Sunday, July 17, 2016

You have the best job...

I hear that frequently.  I also heard it in my previous career.  Someone has to work hard to make sure customers/clients/guests are well taken care of.  It is what Joan and I do.

It isn't always easy.

Today, I had a private charter.  We deadheaded with one of our Friday Harbor boats to pick these people up at Roche.  It would have been way less expensive to van shuttle them to Friday Harbor, but, no.  I was told it was a wedding party.  It wasn't.  I was told they were given the right information regarding timing.  They weren't.  Seems that someone at our Roche desk told them, "Be here around 3:00"... when the timing was: 2:30 check-in, 2:45 boarding, 3:00 departure.  They arrived at the boat 25 minutes after the scheduled departure time.  With a "hard" back-at-the-dock (in Friday Harbor) time of 6:00 (to get on the departing ferry).

The naturalist and I could only smile and say, "Welcome aboard."

"Sorry we're a little bit late."

I said, "We are on your time.  I know you have to be back in Friday Harbor at 6:00 - what is the most important thing to you with this charter?"  (I already knew what they were going to say.)

"We want to see Orcas."

"Let's get going..."  I did the shortest safety orientation ever, and we shoved off.  With smiles on our faces.  Sometimes 3 hours isn't enough... 2 1/2 hours puts even more pressure on the crew.  Fortunately, the whales weren't too far away, and when we got on them, they turned direction - heading the way that would be the best for our timing.

Our guests got to have a very nice viewing, with a couple different groups of Orcas.  I had time to take one shot..

That is Mega, also known as L-41.  He is a big Orca... about the same length as the boat we were on today.  It was different members of L-Pod that we were viewing this trip.

Hauling ass back to Friday Harbor, I took this shot of the Cattle Point Lighthouse...

Just 'cause I like lighthouses, and there are some pretty ones around here.

Passing Griffin Bay, this shot of the sparkly water...

We got them back to the dock a few minutes early - plenty of time to have an adult beverage before they board the ferry.  They were very appreciative of the Orca experience and all we did to make the timing work for them.

Our stress was probably self-induced.  Or, induced by someone who gave these people the "around 3:00" information.  Not someone who usually works that desk.

On the bright side, the weather was lovely.  Water conditions were ideal.  I was grateful the whales were cooperative.  The guests were nice (they could have been pissy when told at the desk that they were late).  The first mate and I get paid, even if we are waiting for guests who are late.  I feel responsible to give the the best trip possible, even with a time constraint.

After work, Joan and I went out for supper.  Today was our "Friday," and we have the next 3 days off.  Tomorrow is my birthday... and I don't have to work on my birthday, for the first time in years.

And, there were whales.  :-)

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