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.
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
the International Operations Center in Lindale, TX. I stayed there for around
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
We clean up nice, yes?
Pictures of me around
February 27- Visiting
the USS Alabama with the Ruiz's
the Caribbean Mercy across the river to Bender
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
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.
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
Here are pictures of the crew packing up and getting ready to leave.
Farewell Barbecue on the dock, June 1, 2005
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
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
church groups! As they announced the groups there, each group
got up and
Who cheered loudest? Mercy Ships did, of course...
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
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
June 26- Of course, We spent Sunday pretty much the same way we spent Saturday,...driving around Tyler, Texas taking goofy pictures...
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
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
Christian music , learned about all the Missions Groups that were there, and
even toured the house where 'JR Ewing & Miss
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
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.
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
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.
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