of Julius (center). On the right is Sean. I don’t know him, tho I’ve met his wife who also works on the ship. Himself speaks highly of him.
I was invited to “ride along” on the ship’s sea trials (that is when you take the ship out for a little run to make sure all the kinks are out). I jumped at the chance.
Here’s Capt. Steve making sure that everything is being done as we leave the dock.
To get us out away from the dock, they used a tug boat to push/pull/shove us into position. Looks kind of small, doesn’t it?
Soon we were out circling around Puget Sound “getting the carbon blown out”. That is the assistant vessel manager Paul on the left and Capt Steve on the right talking to someone on the radio.
My favorite place on the ship!