Friday, October 7, 2011

A Quacky Christmas

One of the couples onboard is preparing to leave to transition back to America at the end of November.  They are a wonderful couple and like another set of grandparents to our kids.  They are busy cleaning odds and ends out of their cabin and Denise brought a set of rubber ducks to Xavier at dinner tonight.  They are not, however, just any old rubber ducks.  It is a rubber ducky nativity set.  Really.  No joke.  Here is the picture to prove it.

Complete with three wise men, Mary and Jesus, Joseph, angel, and sheep ducks.
 I'm not really certain if this is sweet or sacrilige or, as one person at the dinner table put it, "I'm not sure if this ruins my faith in humanity or restores it."  At any rate, Xavier loves the ducks and is having a blast squirting water from the wise men at Joseph.

If anybody happens to have a floating stable and manger around, we're in the market.

Diver Rescue Drill

Captain briefing the response team.
 We had a wonderful time yesterday doing an extrication drill of an injured diver from the water.  The scenario was that one of our divers (who work incredibly hard at keeping our intakes clear as well as working full time jobs) injured his head during a dive and needed to be extricated.  I suppose most of you don't want all of the technical details but suffice it to say that patient extrication included a forklift, steel stokes basket with homemade bouyancy attachments (pvc piping attached to the frame), and a very MacGyver-esque rigging harness.  Technical rescue in West Africa requires a certain level of ingenuity.  Our Ship Safety Officer did a great job putting the stokes and lowering harness together along with input from the Captain, our neighbor Dan, and yours truly (my input was fairly minimal).

Donning PFDs
 Four of us from the fire teams volunteered to go in the water to assist the uninjured diver with the patient.  We had a great time, although the water isn't exactly pristine.  There's a strong possibility that Han Solo's quote from the garbage compactor in Star Wars made an appearance, "What a wonderful smell you've discovered". 

Rescuers in the water.  I'm the lovely bald head on the right.
The extrication went very smoothly and I have high confidence in our ability to rapidly and safely extricate a victim in the water should (God forbid) the need ever arise.

Patient coming clear of the dock.
The best part of the whole ordeal was coming home.  Dara was waiting for a call from the surgeon to have a small nodule removed from the right side of her mouth but said not to worry about the drill because Grace would be home with the boys after school if she got called down.  I came back from being in the water to find our friend Nikki with the boys and Grace and Dara both gone.  Grace had knocked her tooth off again (third time) and Dara had been called down to prep for surgery.  When it rains it pours.  Grace's tooth was glued (non exactly the technical dental terminology) back on without incident and I was able to be there for Dara's minor surgery (local anasthesia only).  Unfortunately, she torn one of the stitches shortly after coming home and had to go back down later in the evening to get numbed up again and get a few new stitches.  Everyone is doing well now but it was a pretty busy afternoon.