Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Stay at Jeddah

            The 12 days from Salalah to Jeddah were good for this Tall Ship. We had good to fair wind throughout. While in the Traffic Separation Schemes off Bab el Mandeb we were clipping a decent 7.5 – 8 knots. Traffic had been decent in the gulf and heavy in the TSSs. Last two days were thus used to spruce up the ship’s side and the much awaited culmination of Inter Mast Competitions. On request of some divers and some wannabes onboard EXO organized a Push Up and Sit Up competition. Long discussions were held to finalise the rules and finally both masts mustered on foxle to cheer for their team. To everybody’s surprise the so called studs were toppled by the unassuming. So much so that the Sit Up competition was won by the MainMast by a margin of six hundred Sit Ups. This was all thanx to Seaman I Pawan Chauhan, LEMR Anuj Sharma, EAP 4 Nirmal Raj and Lt Arjun Radha Krishnan who had to be stopped at a count of 300 sit ups to facilitate dinner for Last Dog Watch. Who knows how long they would have continued if we hadn’t stopped them.

           The ship came alongside port side to on berth no. 35 at 0930 hrs on 29 May 15. The tugs were kept on standby as this long jetty with enough sea room to maneuver was a comfortable approach. Reception Committee included a contingent of Five Royal Saudi Naval Force Officers, the Defense Attache and the ship shandlers. While the DA and RSNF officers were ushered into the wardroom for a refreshment and other formalities, EXO caught hold of the Ship Handler to commence stocking up for the voyage ahead. After having tied up for everything the ship shifted ashore leaving the duty watch to top up on water.

            The Charge D’ Affaire and officiating Ambassador Mr Hemant Kotalwar and Counsel General along with their families visited the ship at 1200 hrs on 30 May 15. They were conducted by the  Commandin Officer and our ever enthusiastic demonstrated Mast drill and yardsman aloft for stowing of sails. Walk around of the ship was undertaken towards the end of the visit.

          A Press conference was held onboard at 1730 hrs on 30 May 15 with Commanding Officer, Charge D’ Affairs, Counsel General and Defence Attache. A total of 17 media personnel representing 14 newspaper and TV channels participated in the event. The ship was dressed overall with dressing line and all fore and aft sails set for the press conference.

           This was followed by a Reception and dinner that was hosted onboard post press conference. The function was attended by Embassy staff, Media personnel and Senior Royal Saudi Navy Officers. Sumptuous Indian cuisine was served during the dinner, the highlight of the reception being the Dosa stall, which was highly appreciated by everyone.

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