On the Boat: Life on the BNS Lobelia (part 1)

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Other Photos: On the Boat (part 2) | Brussels | Bruges | Oslo | London | Isle of Man

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4th of July Barbeque The first leg of our journey was capped by a barbeque at anchor in Danish waters, just after crossing the Kiel Canal. We invited the captains of the other two ships (the Primula and the Stern), as well as my fellow American, Ben Drew. Since it was the 4th of July, the Belgians claimed that it was in honor of us! (They all know about the 4th of July from the movie Independence Day.) At left, I'm enjoying a Jupiler with Jan (left) and Vince (right), fellow "cadets," while our Navigator looks to see what's going on (far right). (Navi was a really cool guy who read a lot of books in English--especially the J.R.R. Tolkein books.)
4th of July Barbeque 2
At right, Ben has come to join us, and I've apparently decided to obscure Jan's head. A quick word on Jupiler: it's the most popular beer in Belgium, sort of the run-of-the mill beer; on the boat, if you asked for a pintje ("a little pint"), that meant a Jupiler. It's like their Budweiser. But of course, being the Beer Country, their Budweiser is a lot better than ours. They are quite patriotic about Jupiler, and are known to get into fights with Dutchmen about Jupiler versus Heineken.
Chief Klauwert's Tora-Tora-Tora RoutineAt that self-same barbeque, Chief Frank Klauwert, who hands-down wins the title of "Class Clown" of the Lobelia, did his Tora-Tora-Tora routine, among other unmentionables. This guy clearly has never grown up, although he's a great navigator and taught me a lot throughout the cruise.

a wimpy North Sea wave
After departing Oslo, we had some horrible weather on the North Sea. We were steaming into the wind, so the front of the ship was crashing down on every wave. This is a pretty wimpy wave that I took a picture of either shortly before tossing my cookies in the North Sea.

a better wave on the Primula
This is a somewhat better picture of a slightly less wimpy wave taken by someone on the Primula (from the Belgian Navy website).

Brighton Coast
We had a very scenic time on the Brighton coast off of England. This is a shot of Tor Bay.
Man Overboard
...where we conducted man overboard drills with a bouy and zodiak.

Here, Ilyia, one of the signal/radiomen, prepares to send up the "Oscar" flag that signals that we are doing man overboard drills
Oscar flag flying
...and here is the Oscar flag flying proudly next to the Belgian Navy ensign.

The coxswain (who's a bit like a Command Master Chief--he handles a lot of administrative stuff..."la paperasse" according to ours) enjoys some sun on the fantail.

Chilling on a mine
Chef Electro and Chef CO almost fall off an inert mine.

Cadets on the boat deck
Jan, Vince, Frik, and Gunther on the boatdeck with "Oscar" the yellow dummy in the back (so called because of the Oscar flag mentioned above...) Jan and Vince were both second-year cadets, and thus I did most of my training with them (and Morgan, not pictured here). Frik and Gunther are both first-year cadets, but Frik is re-taking his first year and is also at the military school while Gunther is at a civilian engineering school. Frik and Gunther live near each other, so they would often argue about whose town was "really" the capital.

Portsmouth Coast
Meanwhile, the Officer of the Watch on the bridge has to worry about the dreaded Narrow Navigation into Portsmouth...this is the Primula following us out.

Gabbing on the radio
Yours truly, gabbing on the radio, while Chief Appeltants looks on disapprovingly. They could always tell when Ben or I talked on the radio, because we'd pronounced "roger" properly, not with a Dutch or French r.

Heaving-line Practice RAS
A heavingline transfer with the Primula. We transferred some heavy bricks back and forth as if we were doing a Replenishment at Sea.

Luke's FOREX Home Page
Other Photos: On the Boat (part 2) | Brussels | Bruges | Oslo | London | Isle of Man