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.