Saturday, 8 December 2007

Arrival at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain...

Greetings from the port of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands! We had a lovely sail here, and during the voyage were greeted by dolphins, flying fish, whales, and even a hammerhead shark! It has been amazing.

On Wednesday night we had our Winter Wonderland Christmas event, where crew members can sell crafts, arts, goods and cookies / biscuits to fellow crew members. It was a really nice atmosphere, with good food and good crafts, but more importantly, good friends. I'm really enjoying the people here, and am building some great friendships. This was one thing I was worried about before I came, but God has shown me that I never really needed to worry. He has surrounded me with the most amazing friends here on the "Africa Mercy". And these are friendships that, even now, I know I'll be keeping for years and years to come.

On Thursday I woke up early in order to watch our approach into Las Palmas. It was amazing to see all the lights of the island shining out bright into the night. We reached the pilot station (where we take on-board our pilot) at around 10h30, and took on our pilot, and headed into the harbour. Only to be heading back out into the open seas a few minutes later. The berth allocated for us was 150 metres in length. The "Africa Mercy" is 152 metres in length. Mmm, maybe a slight problem! So we were back in open water for a couple of hours, and during this time another berth (at the passenger terminal - we were originally docking in the cargo section of the harbour) opened up and so we headed back in and took this berth. It is close to the shopping malls and other tourist attractions. I have already been off ship exploring with a group of friends. We walked along the beach front in the early evening, after supper, and bought ice-cream and had a good time in each other's company. We also stopped at a sidewalk cafe for drinks, but I had to head back to the ship to get some rest before my long night shift, which I am on now as I type this entry.

So we are berthed here until Monday, and then move into drydock for a week's work on the ship. Following drydock, we should be heading out to Tenerife for Christmas. So as you can see it has been an amazing adventure so far. I really have enjoyed myself and feel so blessed to be part of such a wonderful organisation as Mercy Ships. It is a privilege to serve on the sea.

No comments: