It’s been a long time since I had a proper posting, so here goes….
The last real posting was in January. I was still on leave then and since then, I’ve had a short trip off-shore and am now ‘back on the ranch’.
Before I left I had to have two teeth extracted which wasn’t fun.
It was a short trip for two reasons, I was late getting back to the boat, and I was early coming off the boat!
The crew change had been brought forward by three days at short notice, so that I didn’t have enough time to make it to Nigeria before the boat sailed. That meant I had to join a week later when the boat reached Angola. I’d only been on the boat a few days when I got word of my first appointment for my Green Card, the Biometrics appointment. The appointment was for the 12th of February, which was the day that I was supposed to get off the boat. So, instead of having to postpone the appointment, my boss agreed that I should get off the boat a week early to make it. (there is an advantage for the company in me having my Green Card too!)
So, my normal four week trip ended up only being two weeks, though it seems that so much went on in that two weeks to make it a full trip!
Several things were up when I arrived on the boat in Angola. Communications were down, as there is some local transmission in Luanda that interferes with the frequency that our satellite uses, so we had to temporarily change to a set of frequencies that had been reserved for another of our ships. Our main air compressors electric motor had burned out, so we had to investigate a temporary replacement and how to get our one repaired. After about four days we finnally located a compressor that we could rent locally, but fixing the motor on our one would have meant getting it sent back to Europe which would take as much red tape as to make it not worth doing at the moment, at least until the ship herself goes back to Europe.
One of the computers in our system had failed and we were quoted a ridiculous price for a replacement, including a surcharge of $80, to ‘down grade’ the operating system from ‘Vista Business’ to ‘XP Pro’. We decided just o order components and build a new unit ourselves!
During the trip, the ship-board computer server had a major hard-drive failure, so that a lot of stuff was lost and a lot of stuff corrupted. The IT department managed to do a forced restore from before the failure, sot that we ended up only losing a few days worth of data, which wasn’t too bad.
So, at he moment, I’m back at home for what I guess will be a five week leave. Lots to do, and of course, on Thursday I have to go up to Denver for my Biometrics, from what I understand that’s just a case of being finger printed and having mug-shots taken.
I will have at least one other appointment which will be an ‘interview’. I don’t know how long away that will be, and I’m don’t know how much longer after that before I actually get the Green Card. But at least the process is progressing.

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