First day at sea

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I’m writing this on the deck of the ship, just outside my cabin.
This is the second full day at sea.  We left Athens at 01:30am on the morning of Monday, 24th June.  I slept really well that night and rose early to watch the sun rise  I’ve been up onto the Bridge(where the ship is steered) frequently and met the Chief Officer (who I’ve previously mentioned), the 2nd and 3rd mate, both Philippino’s.  All are friendly, make me cups of tea when I’m up there, let me use the binoculars to look around, etc.  There are some fantastic views up here.

This morning, 25th June, I went onto the Bridge at 04:30 as we were passing through the Messina Straits.
 This is the passage of water between the toe of Italy and Sicily and whenever a ship passes through a passage of water (a Strait), a pilot needs to come aboard and help the ship navigate its way through.  It’s quite amazing how a pilot boards a ship, very James Bond style!  A little speedboat keeps parallel to our ship – a rope ladder is thrown down the side and the pilot has to carefully go from his boat speedboat onto the step ladder and climb abroad our ship. Here’s a little video of him as he left…watch closely, you’ll see him leap from the step ladder onto his speedboat.  Looks dangerous!   

Now we’re making our way up the West coast of Italy, the Tyrrhenian Sea, to La Spezia where I hope to get internet access to post this for you.  La Spezia is a smallish port and access from the cargo terminal to the town is walking distance.  I want to sit down with a cup of Italian coffee and just relax.  

Remember, I’ll be posting as often as I can, but there’ll be times where there’ll be long spaces of no news from me, due to no internet access as there’s none on the ship. Rest assured, Bex is still here and I’ll update you as and when I can.
                **Quick update** I was on the Bridge again this evening (25 JUN) and saw dolphins coming towards the front (bow) of the ship.   They frolicked the wake for a while (the waves made from the ship) and then disappeared. It was magical!                                                                                               

The Bridge is a good place to see this as they have about four to five sets of very powerful binoculars which the crew are happy for you to use.
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