Real Estate and Forex and Life, Oh My!

Apparently I don't know what it means to be a consistent blogger. Anyways there are a few things to be updated in my life. 1. Real Estate Investing Since last November I have been interested in investing in real estate. I Read more

Time Keeps Marching

The summer has been a whirlwind of fun. My parents were here for about 6 weeks, though they did travel a lot during that time. I was able to spend about 8 days with them down at my sister's Read more

Made It Through The Winter!

Well it seems that the winter is finally over. In fact there wasn't much of a spring around here. As my friend Casey put it, in Wisconsin there is winter, and then there's a death match between winter and Read more

New Job Finally

I've been back in the States since October and have had a couple of jobs here and there, but they weren't very good and didn't last long. Well it's been just a bit over four months and I finally Read more

I've Been Everywhere Man

Well I have now come to the end of my career on cruise ships. I thought it'd be nice to provide a little list of all the places I've been in the last 3 years. Most of the names Read more

I'm Off to See the Wizard

The wonderful wizard of Alaska!! Yeah I can't wait to be back in Alaska. Sounds strange to say that because it's gonna be 5 long months of hard work but it's gonna be a nice change - at least Read more

Skydiving in Honolulu

Well, this is definitely something worth writing about. I jumped out of an airplane. The airplane was 14,750 feet in the air. The free fall was 60 seconds. It was amazing. I had never thought about sky diving before Read more

Next Contract - Panama Canal and Alaska

With also a few other places thrown in such as Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hawaii and Christmas Island!! If you're interested please see below my itinerary for this next contract on the ms Statendam. I'll be joining it during dry dock Read more

Seal Coast Safari

The last month since I’ve posted on here has been an incredible experience in many ways. The begin with, our printer continued to have a lot of electrical problems which has prevented us from doing any printing. We had Fuji service technicians come on board 4 times before they actually got it fixed. The first time they came and replaced some parts but the main issue wasn’t fixed. This happened a couple more times before finally a technician came and actually sailed on the ship with us from Melbourne to Sydney. He figured out that the problem was that there was a large static buildup between the printer and the computer and it was continually frying the firewire cards. We have installed a properly grounded static matt which has prevented the static from harming our equipment. So now the machine works, but we still need to figure out why there is a static build up in the first place.

So that whole situation has been taking up a lot of my time and energy. Several times I spent almost the entire night staying up late printing everything that I hadn’t been able to print so that we would have something to sell. Aside from this our ratings on the ship haven’t been the best either so Ocean Images sent out the S & R class operations manager to give our team some advise and pointers on what we can do to improve customer ratings at the end of each cruise. It has helped a lot and we are doing some things differently now. Ratings are improving so that’s always positive.

One of my photographers on the team is finishing his contract after next cruise, so he’ll be going home on January 4th. Then Niamh and I are finishing our contract on January 17th, so there will be a lot of changes in the near future.

Next cruise Niamh and I plan to go to Hobbiton, which is the place where they filmed the Shire in Lord of the Rings. Originally they had to tear the whole set down, however it has now been rebuilt because they are filming The Hobbit there. So it’s going to be pretty cool to see the set how it really should look. I’ve heard from other people who have been there that we’re not really supposed to post photos of it, but I’ll see what the rules are when I get there. I might be able to post a photo of a Hobbit hole or two.

Next cruise is also the Christmas and New Years cruise for us. I will be in Dunedin, New Zealand for Christmas and Auckland for New Years Eve. We’ll be at sea when the new year actually arrives.

A few days ago I went on a tour in Wellington to the coast and got a chance to see some amazing landscapes and some seals. We rode in some heavy duty 4 wheel drive Toyotas. The path that we took was off-road and very rough. You can see here the path that we took on the beach. The vehicle pictured is one of three that were in our group. There were only about 5 seals that I saw, I guess because in the summer they go other places. The winter is when they are here in large numbers. If you’re a little confused, it’s because it is currently summer in New Zealand, as we are south of the equator. December 1st was the first day of summer.

Posted on in Australia 2011, Cruise Life 4 Comments

More Fun On The Volendam

Back when I was still in Alaska, as you might remember I rented a car and drove up to Emerald Lake in Canada. My internet at the time wasn’t working very well and so I wasn’t able to upload photos. Here you can see Niamh at Emerald Lake. It was very beautiful, reminds me of hot springs that have really weird vibrant colors. There’s actually some of those places around here in New Zealand which I might try to go to before my contract is over.

Also, here’s a photo of me on the back deck of the Volendam in Auckland during the final match of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. There were several huge outdoor TVs setup on the docks around where the ship was and there were thousands of people watching. I can’t imagine what it must have been like in the actual stadium.

In other news, life here on the Volendam is going well. We had a bit of a hiccup last cruise when our printer had major issues and stopped working for a few days. There is a huge problem with static electricity in the lab and it fried a few firewire cards in the computer and the printer and it caused it to not work. So that was fixed in Sydney by a couple Fuji technicians, but then it got fried again about 2 hours after they left. When we got to Melbourne another tech came on board and replaced the firewire cards again, and suggested that I also replace the actual firewire cable, and get a static mat to go under the computer. It seems that one or both of those two things has fixed the problem as we are still up and running several days later. I have my fingers crossed that it won’t happen again.

I’m also starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only the remainder of this cruise and four more cruises until the end of my contract. That means just about 2 months left. I’ll be leaving on the 17th of January. It’s been a super contract so far but I’m also very ready for vacation. Who knows where I’ll be next, but I’m hoping for a ship in Europe.

Posted on in Australia 2011, Cruise Life 7 Comments

What I’ve Done

So it’s been like a month since I’ve written anything on here, so here’s the low-down on my life recently.

Been to Hawaii.
Visited my cousin Heather in Hawaii.
Been to 5 country islands in the South Pacific.
Been to Australia and New Zealand.
Visited Jael, friend from post college, in Auckland, New Zealand. Twice.
Planning to visit Chris Loh in Melbourne, friend from high school.
Taken over as photo manager of the Volendam.
Been to glow worm caves in Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
Bought snacks in a convenience store from an extremely happy Egyptian who loves speaking to Americans. He gave us free gifts.
Witnessed New Zealand madness during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Learned that my contract will be finishing on January 17. Niamh and I will be flying to London.
Uploaded more photos to my photo gallery.

Well that’s a pretty good list of what’s happened in the last month and a half. Please check out the photo gallery for a few photos that I took. All of the square photos were taken in Fiji and the other 4 were taken in New Zealand.

Posted on in Australia 2011, Cruise Life 7 Comments
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