Friday, October 6, 2017

Sean's lodging in St. Thomas

Louise here, with an update from Sean's deployment in St. Thomas. He arrived safely from Atlanta on a Delta commercial flight to Charlotte Amalie with only one minor casualty: the wheel on his suitcase. Fortunately, he had a roll of rescue tape and fixed that right up. In addition to his rather small suitcase (which also has backpack straps in case it can't be rolled through debris) he had a large laser printer in a Pelican case.

Male staff are being housed in the SS Wright, a MARAD ship. That's right, he's on a boat! Female staff are on a different ship nearby in the harbor, so if I had gone with him we would be separated. Neither ship allows any alcohol, so I'm guessing there are no conjugal visits, either.

Here's his berth, the middle of three. The mattress flips up to reveal storage.

The opposite wall has rifle racks. There's really not a lot of call for rifles in the Red Cross, but the ship is also housing FEMA, NJ state police, NJ EMS, and USAF personnel, so maybe he'll get a gun-totin' roomie or two (or 8).

He has linens and pillow provided by the ship, and bathrooms with showers down the hall. There's a laundry with free soap. The ship is air conditioned, a real luxury. But that berth looks a bit smaller than Vector's.

Yeah, that's pretty small. Size 10.5 feet for scale. He says the little blue curtain provides plenty of privacy, and blocks the light. It also blocks all air flow for a stifling sleeping experience.

Here's the view from the fantail, where he was able to get a cell phone signal while standing under giant ventilator fans. "I love you!" "Your glove is blue? What?" He says there is a weird juxtaposition between cruising sailboats floating peacefully at anchor, and destroyed boats tossed up on shore by the storm.

The ship provides three square meals a day on elegant metal trays. Hm, perhaps those would be three rectangular meals. The food is tasty, even if the presentation is not up to fine dining standards. Plenty of calories to get through long days.

Headquarters is in a building related to the alcohol industry, but obviously there is no alcohol allowed at work. It is walking distance from the port. There are very few services open in the port except a small bar doing a land office business selling beer to relief workers.

When he isn't drinking beer, this is one of Sean's favorite beverages. On tap all the time! All in all, he's pretty comfortable. HQ has generator power during business hours. There's a curfew in place but he can get most of what he needs on the ship. He's already connected with some old friends and has hit the ground running at work. We've been able to chat on the phone each evening and can use Whatsapp when he has wifi, to send photos. Pretty amazing, considering that Charlotte Amalie has no power.


  1. Amazing! So glad the relief workers are being well taken care of so they can be at their best. Sending all our best to Sean, and to you as well. Thanks for the update!

  2. Spartan, but sufficient. I really appreciate that you are there, Sea. And you, Louise, are holding down the port, er, fort. Love you guys!

  3. Thank you, Louise for sharing the kind of accomodations and environment Sean's experiencing. I was just wondering today how he was doing. Glad he was able to deploy to help, I can only imagine the level of need there!

  4. Thanks for the update...glad to know Sean has relative comfort while helping out on the island. Great inside peek at the ship berths too!

  5. Thank you Louise for sharing the update with us!

  6. Glad to see that they get much better accommodations than BUS DRIVERS get in ANY FEMA operation! (every operation I EVER sent my buses to driver's rooms were promised and at EVERY ONE of them the drivers had to sleep in their charter buses!)
    But we were still glad to help and went every time we were asked.


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