|Location: Le Faubourg Montmartre, Nice, France|
|Local time: Sunday, 5:45pm|
Well I'm back in Nice, after spending almost a week on the island of Sjösäkerhetsskolan Öckerö (try saying that five times fast), near Sweden's second-largest city Gothenberg, undergoing my STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) course. The course consisted of several components, but the largest chunk of it was Fire Fighting and Prevention. There was also Survival at Sea, First Aid and CPR, and Damage Control and Repair. I made some good friends and generally enjoyed the whole experience (although the weather was rather grim for half of it).
I've since been into the various crew agencies here, looking for a job. Unfortunately the season is coming to an end here in the Med, and there's a chance that I'm too late and might have to go to Palma de Mallorca or to Fort Lauderdale in the US, but for now I'm holding out to find work here. One agency might have a possibility for me... I've been put forward for an amazing sounding job, working as a water sports assistant (ie. for waterskiing and wakeboarding, diving etc) for an Arab family of four, who have a couple of superyachts (in Qatar I think). I could live anywhere in the world, and when they needed me they would fly me out to wherever their boat is and I'd take them out waterskiing etc, living on the boat with them, perhaps take the children shopping or something (there was some mention of some personal assistant type work as well) and then they'd fly me back to wherever I wanted to go once their holiday was over. The lady at the crew agency estimated I'd be working probably 3 months out of the year in total, but would be paid €2,500 per month, regardless of whether I was working or not. I think it sounds too good to be true, to be honest! A dream job huh? They said I was a good candidate for the position, with my ski boat and diving background etc. So... we'll see. I'm pretty excited about it but am not holding my breath, as I think there's probably far more better-qualified and experienced people out there than me. Still, I just can't believe that jobs like that actually do exist! Cross your fingers!
Krista unfortunately didn't manage to make it out to the boat job in Dubai after all, because they couldn't get a visa organised for her, due to her nationality. Rediculous. She was justifiably upset about it, but was also happy to fly back home to Estonia to see her family and friends and start on her driver's licence etc. Thankfully the boat paid her a decent chunk of money to cover her living costs while waiting around here in France doing nothing.
Somebody emailed me a link to a web site describing the world if it were made up of a hundred people. Interesting - check it out.
The whole group of us (including Kiwis, Aussies, Brits, Germans and Swedes) in our cold water survival suits,
just before jumping into the bone-chilling water.
Fighting a 'backdraft' that was roaring along the ceiling towards us
(the ignition of super-heated gases and smoke when they receive a sudden rush of oxygen)
Just like the movies.
Walking towards a fire with two separate hoses, creating a wall of protective water.
Fighting fires while ankle-deep in foam.
Trying to repair various leaks during the course's damage control component.
I'm too sexy for this, err... survival suit.
Looking out over the island, just after breakfast one morning.
Overlooking our classroom.
Gearing up for the inferno. I'm the tough-looking dude on the right.
"Aa, ah, ah... CHOO!"
Chilling after lunch with three swedes (and a turnip).
Our fire-fighting instructors take time out to pose for the paparazzi.
Boy, Sweden sure can get cold sometimes!
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