The Shilla Harvester (Jan 3)

The Shilla Harvester

When I arrived in Nadi I grabbed a sim card and a data load for my phone and then went to the domestic terminal. There was a flight boarding in 6 minutes for Suva that I could get onto. Which beat sitting in the Nadi airport for 3 hours waiting for my booked flight. I threw my bags onto the belt and went into the boarding terminal.

I shot a quick email to the company letting them know I was taking an early plane to Suva. When I got there I flagged a taxi to Suva because I hadn’t heard from the company yet, so I doubted the agent had been told to pick me up early. I took the taxi straight into the port and to my boat. It was easy to spot, a bright yellow helicopter sat on top. The entire crew except for the second officer was out in town for dinner. I stacked my bags next to the door to my room and decided to go do the same.

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An Awesome Kid Story (Jan 2)

An Awesome Kid Story

Ok, so all of you that know me well enough know that I don’t want kids. Ever. It isn’t because I don’t like kids, I just don’t want them. I want to travel and take risks and explore and go places that kids can’t or shouldn’t, and I want to live a life of financial security and abundance. All things that you can do with kids, but are easier to do without. I’ve been accused of hating children, and I’ve had people call me selfish because of this decision (and I agree, my offspring would be epic, and the world better for them) but at the end of the day my mind is made up.

When I checked into the Fiji Airways counter I had two seat options, an aisle seat next to a baby or a window seat. I don’t normally like the window – being cramped into a small space and blocked by two strangers isn’t a charming idea to me so I really wanted that aisle seat. I don’t like babies though, I just can’t deal with them. They stress me out until they’re a few years old. So I took the window option.

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Be Flexible

It’s a job requirement

A lot of people online ask me for tips and guides for this job, and one point I am going to stress is being flexible. You’re dealing with people in 3 or 4 countries, and just as many time zones, for one piece of information at most times. While the rest of the compound was passed out and nursing hangovers hiding from the sunlight I spent my last morning in Honiara watching the sunrise over the split hulks of former fishing vessels that line the shore.

Not sure anything would be open, I still wanted a real breakfast that wasn’t hangar rice so I fished the keys out of my pocket and took the truck into town to the Pacific Coast Casino (or something like that) where I had eaten two days ago for lunch. I knew they had western style omelets on their menu and I wanted a real breakfast. I had them add hot chilies to a meat omelet and ordered two tall glasses of orange and mango juice. I hungrily scarfed down the four slices of toast with jam that came with the eggs. It was the best breakfast I’d had in two months.

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Caught in a Whirlwind (Dec 29-31)

The last week has been something of a twister of experiences for me, and I hardly know where to start. We arrived in Honiara on the 30th after a day at sea working our way in towards the islands. This was a huge moment for me, I’d always wanted to come to the Solomon Islands since I was a small kid and earned my diving certification in 1999. So I was really looking to this shore leave, more than usual. All of my plans that I had for this island, and I had no idea at this point that I wouldn’t get to do any of them. This time.

The coolest part of our stay was as soon as we got done clearing customs and immigration on the boat Roxy and I loaded our equipment and bugout bags into the helicopter, fired it up and got ready to depart. I made a quick call to Honiara tower to let them know I was about to relocate in the harbor. We had tied off to another Dong Won boat while we were waiting for the freezer ship to show up in the next day or two, so I only had one real option for my takeoff, that is – pick up, into a nice hover and get high enough to pedal turn out over the bow and depart that way.

Our sister ship didn’t have a helicopter on top so the crew all formed up on the railing to watch the helicopter depart, our crew on the Caribe however were soused to it they didn’t pay us any attention. I then flew low over the harbor, and past several other ships waiting for one thing or another, making my way toward our hangar on the shore; it was ideal waterfront property. When I got there one of the ground crew came out to marshall me into the lot, guiding me forward and then directing me down onto my skids. Landing on non-moving dry land that is flat and level was a sensation that might as well have been new to me. The firmness of the asphalt was very comforting.

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