Volunteer Role: Liaison Officer
Assigned Ship: Europa
Shift: 15:00 – 23:00
Day 3 – Saturday
My last day on Europa and it ended with a bang, fireworks of course!
Awoke to the sound of my mobile ringtone – it was Trevor from the ship. The tumble dryer had broke and he needed some parts. Left it with the Senior Liaison Officer, I was still in my bed and had a list of things to get for them, namely gerry cans and storage boxes. Dropped them off to hear that a new tumble dryer was on it’s way, I can imagine the running around that had been done that morning. When I relieved the morning shift, along with fellow volunteer Arnold, it was just a matter of sorting taxi’s for a few of the crew leaving the ship to make room for the new sailing trainees coming on board.
With 48 new trainees on board the Europa was a busy place, we weren’t needed much so I tasked myself with sussing out where best to watch the hot air balloons and fireworks! I availed of the opportunity to have a look around our neighboring ships – Cisne Branco, a Brazilian Navy sail training vessel & Gulden Leeuw, a Dutch three-masted topsail schooner. I had been out on the latter last year when they visited the Bangor Sea Shore Festival, I would never have imagined back then that I would be standing on deck watching a firework display over Titanic Belfast. But here I was.
The masses that came out to watch made their way home but the party didn’t end there, the Cisne Branco crew armed with various percussion instruments set off for the Duke of York and turned Commercial Court into a samba street party! The crew, looking very dapper in their pristine uniforms, weren’t shy of admirers! Everyone’s been talking about “the pretty street with the flags and lights and street art” and it’s great to see that visitors are loving the city. I think it’s fair to say they’ve all had a great Belfast welcome!
Sunday brings my last shift and already I know I don’t want the festival to end.