Sunday, 31 January 2010

Here we go again

[Note to Blakes - see we haven't forgotten you :-) ]

The decision was made that we would sail today, we have been warned that the bigger rocking might start within the first few hours so a quick update before I fall off the chair. We started our voyage about 2pm after our drills, we waved to the trumpeter who has faithfully played as the Ship has come and gone each year, we watched the pilot jump back on his boat and off we went. All very normal now, so much that the boys weren't that bothered about it all (although that could have been related to being grumpy after waking up too early). Still it is exciting that we are on our way...
 Leaving to the sound of the trumpet - it is hard to describe the emotion of leaving

The lines being pulled in

Goodbye to our dock, and to Santa Cruz de Tenerife

PS have given up on the chair after see it go flying earlier so now writing standing up. And now going to lie down and watch the bookcase swaying to decide whether we need to lie it down yet!!

off to Togo

We are getting ready for sailing again, securing our cabin and waiting for more 'at sea' drills. We have been warned the sail will be like the last but in reverse due to the weather forecast being very similar so we can expext a few rocky days ahead before the sail becomes smooth. If we are quiet for a few days then keep us in your prayers that we will be safe and healthy as we sail.

We have enjoyed our last couple of days here, yesterday we took the boys to the park for the last time and for a McDonalds ice cream. We have enjoyed being somewhere where it is easy to cross roads, where pushchairs don't get stuck in the sand, where people don't stare/shout at you and where there are playgrounds where the boys can let off steam. But the maintenance time is finished, people in Togo are waiting for the big white ship to come. We are ready to go, back to Africa, back to where we have been asked to go for this next season, serving the One we love.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Visiting FGS Brandenburg

Last week we toured the flag ship of the German Navy Task Group. The FGS Brandenburg is a multi-purpose frigate on which German officer cadets gain practical experience of navigation, machinery and warfare.

Tom and Josh by the 'big gun'

Tom and Josh on the helicoptor pad


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

look what happens when you pray for snow...

Tom with a snowball (and slightly longer arms than last time he wore this coat!)

Josh flying off the end of the slide!

Tom and Helen sledging

Josh and Miss Amy sledging

Our big kids: Tommy and Uncle Sam

Monday, 25 January 2010

back in our own beds

What have we been up to? probably more than a single blog post can say...

We left the ship just before Christmas for a break in the UK. We have visited Sarahs family in Southend, Tommys family in Liverpool and friends in Cambridge. We enjoyed Christmas back home, not working for a few weeks and the SNOW!!

The boys had been praying for snow before we left and had wanted to go on a bus. Our flight was redirected because of  the weather flying out and then we had to get a bus back down to Gatwick. So it started well in their eyes. We were welcomed by a snowman that had been built for them by Auntie Amy and Pete and the next morning we found some winter clothes (a little too small now but they didn't seem to notice) ready for a snowball fight.

It was a busy couple of weeks seeing lots of friends and family, and we are really grateful to our friends who drove to see us somewhere. It was good to talk about the Ship as a reminder to ourselves as well as everyone else as to why we are here, I think you can lose perspective when working non stop. We didn't quite do all that we planned because of the snow, but we did make the most of it and have some fun sledging.

We then headed back to Tenerife for a weeks holiday with Tim, Helen and Ben in the South of Tenerife. We needed a rest and didn't do much more than beach and park trips which was what we needed. A lovely week was had by all and we were pretty sad to watch their plane fly off without us. But no time for staying miserable, we headed back to the Ship and then collected Sarah's family for a weeks break with us on the Ship. We have been exploring locally - more parks and a lovely beach that is just up the road. We also got to see a little of Amy's parents Shirley and John Handy and Miriams Mum Rosemarie which has been nice.

They left yesterday and we try to convince ourselves that six months is really not that long before we will see them again. Tommy has been back at work a few days, Tom is back at school today and 'normal' life returns!