After a very successful Grand Asia Cruise our ship headed to San Francisco for a fourteen day dry dock.
With unusually chilly weather in San Francisco for that time of the year it was time to dig out the jackets that certainly weren't needed in the Pacific.
I was well informed in advance as to what project I would be undertaking whilst in dry dock. With over 3,500 life jackets on board the Amsterdam, they were considered outdated and were being replaced by more modern fastening jackets.
It was our job as cadets along with Third Officer Jan Slofstra to ensure that this went smoothly. Unfortunately for us all of the whistles and lights had to be removed from the old life jackets before they were disposed of as no one could remember if the new ones that had been ordered came with any. It took 12 days for the entire swap to be complete. I have to say that I was seeing orange for days.
Of course during dry dock many projects were being undertaken. Huge sections of the ship were being refurbished inside as well as out. I made sure I went to see the most interesting parts, such as, removal of all of the ships davits for repair. I also spent some time down on the dock floor, you really appreciate the enormity of the structures that you don’t see on the bridge but operate every day, for example the stabilisers. Quite a lot of work was being undertaken on the azipods, it’s not a common occurrence so I was lucky to be involved.
Dry dock was day work, so our hours were roughly 8am until 5pm. This gave me some time to explore the city in the evenings, especially as Christmas was looming it was nice to witness some festivities shore side.
Halfway through dry dock I was given the opportunity to visit the Thomas Miller San Fran office. I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon meeting everyone and sharing my experiences of my cadetship so far, as well as being taken out for a very lovely lunch.