Things are getting exciting in dry dock. Both rudders, propellers and propeller shafts have been removed from the ship, serviced and reinstalled. The hull of the ship has been sandblasted and repainted (had to get the barnacles off of her). Our bow thrusters have been completely overhauled by Rolls-Royce mechanics. We dropped anchor (onto the dock) cleaned the anchor lockers and then brought them back on again.
Countless projected have been started and are nearly finished inside the ship. We received two brand new sterilizing machines for the operating rooms that just finished being installed yesterday. There were major repairs to the fresh water pipes onboard leaving us without water on the ship for a few days throughout the last month – sometimes with no warning.
It’s great, there will be an announcement over the PA system “The water has left the ship” when it has been turned off and another saying “The water is back on the ship” when it has been turned back on. It gets you imagining, where did it go? It’s fun to image no water on or around a ship, but it’s not as fun living without it. Try making lunch or dinner for 100+ crew without water! That takes some incredible planning. But in His grace, everything moves along and we find little jokes (like the water leaving the ship) to help us get by.
We are not allowed to run our generators while in dry dock so we connect to the shipyard power which only provides a fraction of the usage that we typically are used to. If we need to use the main crane, we have to shut down the galley. Lots of little things like that which cause stress and difficulties to the fluid function of the jobs.
In writing this, we just had water “return to the ship” and a second PA announcement was made that “the laundry room is still closed because of the power shortage.” It’s fun, it’s life and there’s joy in the midst of it all.
New carpet and flooring has been laid in many areas of the ship. Walls have been constructed. New wiring has been ran. Lots of metal welded. Stairs have been painted. Our elevator repaired (I can’t explain how important that thing really is!)
There are two big holes in the bottom of the ship where men from the shipyard are entering our fresh water tanks to resurface them. Those should be sealed today, tested and God willing we are expected to “float” tomorrow, i.e., be put back in the water!
It’s exciting to share that maintenance is on track and Benin is just a month away! In the beginning of August we should be sailing to Tenerife and arrive in Benin late August!
I can’t express how awesome of a team there is on this ship and within this organization. I’ve used the word ‘we’ many times, but every person that comes has brought a special gift to this ship and has chosen to come to serve. It’s not always easy and I’ve wanted to pull my hair out at times, but I wouldn’t change it in any way.
Thank you for your support for me and Mercy Ships! Your prayers, gifts, thoughts, Facebook comments, and emails have helped me very much during this time!
Please do keep me in your prayers.
Please read this beautiful and inspiring post about my friend Serenety Liu written by crew member Amy Jones. We spent a few weekends in the prison together. Link