Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Dinner In Congo

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This is my husband Greg's boat. Here is all that technical stuff you guys like to know.

They are approx 12 miles off the coast of
Sola, Congo (Dem. Republic of The)-(Zaire)
Other names: Sola Bruges Saint Donat,Kuvu Sola Bruges-Saint Donat,Kuvu Sola,Bruges-Saint-Donat
Latitude -5.1500
Longitude 27.1000
Altitude 2080 ft
Time zone (est) UTC+2

Length Overall 210 ft (64.00 m)
Length between 202 ft (61.57 m)
PerpendicularsBeam 54 ft (16.50 m)
Depth 19 ft (5.80 m)
Operating Draft 16 ft (4.90 m)
Operating Displacement 3,571 lt (3628 mt)
Light Draft 7.9 ft (2.40 m)
Gross Registered Tonnage 1,702

Top Speed Max Draft 13 knots
Top Speed Light Draft 15 knots
Fuel Consumption at 4.9 m
DraftCruising Speed 12.5 knots 150 gph
Economical Speed 11 knots 120 gph

ABS classed DP2 Redundant Positioning System
2 Alstom ADP 21 consoles
2 Leica MX 420 / 2 DGPS
1 Cyscan Laser Reference Unit
2 Gill Wind Observer II Anemometers
2 Watson Vertical Reference Units
2 SG Brown Meridian Gyro
2 DP Alarm and Event Printers
2 x 4 kVA Uninterrupted Power Supply
1 Independent Joystick Control System

Total Installed Power 4,730 kW (6,342 hp)
Main Diesel Generators 2 x 1,825 kW (2,447 hp)
480 V / 60 Hz(Cummins QSK 60)
1 x 910 kW (1,220 hp)480 V / 60 Hz(Cummins KTA 38)
Emergency Generator 1 x 170 kW (228 hp)
480 V / 60 Hz(Cummins 6 CTA 8.3)
Main Propulsion 2 x 1,566 kW (2,100 hp)
Z drive, 360° azimuthing(Steerprop 20)
Bow Tunnel Thrusters 2 x 746 kW (1,000 hp)
CPP at 1,200 rpm(Berg 12S)

Rescue Boat 1 x MOB boat with davit
SOLAS cargo ship safetyequipment
Tugger Winch 1 x 12 st (11 mt) pull
Deck Cargo Crane 2 st @ 32.8 ft (1.8 mt @ 10 m)(optional)
Telescopic boom /Electro-hydraulic
Anchor Windlass
2Roll Reduction System
1 Roll Stabilization Tank
1 Off Ship Fire Fighting
2 pumps at 5,283 gal / min(optional) (1200 m3 / h) each
2 monitors at 5,283 gal / min(1200 m3 / h) each

2 Radars with ARPA
1 Navigation Gyro Compass
1 Autopilot
1 Depth Sounder
1 Speed Log
1 Radio System Compliant with GMDSS A3 Rules
1 EPIRB (2 radar transponders)
5 UHF,
4 VHF (bridge to bridge)
1 Weather Fax1 Navtex
1 PA / Loud Hailer

Fully Air-conditioned
Accommodations for 22 people
composed of:
4 x 1 man cabins
5 x 2 man cabins
2 x 4 man cabins
Provision Room,
Walk in Refrigerator 423 Ft3 (11.9 m3)
Walk in Freezer 335 Ft3 (9.5 m3

Type Platform Support Vessel
Owner Rigdon Marine Corporation
USCG Official # 1173548
Year Built 2005
Builder Bender Shipbuilding & Repair,Co, Inc. (USA)
Flag U.S.A.
Classification ABS+A1
Offshore supportvessel+AMS +DPS-2“circle E”, SOLAS, USCG
Subchapter L, Full Ocean
USCG Safety Standby EEP 100 endorsement by USCG
for safety standby service

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My First Week....

My first week at the sheriffs dept has been spent in class. On my first day I got back from lunch and found a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a nice Congratulations card from my neighbors on my desk. That was so sweet, I was so surprised and it makes me love each of them even more than I already do.

On Friday I won $50 at the Sheriff's Christmas Party as a door prize, that was great. So hopefully these are all good omens that this job will be wonderful.

