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The M/V Caribbean Mercy

From February to June 2005 I served as third officer aboard the Caribbean Mercy, Mercy Ships vessel serving the Caribbean and Latin America.
Though an outreach to the Dominican Republic was planned, we never left Mobile, AL.  In early May,  we got the sad news that the ship would  
be placed in 'non-service' for a period of a at least a year or so, while it was decided what it's future would be. On June 6th, we all convoyed to
the International Operations Center in Lindale, TX. I stayed there for around three months or so, working in marine recruiting and studying for
my Captains license examination. A week after I passed the test, I was on a plane bound for Cape Town, South Africa, and the M/V Anastasis. 
Below you will find pictures of my time aboard the M/V Caribbean Mercy.

 

Pictures of the ship.....





 

The Caribbean Mercy Deck Department

Capt. Mike                                     Marcelina                                           Jamie                                  Big Eric 

Gideon                                  David                                     Heather                           Jeremy                                   Brian       
 
                                       Rebecca                                           Bill                                                      Little Eric                                            Susan?                                       
                
 
 We clean up nice, yes? 

 

  Pictures of me around the ship...     

 

February 27- Visiting the USS Alabama with the Ruiz's


 

March 10- Moving the Caribbean Mercy across the river to Bender Shipyard

 

 

 April 4- Farewell party for our friend Brian at Wintzells Oyster House, Mobile AL 
 


 

Both Brian and Susan flew home to Colorado within a few weeks of each other, and you know what that means-Road Trip to New Orleans! 
We got some muffalettas at  Central Grocery and ate them at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.  After lunch, we dropped Susan off at the Airport,
then hit the French Quarter for a walking tour. We did all the usual things...Cafe du Monde, Bourbon St, the Garden District, the Moonwalk,
and Jackson Square. Two of our number were experiencing the city for the first time, so, i got to play my favorite role of New Orleans tour
guide again. This may be the last time I'm there for a while, and as always, I miss it.







 

April 4- 

The Crew of the M/V Caribbean Mercy

 





 

        

After Mercy Ships sold the Caribbean Mercy, we took the news a bit hard. The crew spent the last half of May preparing the ship for an 
extended down-time period,  then we all went our separate ways.  Here are pictures of the crew packing up and getting ready to leave.






  

 Caribbean Mercy's Farewell Barbecue on the dock, June 1, 2005






 

 El Adios Ultimo! June 6th, 2005...D-Day 
The last of us departing crew left Monday and hit the 500 plus mile trip to the IOC in Texas. Kathia  & Eric  traveled with me.
Despite a 2 hour plus delay replacing a flat, we arrived at the IOC about the same time as the others. Who's a Boston driver?
Also below is a photo of the Caribbean Mercy's newest mascot, 'Keeper', a three year old black lab adopted by Bill & Rebecca
Long. He will be with the ship until Bill and Rebecca return to their home in Washington state later this year, in December.

 
 

A group of 40 or so of us went to the Mesquite Rodeo this past Friday night.  It was the first rodeo for most  of us, and my second. More fun
than the rodeo was watching  the foreigners getting a big dose of Texas. At one point the rodeo announcer asked if there was "anyone from
Louisiana".  I stood up and waved and they said  "Welcome to America!There were about 5000 in attendance, half of which seemed to be
church groups!  As they announced the  groups there, each group got up and cheered.  Who cheered loudest?  Mercy Ships did, of course...


 

June 25- Ever been to Garden Valley, Texas?  Not a whole lot to do there. The nearest city (Tyler) is a half hour away. On the weekends,
the base is pretty much deserted,  so you need to make your own fun.  We went to a beautiful little park in Tyler that was landscaped in a
southwest style, played in the playground at Sonic, and went for a dip in the pool. Bottom left you'll find me driving the newest Mercy Ship.


 

 

June 26- Of course, We spent Sunday pretty much the same way we spent Saturday,...driving around Tyler, Texas taking goofy pictures...



July 2-
Every year, local radio station KLTY holds a giant free concert followed by the largest fireworks display in Texas. It was in Plano,
 at Southfork Ranch- Dallas was filmed. In addition to the  5 or so bands, there are booths for everything from child sponsorship to many 
other missions groups.  Mercy Ships gets a booth every year, so we all volunteered to work  answering questions and signing people up 
to sponsor us. A video was shown on the Jumbotron next to the stage, with Bush talking about Mercy Ships. We got to hear some great 
Christian music , learned about all the Missions Groups that were there, and even toured the house where 'JR Ewing & Miss Ellie' lived! 






July 3- Once a month, nearby Canton holds First Monday, a giant flea market. At 660+ acres, & 160 years, it's the worlds
oldest and largest flea market.  It lasts four days, and everything from cars to crafts to cattle is for sale.  We spent the day 
roaming the grounds, eating turkey legs, and watching a "Wild West show"...At below left is me with a Sugar Glider, a sort-
of flying squirrel that was for sale several places . My only purchase that day was a snazzy straw cowboy hat I got for $20.




July 9-The Chaplains here at the IOC threw a "watermelon feast" today,....a good excuse to get out of work and eat watermelon. 

 

July 20-I had a Barbecue & Shrimp Creole dinner at Matt Baumgardners house...


 

Went waterskiing (for the first time in 20 years!) with Kathia, Jacinto, & the Borgerts...
 



August 21-Farewell Party for the Borgerts at Greg & Candy Seigers house...   

 

 Ji Woon's farewell
   

                                                                      

August 30- Kathia and I spent the weekend in Houston, visiting  friends and taking my final Captains test at the Coast Guard station.
We attended Lakewood  Church, pastored by Joel Osteen. It had just opened a few weeks before, and with seating for 16,000 (!!!), it's
the largest church in the country. I tested on Monday, getting a 100%, and we returned to the IOC Tuesday, with a stop in Crawford,
home of the 'Western White House', where Cindy Sheehan was holding her anti-war protest.  It was a nice weekend, and we both got
to see a little bit more of the great state of Texas.  Our beautiful weekend was overshadowed by the tragic news of Hurricane Katrina.




 

The Caribbean Mercy is currently laid up in Mobile.We were concerned that the hurricane had caused damage to it. We weren't able 
to get to it the first few days, due to the water level.  A friend & former shipmate snapped these pictures of the ship as he flew by. 
As you see, there was little damage, but the pool was 50 feet from where we had left it! It was used as a base for our relief team.

 

For earlier news, including photos from my
Gateway class & outreach, go HERE.

 

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