1999 New Zealand - published newpaper story PDF Print E-mail
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1999 New Zealand - published newpaper story
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A hot bath, with endless hot water. The bath is huge and set up like a Korean bath house. I am not going to say too much on this, but we all ended up in it together.

They herded us in like cattle, but we all kept to our separate sides, although it was quite funny. Then we had food and a carton of warm beer delivered to our temporary cabin. This set the stage for how we were to be treated for the next two days.
         
These people who have so much less than us treated us much better than we probably deserved.

The officers and crew were a really good bunch of guys. It was two days to our destination. We were now going to Lyttelton Harbour near Christchurch on the south island, instead of Auckland.

The crew on the Orion had told us just before we left that we had made the news back home.

 

Straight away we knew the questions that our wives would be asking. Naively we thought that in two days we would get to Lyttelton, get off the ship, have a beer and a pizza and catch a flight home. All fairly low key. The ship was to be out home for a third night as it was delayed from entering into the harbour.

As soon as it was anchored nearly the whole crew headed for the back deck with their fishing rods. Life is so terribly boring for the crew on ships such as these. While watching this entertaining scene we heard that the pilot boat was coming out. Apparently not to get the ship, but to get us. It all seemed very strange, but we got ourselves ready and said goodbye to all our new friends.

We had been made so welcome that I was nearly tempted to sign on and go to Chile with the ship. The pilot boat arrived and as we leaned over to see what was going on Ivan and I were stunned to see our wives, Sandra and Sybille on the boat. We couldn't get down the ladder quick enough.

There were plenty of tears and a whole lot of smiles. I realized then that this must have been a much bigger deal to everyone than we had first appreciated. The adventure was over. All I wanted to do now was get to a phone so I could hear my sons voices. Charley stayed on in New Zealand.

He was charged with the responsibility of going to see the rescue crew to thank them and returning their radio. They were so terribly important to us. We were all pretty shattered about leaving the boat.

Nothing can bring it back, but the trip to New Zealand was not completed and so we have some unfinished business. We are looking forward to having another go at some time in the future. Hopefully with a more positive result.
The End

Copyright © Rod Flannery, Australia 1999 - 2007 - All Rights Reserved



 

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