Sunday, 31 January 2010

Farewell Tenerife

Sunday 31st January: Just before 2pm today we sailed out of calm waters of the port of Santa Cruz, into wind and rain. We are currently still on the leeward side of Tenerife and enjoying relative calm waters, but that will change within the next 3 or 4 hours and we have been warned of heavy seas and lots of uncomfy rolling, for the next three or four days, much like we experienced on our sail north to Tenerife 6 weeks ago. But what a time we've had - time with family; time without; time off-ship; time with the church here, and time with our missions pastor from our home church in the UK. We are sad to be leaving Tenerife - we are unlikely to be returning here in the next few years; next year we are likely to be going to South Africa for an extended dry dock. And so to Togo: a new location for the Peet family. I am looking forward to the challenge of a new city, and making friends old and new. Olly

Friday, 29 January 2010


Thanks, Vangie, for this great photo of the last Anastasis long-term crew, taken during a murder-mystery party in early 2006, before we all went our separate ways.

I think that's my hand at the back of everyone else. Aah. Memories. Olly

Who are all these new people?

In the last couple of weeks we have had at least 40 new crew arrive. So wherever we look, there are new faces that we've never seen before. It's certainly a challenge to remember all these new names. Olly


"Branded" coveralls have arrived on the ship for Engineering and Deck hands. They feature the Mercy Ships modelled by Becca and Abraham in this photo below. Some of the coveralls are obviously quite big. Olly

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Our time in Tenerife

Our time in Tenerife is rapidly coming to a close. Today we loaded the Land Rovers; tomorrow we load the Nissans, and we are due to sail on Sunday or Monday. Hope you enjoy these cool photos, of the Africa Mercy moored; Anna's class playing on the dock; Land Rovers lined up; and sunset over the mountains. It's sad to be leaving Santa Cruz in the knowledge that we will probably not be back here for a long time; this time next year we will probably be in dockyard in South Africa. Olly

A fascinating shipping container

Is there such a thing? I saw this one yesterday with regular doors at one end and also doors in the side (below). I've never seen one like this before. Fascinating. Maybe there's a container fan out there who can tell me what it's used for. Olly

Small things technical

In the last 2 weeks, nearly every small technical thing we have has broken and then miraculously started working again. Our camera wouldn't turn on; our stereo wouldn't turn on; our computer stopped getting t'internet and our DVD player stopped working...but one by one they all seem to have been healed with no repairs by us. Weird. Olly

Not so sick Olly (part 2)

Feeling much better. Thanks again for your prayers. My ears are clearing and I feel less conjested, although still can't dive. Olly

Noah and his teeth

In early January, Noah had an accident and broke a large piece off one of his front teeth. Today, Dag, the ship's dentist, rebuilt the broken tooth. Can you see the difference? We can't, even close up.
Below: before.
Below: after.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Loro Parque

The ship recently organised for crew to go to Loro Parque at a greatly discounted price, over two Saturdays. On both occasions, ship kids were chosen to ride in the boat at the dolphin show. Pictured are Andre Samaraweera and Daniel Yangas, both wearing the lifejacket. Olly

Not-so-sick Olly

Thank you for your prayers. Although I don't feel much better, the Crew Doctor thinks the infection has left me, and I am only now experiencing the effects of congestion. My raised temperature has gone and I have more energy, but I still cough a lot and can't hear anything because my ears are blocked (so there are some bonuses to having an ear infection). Yep, it's all about me! Olly

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Britain's Got the Pop Factor

To all Brits: We've just watched "Britain's Got The Pop Factor" - Peter Kay's comic answer to Pop Idol, the X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, and Something On Ice combined. And we've never laughed so much. The number of real guests is amazing - Cat Dealy, Pete Waterman, Niel Fox (and the other judge); Paul & Stella McCartney, Lulu, Take That, Lionel Blair, Steve Wright, Chris Moyles, Rick Astley, Rusty Lee, Andi Peters...and even Prince Charles and Camilla. I guess it was a massive hit when it was broadcast across the UK last year. Thanks Aunty D for sending it to us. Olly

Sick Olly

I've had a cold since the New Year. Now I've got a raised temperature, both ears are infected, and so is my chest. I've been on antibiotics for three days to no avail so far. Would you mind praying for me? Thanks. Olly

