The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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11:59am on Tuesday, 4th July, 2017:
One of the unpublicised benefits of holidaying at sea is that of being relatively safe in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, it also has some costs.
At 2am this morning, the public address system burst into life and we heard the words, "This is the captain speaking".
There was no emergency alarm, so I knew we weren't abandoning ship. I knew we weren't being awoken to see the most amazing display of northern lights ever (which happened to me on a flight from the US to the UK once, but we couldn't see a thing because the captain switched the cabin lights on to wake us up) as it's the wrong time of year. Maybe we were about to hit heavy seas? It didn't seem rough. Perhaps someone had flushed something too large down the lavatory? It was a possibility.
It turned out that a crewmember had fallen critically ill and needed to be taken off the ship by helicopter. I guess that's better than "Is there a surgeon, an anaesthetist and an operating theatre nurse on board?", but it must have been bad if it couldn't wait the six hours before we docked. Anyway, the reason we were told this was because all the cabins, er, staterooms deliberately beneath the helicopter landing spot would have to be cleared. The crew would inform everyone affected immediately after the captian had finished speaking. The helicoptger would land in 30 minutes.
There are three decks separating us from the place we figured the helicopter would land, and after ten minutes no-one came had come to clear us out so we thought we were unaffected. After twenty minutes, though, there was a quiet tapping on our door — so quiet that we weren't sure it wasn't just the ship creaking. It happened again, though, and turned out to be the chap who services our room. Maybe he was tapping quietly because he didn't want to wake us up. We had to get dressed then go to ... well, no-one seemed to know. There were lights outside and we could hear the helicopter, so they just wanted us to move away. We eventually wound up at the café on the same floor that the helicopter was landing. I got a cup of tea, then after a quarter of an hour, just as waiters appeared with snacks and sandwiches, we were informed that we could go back to our cabins, er, staterooms. This, we did. Maybe an hour later, I got back to sleep.
At 8:30am sharp, the slow-talking entertainments manager came over the tannoy and started trying to sell us excursions. I'd been hoping not to have to get up until maybe 10am, but she apparently had other plans.
Haugesund, where we're now docked, has very fast Internet so you get to see this.
I don't know how the crewmember fared.
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