Also on Friday we got to tour the jail. It is amazing seeing what types of people and issues will have to be dealt with. In one area of bad boys it was pretty much like being Jodi Foster in one particular scene of Silence of the Lambs. I have been informed it will most likely be a daily event.


There was a minor glitch with some of the classes uniforms. The man ordering them forgot one of the sheets with 4 of our orders so they didn't get ordered til much later. So I am not sure when they will come in. I will start my first day of on the job training on Tuesday and will have to do it in civies. I am looking forward to getting my uniforms though. I did get my badge and ID Card though.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Journey Never Ends........

My Sweet Baby Boy has been traveling 4 days now . He flew from Houston to London, then to Lisbon before arriving in Luanda, Angola. He was taken to a compound with 50 others in the relief crew. They waited for their ship to come in. They get a phone call that they should all report back to the airport and arrangements were being made to send them to The Republic of Congo. My baby was able to text me and then call from his cell phone and tell me that the conditions were deplorable and that he would not be taking me on a tour there. He said it is muggy hot and miserable and that the ribs they tried to serve them he was sure was road kill. I asked if the food was American food or African food and he said it was whatever they could find. The relief crew consists of 50 people everything from Scientists, Geologists, Captains and Medical Personnel. He said they were currently all out sleeping on the deck of an old dilapidated crew boat waiting for daylight before they tried to make it out to the Conti. Hopefully he will be on his boat soon and have some creature comforts.

Republic of Congo formerly Zaire

Map of Congo, Republic of the

Flag of Republic of Congo
The Congo is situated in west-central Africa astride the equator. It borders Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Angola exclave of Cabinda, with a short stretch of coast on the South Atlantic. Its area is nearly three times that of Pennsylvania. Most of the inland is tropical rain forest, drained by tributaries of the Congo River.

Fast Facts about Congo
3.7 million
Angola, Cameroon (closed), Central African Republic (closed), Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon
Wet (October to May), dry (June to September)
Country code 242; international access code 00
US$30 to US$60 a day
US$70 for a 15-day, multiple-entry visa, which can be bought at border; US$120 for a one-month visa if bought at embassy
French, Lingala, Munukutuba, Lari
342, 000 sq km
Central African CFA; US$1 = CFA498
Angola, Cameroon (closed), Central African Republic (closed), Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon
US$70 for a 15-day, multiple-entry visa, which can be bought at border; US$120 for a one-month visa if bought at embassy
Wet (October to May), dry (June to September)
342,000 sq km
3.7 million
US$30 to US$60 a day
French, Lingala, Munukutuba, Lari

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tale of the Tigers

Two Tigers One evening an old Chinese man told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two ' Great Tigers ' inside us all.One is Evil. It is selfishness, anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, hatred, and ego.The other is Good. It is joy, peace, True Love, hope, unselfishness, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which Tiger wins?" The old Chinese man simply replied, " The one you feed ."

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Once a friend told me that she felt like everyday with her husband was Christmas and every weekend was the fourth of July. Her husband has passed on, but what a beautiful love they shared. Her just sharing that sentiment with me, touched my heart and as a hopeless romantic gives me something to aspire to.

My sweet husband and I did our Christmas early. Its not the date that matters its being together that makes it a holiday.


Our first Christmas was so wonderful and so romantic, I wanted to recapture those feelings.

This Christmas we were able to do just that. We reconnected so strongly, and fell in love with each other even deeper. When we had to say goodbye at the airport and we said we loved each other. We just kept saying it over and over, I love you just didn't seem intense enough to express how we felt. That lingering, not wanting to let each other go. There is nothing better than being in love.

We felt closer and more like a family than ever before. We love our girls and they go almost everywhere we do. They don't know they are puppies they think they are babies, and they are my babies.



Even the cats know when Daddy is packing to go somewhere, and they always try to stowaway in his bags.



The only thing I wanted for Christmas was the Estee Lauder Train Case set. I always get mesmerized by the Estee lauder Gift sets and this one was particulary fabulous! It spoke to my Inner Diva So I told my Baby what I wanted. He always goes large on anything he gets me, so he spoiled me very well.

He also got me a bottle off Estee Lauder Cinnabar perfume. I love perfume!

I also mentioned to him that I needed a notebook for work. Well he found this wonderful leather book with the croc print on it, he knows I like, and a really nice leopard patterned pen.