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Older and wiser

Thanks to my Dad for forwarding on this joke from a friend of his: A wealthy old Gentleman decides to go on a hunting safari in Africa, taking his faithful, elderly Jack Russell along for the company. One day the old Jack Russell starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having him for lunch. The old Jack Russell thinks "Oh oh!", and noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on them with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old Jack Russell exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here." Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Phew! says the leopard, "That was close!  That old Jack Russell nearly had me!" Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old Jack Russell sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!" Now, the old Jack Russell sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old Jack Russell says..."Where's that monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!" Moral of this story....Don't mess with the old dogs...age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery! This moral is becoming increasingly important to me...Olly

Digging up Broad Street

My friend Harry emailed me this photo of a Chinese construction company digging up Broad Street in Monrovia. The difference in the long-run will be most welcome, but in the meantime I guess the heavy traffic is crippling the city. Do YOU have any recent photos of Monrovia you can email me, especially of the re-built old bridge? Olly

Friday, 15 January 2010

Turtles and whales

This lunchtime Noah, Anna & I swam with a sea turtle (who was eating a fish-head and took no notice of us) as we snorkeled at Playa Las Teresitas...and this afternoon we saw a whale from our cabin window, surfacing and blowing spray in the sea between Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Aahh...the wonders of God's creation! Olly

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Deck 8 work continues...

Remember the old Mercy Ships logo on the funnel?

It has been cut off, and the funnel is now being painted blue in preparation for the arrival of the new logo:

Meanwhile, installation of the pool continues: as you can see below it now has a platform all around it, handrails and stairs. In the next day or two the welding contractors will finish, and hand over to our own steelworkers, plumbers and electricians, who will install the pump and filtration system, lighting, fresh water supply etc etc.

The children's paddling pool (front left: you can see the scorch-marks from the cutting torch) is being removed (sorry Lee); the site will be cleaned and the climbing frame will be re-erected in it's place.

All before we sail on 31st January? I do hope so! Olly

My biggest fan

In early 2004 I pulled this fan out of a rubbish skip in Stevenage, UK:

Surprisingly it worked. Since then it has given 12 hours of soothing background noise and cooling breezes each and every night that we have been out of the UK - that's approx 1825 nights, at 12 hours per night - a total of approx 22,000 hours. Well done free Velos Perforex fan! Olly

The Brits in Tenerife

On 25 July 1797, Admiral Horatio Nelson launched an attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife, to win the island for the British. After a ferocious fight which led to many casualties a defence was organised by General Antonio Gutierrez de Otero y Santayana to repel the invaders, in which Nelson lost his right arm from cannon fire, and lost. Two hundred years later the island is still Spanish, but is the home to over 40,000 Brits! Here are photos of some of the British businesses in Silencio alone.

The island is also home to an Iceland Frozen Food store, a Marks & Spencer clothes shop AND a recently opened Marks & Spencer Food Hall (sadly without the pre-packed sandwiches). We will stock-up with cheap and nasty British sausages before we sail for Togo. Sorry you lost the arm in vain, Lord Nelson. Olly

Holiday snaps

So, we had two weeks off the ship in south Tenerife. The first week we stayed in a villa in Golf Del Sur with Sally's mum and stepdad, and her sister and family - 12 of us in total. We went to Siam Park:

Loro Parque:

and had a traditional Christmas Dinner (on 29th December)...

and played on the beach...
and spent time in the hot-tub; here is Amanda (Sally's sister), Noah and Anna:

During our second week we enjoyed being a family on our own for the first time in 2 years. We spent plenty of time on the deserted cliffs and beaches of Silencio:
and bought some orange oranges (we'll never get over the thrill of not finding green ones)...
and we climbed a huge mountain (the kid's first ever!):
I bought a wetsuit for 10 Euros in a charity shop, and took the kids snorkeling (a lot) - and the kids were frozen....

...and spent some time on the beach...
The funniest thing was when our rental car broke down miles away from anywhere: I rang the rental company and they said they'd be there in five minutes - and they were! Apparently they had been in the neighbourhood! They had to give us a bigger car for the remainder of our time away, which was very useful for bringing back the huge quantities of beach shells we'd collected over the 2 weeks. God has a great sense of humour. And happy new year, bye the way. Olly

I'm trying, Mr Blackburn!

Tuesday 4.18am: Just got back from two wonderful weeks away from the ship, and have downloaded 137 photos, but apparently my scratch drive is full so I have to de-frag before I can reduce their size...more blog entries with photos coming soon. Olly

Callao Salvaje Community Church opening soon!

Our very good friends Ken & Caroline (and their friends) are starting a new English speaking church in Callao Salvaje, South Tenerife (just north of Las Americas). Their first service is this coming Sunday. If you are in the area, you are most welcome to join them - click on for more details. Olly