Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fort Lauderdale Living

     So I have survived my first two weeks of training/life in Fort Lauderdale.  It was definitely an I opener to get off the plane and realize everything I left behind.  I felt like Homer Simpson "Doh". Was this a good or bad decision?  I actually love the saying, if it is good, then its great, but if it is bad, then its an experience.  That's exactly how I am approaching this adventure.  No matter what, the experience will be worth it.  Hopefully I will meet nice people, make some money, and travel parts of the world I've never been before...all before I settle down.  :)
     So, it has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever done, leaving Carlsbad this time. I had to completely drop/leave everything for this random job I am venturing into.  Luckily the life and atmosphere of Fort Lauderdale is really receptive.  First off, the crew house that I am staying in is amazing! The owner of the house is definitely off her rocker.  She is an emotional wreck, but a very smart business woman. I live in a house with seven other girls, all of which are unbelievably nice and helpful.  They answer all of my questions regarding the yachting world. They really are the nicest things. We have Janet, Rachel, and Kate from South Africa, Liz and Holly from American, and Kayla and Magenta from Australia.  They sure know how to party.  I tend to go out with them and just order coca-colas :)  But hey I still have my fun! The first week, I went a toga party where one is "supposed" to network.  I just ate lots of good food...just kidding, I ate and networked over the eating.

At this party, I met some nice guys who got me tickets to the National Party.  This is a invite only event with 6,000 people attending.  I wore my Queen of hearts costume and danced all night...and again ate really good food.  There were these beef brisket sandwiches that had favorite!  I left around 1 am because my feet were killing me, but it was a crazy, fun time.

I also rode a bull with Kayla.  It was definitely a fun night.  There were tons of yachties just having a good time! I couldn't keep up with the partiers as they went out downtown, but that's ok because I got to talk with Lauren back at home, and Sachi.  It was his birthday weekend, so he was out with friends.  His friend Andrew surprised him with getting Sachi's Halloween costume.  Guess what it was? A yacht captain.  I thought that was the cutest thing.

On Halloween, I took the Australians Trick or Treating.  They had a blast! I'm glad I got to reconnect with my youth.  Geeze, some of these houses/neighborhoods are insane.  So fun.  I felt like I had to be more gruesome like my roommates, which is why I chose the alternative Alice in Wonderland.

   Ok so in between the parties and networking, my training for the STCW '95 consisted of some boring classroom informational sessions, and days that were unbelievable.  How many times can you say you jumped in and out, and in and out, and in and out of a fireman's outfit putting out crazy big fires!  I was taken aback by how amazing this experience was.  The craziest part was being enclosed in a small room with a huge fire, and being able to see the progression of stages a fire takes on.  It got insanely hot, but the whole experience was awesome.
That's me!

Emily and Rae, two friends I made in class

We were also trained in how to handle "abandon ship" scenarios. These pool activities were definitely a work out, but they trained us on how to deal with fires in the water, swimming in Immersion suits, and flipping over massive life rafts. Really crazy experiences.

So this week of adventures is definitely keeping my mind busy, not focusing on what I have left at home.  I still miss everyone so much, but just in this week, I'll have stories, that few people get to share, to tell my future grandchildren.

But I do miss this guy terribly!
                     (The one on the left ;) is my captain!)

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