The piece de la resistance was this gorgeous Seiko two tone watch with the blue dial that matches his eyes and 12 diamonds around the bezel. That was a real surprise! I love it!

I have had a Wonderful Christmas and the best gift of all is LOVE! I love you with all my heart angel!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


My sweet baby boy never gets to spend a Christmas at home. So I am really glad we had a few days together before he flies over to Luanda, Angola to do Oil Exploration. This time that he has been home has been wonderful. We experienced our first snow together, while we were driving around looking at Christmas lights with our puppies dressed up in their Christmas outfits. We have had 3 dinner parties. My husband is a fantastic cook he made Smoked rib eye steaks and King crab, while I did all the sides. Baked Sweet potatoes with Honey ginger and brown sugar butter, Clarified Garlic butter as the dipping sauce for the crab, and a wonderful Madiera and Blue Cheese butter to top the steaks. I also did a Fruit and cheese stand, and a dessert tray with a variety of home baked items.Our guests were some friends of my husbands from Louisiana. They were not bashful eaters, I enjoy people who enjoy their food.

Last Night my husband made a Seafood Fettucine and I made garlic bread, Italian salad, My now famous roasted cream cheese and bacon jalapenos, and dessert. Our best friends were over and we had a wonderful night.

The other night I had made a pot of my specialty Lima beans, rice, salad, and Crawfish corn bread. I had just planned for it to be My husband, me and our Bachelor Neighbor. It ended up being 7 guests in total. I love a full house and no leftovers. That crawfish corn bread recipe is geting spread around now.

I am just happy that so many of our friends have come out and made the time to visit my husband on this quick trip home. He is the hardest working man I know, even when he is home he is building something, or installing something better than what we had before ( even though there wasn't a thing wrong with the old thing) he just wants me to have the best.

It has meant alot to me, That he has spent every minute with me, and been so supportive of my new career.

I love him with all my heart, its true he is gone alot but I would never begrudge him of the work he loves, the adventurous places he goes. Its exciting for me to be married to him. He is a man's man and there isn't anything he can't fix or build . I could not to be married to some guy thats home every night plopped down in front of the tv, and his handyman work looks like something from Green Acres.

My husband is the only man for me. We are both strong willed and can do anything we set our minds too. In the coming year with his change of venue and my new job we are going to have all kinds of new adventures and stories to share with each other and keep things fresh.

I worry about his safety and pirates in that part of the world. I told him I was calling Allstate to get a quote on Pirate insurance.

So in closing, I just ask that all of you keep us both in your prayers this coming year, as I do for all of you.

Luanda, Angola


Fast Facts about Angola
14 million (estimated)
Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Namibia
Dry (June to September), wet (October to May)
Country code 244; international access code 00
They exist, but don’t generally accept foreign cards
US$120 per day
US$75 for 30 days; must be obtained in advance
Portuguese and various Bantu languages
1, 246, 700 sq km
Kwanza; US$1 = 80Kz
Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*

*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penney's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!


Friday, December 5, 2008


My friends gave me a nice pizza party tonight to celebrate my new job. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful folks in my life. There was a segment on tv this morning and it said basically , you are only as happy as the people you hang around with. I hang around with some pretty happy people and I am all the better for it.

I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.

I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, 'If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?'

'No, I had to stop drinking years ago', the homeless woman told me.

'Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?' I asked.

'No, I don't waste time shopping,' the homeless woman said. 'I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.'

'Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?' I asked.

'Are you NUTS!' replied the homeless woman. I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!'
'Well, I said, 'I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.'

The homeless Woman was shocked. 'Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting.'

I said, 'That's okay. It's important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and wine.'

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


RENO 911!Wendi McLendon-Covey as

Well I scored very high on my entrance exam a 96, went thru the formal interviews and finally got a job with the Sheriff's Office. My friends all think I am going to look really cute in the uniform. I am so thankful to finally have found a job after 4 months of looking. I am not real thrilled with having to get sprayed in the face with mace, or getting tasered, even less thrilled with the idea of having to do a PFT. But it will be worth it, having a stable job, money in the bank, benefits and retirement. I go in next wednesday to get sworn in, get fitted for my uniforms, have ID photos taken etc. Still a few more preliminaries before I am on the job. I am excited. Its a new adventure, and it will be a challenge but I am up to it so I have no apprehensions about that.