Today I did a first. A herculean task. I got a phone number.

Now getting phone numbers has probably been supplanted with tattooed QR codes, TIKTOK profiles or whatever is en vogue. But having never got a phone number from anyone in a traditional sense I was quite proud of myself and this is the tale.

Below Deck has managed to lower the already sunken opinions most Mariners have of Yachties. Before they thought we did all of our work drunk/hungover or both. Now they have seasons of evidential television to watch (jealously).

Therefore it is highly likely the only two Yachties on a maritime course would find a life boat(desk) to cling to.

Anyway, I had long and enthralling conversations over two days on a multitude of topics with a highly intelligent beauty. With plenty of nice things in common. A curse of the golden handcuffs is only Yachties *get* Yachties. We righted life rafts, put out fires and finished inside a shipping container full of AFFF foam.

Anyway with the course drawing to a close I really felt like I needed to kindle more of these conversations. But how?

“So umm would you like to talk more rubbish sometime?”

“Are you asking me for my number?

“Why, yes”

“I love talking rubbish”

And so the seed was sown.

Note to selves. If wit is your best attribute, find quiet places to marinate it in and stay salty.

Person of interest. When you read this, I hope you have enjoyed some of my written rubbish :-).

With an ambiguous future, I have been doing my danddest to ward off something I am not altogether comfortable about. Winter. Winter is a season I have managed to miss in its entirety since 2009.

It is as I remember it. Taking up hobbies and multiple layers of clothing have been de rigueur here. In a mire of self-mummification, I can’t say I don’t miss warmer climes

This week, I will embark upon some certification and a small excursion to garner some perspective. I have begun networking in earnest.

I have put some thought into what I want to do. A list of demands as it were. This involves creating a more professional footprint. All I need now is a name. Feel free to leave a comment if you have an idea.

An effortlessly effusive thank you to Tom for all of his brilliant work in overhauling my blog. He has been a pleasure to work with and I can not fault his enthusiasm or skills. I let professionals get on with it and just enjoy. Be it chefs, tailors or a hairdresser. What do i know?

Everything has been ported over and the new design will allow you to delve into the back catalog with some gusto.

With a somewhat uncertain future I am not sure how much travelling I will be doing but if I am to become landbound I have so many terrible tales that I could not tell and you know what?

Life is always interesting. Whereever I am.

No one errected a statue to one.
One of my favourite quotes.
Yet last night an old companion I thought to have evicted years ago payed a visit.
The self critic. This morning I gave this loathsome character some thought. 
At some point accumulating grey hair and wrinkles. People started asking me for advice and I reminded myself of a good technique. If I presented my self to myself. I would probably say.
“Dan, you have just worked 3x months without a day off and have spent 2 weeks in solitary confinement. You should probably be kind to yourself.
The worst critic is the self.
ANYWAY. This very blog will change quite radically in the next few days. Please leave a comment at your own leisure when it hits you.
We have had a wee bit of a relative cold snap over night so this morning I have been rationalising my extensive wardrobe. One welcome possible change will be, being able to utilise this to its full capabilities. That said a good portion has been vacpacced for next summer. The benefits of doing such things as it reins in my al fresco tendancies that are potentiated by my son
I do have another FaaS crate in transit and will unbox this as some video content in the future. Do not know what FaaS is? Wait and see.
I did have a good idea for a tshirt slogan.
“Too young for Facebook. Too old for tiktok”
Merch idea for the xenials.

So I had a good interview, I pressed flesh, asked intelligent questions and was offensively charming. The curveball was a test.

Let it be known. I HATE TESTS.

The test was written and practical. I don’t know about you guys but my handwriting rapidly devolves into an unintelligible scrawl if I have to write more than my signature. Still, I took my time and was only really hampered by one element. 

A simple solder job of an RCA connector and cable. Usually, I have my holster of small tools on me for work but I was left to use someone else’s tools. My problems were not being able to get the collar of the connector over the cable. After cursing and muttering to myself at length. I did what all good ETOS do. I improvised, I desoldered and repurposed another more suitable connector and used that.

Technically this was cheating but it let me pass this question. The solution was actually to cut the collar short on the finest Chinese RCA connector. 

It sounds like a lot of candidates say they can do everything. Sadly when presented with tasks the skills do not meet up with what is in a CV.

So I am grateful I have learned a little about a lot of things. 

Fingers crossed I will be learning a lot more about a lot of things.

Wish me luck I’m suiting up.

More news after the break.

My ride out of MIQ was late. He does suffer from being terminally tardy so I was not crestfallen. It was an exercise in feeling awkward, standing outside the hotel I will never return to. I now have 3x hotels in New Zealand struck of my register of places to stay.

I am a product of the ’70s and the north. It was quite common as a child to be left in the car whilst my parents were at social gatherings. When you have a small horizon you get to know it very well. The immediate becomes very intimate and comforting. 

My hotel stays have become the same. Every little part of the hotel room is known well. Things noticed in a professional capacity and also on a cosmetic level.

Loitering uncomfortably outside I was struck by how quiet things are. That is not to say there was not an absence of sound. But there was an absence of vibration. The sound of HVAC. I first noticed this when I was waiting for my bus after landing in New Zealand but could not put my ears on it. I had had 3x months of HVAC and temperature-controlled rooms.

When this is removed, it’s a little like having been to a concert and suffering from tinnitus. You know something is missing and wonder what it is. Having spent 30 minutes outside desperately trying to look like I was supposed to be there. I had my Eureka moment.

Thank you, Richard. If you had not been late I would not have realised this. I suffer from being perpetually early. How many revelations have I cut short?

I leave MIQ today. My imagination is in a celebratory mood. I have a good friend collecting me from the gates today. I woke up with this scene playing through my head. A soundtrack for release if ever there was one.