The Lithuanian crew, who left for China at the end of March, completed the mandatory quarantine and participated in the tests of the new DFDS ferry. Captain Mindaugas Nosavičius, one of the crew members, shares his impressions of his stay in China during the pandemic.
Strict rules apply to everyone
A crew of three Lithuanians arrived in China at the end of March, morally prepared for the mandatory three-week quarantine at the hotel. "The first pleasant surprise - as soon as we arrived, we learned that the quarantine will last only 14 days instead of three weeks. We were morally ready for this time, because we knew that we would have to spend it in complete isolation, ”says M. Nosavičius.
According to M. Nosavičius, the rules of isolation in China are really strict and they are followed: “As soon as we landed in China, we saw that the protection is maximum - everyone walks with masks, overalls, glasses. He was greeted by us, as well as other passengers on the plane, as the true carriers of the virus, so he was treated harshly. After long checks, we were all taken from the airport with a police escort to the quarantine hotel. There were only three Europeans on the plane, but we saw that the same strict rules apply to Chinese citizens and to us foreigners. " The body temperature of the guests was constantly measured in the hotel and the Covid PCR test was performed every third day - in total, Lithuanians had 9 tests since the beginning of the trip.
In isolation, the agenda helps the most
Although they lived in the same hotel, the three Lithuanians only communicated with each other online. “We were prepared for such isolation, we read a lot about how to maintain emotional health in similar situations, when you are locked in a small room without any direct contact. From experience, I can say that the agenda helps the most: breakfast, an overview of yesterday's knowledge in Lithuania, then science, studies, lunch, sports activities, reading books, dinner. ”- M. Nosavičius shares his experience.
An experienced captain says that sometimes such isolation is even beneficial because it can focus on things that have not previously been possible to sit in consistently. "Even with the agenda, there was sometimes no shortage of time during the day, and if I wanted to take my eyes off reading, I could look at the panoramas of the city from the thirteenth floor of the hotel."
First meeting with a new ship
Immediately after the end of the mandatory quarantine, the Lithuanian crew arrived at the shipyard, which currently has two DFDS-built ferries for the Baltic Sea. "Working in a shipyard is really complicated, there are both language and temperature factors. The factory, which builds about 40 ships a year and employs up to 10,000 people at a time, speaks relatively little English, so it's not always easy to communicate, and when it's +35 degrees outside, it all takes extra energy. ” M. Nosavičius. According to the captain, the territory of the shipyard is huge, it could be compared to the size of any Lithuanian district center with a population of about 20,000, so each member of the team can cover 2 km faster. distance from the DFDS office to the ship dock, has bicycles.
Captain M. Nosavičius is most pleased to have been able to take part in the tests of the first ship on the high seas, which took place throughout the week: “The first marine testing started on April 15. and lasted even 7 days - which is quite unusual. More than 200 people took part in the testing - including our team, technical staff from various manufacturers, and factory representatives. The testing program was extensive, covering almost all of the ship’s machinery, from the main engines to 4 and 3 auxiliaries, to the ship’s navigation equipment, fire detection, extinguishing and sound systems, lighting and vibration measurement, lifeboat lowering, and more. I was kindly pleased with the navigation equipment of the bridge, to which we had the least remarks, and the anchor device worked flawlessly. ”
According to M. Nosavičius, after the testing, the DFDS team submitted comments to the factory, which must be implemented before the ship is delivered. Shipbuilding is a complex and complex process, so it is natural that there are discrepancies that need to be addressed. "We will have to operate these ships in the Baltic Sea, so we are closely monitoring the construction process. DFDS standards are high and our goal is to ensure them, ”says the captain.
A sense of everyday life
After the ship's tests, Mr. Nosavičius and his colleagues were able to look around Foshan in southeastern China, about 60 km from the shipyard and Hong Kong. Interesting fact, Foshan is the birthplace of the famous Bruce Lee's parents, he also lived here for some time, so his home-museum and Bruce Lee Amusement Park with a huge fighter statue are a place for locals and tourists.
"Although the quarantine requirements are strict, almost no one wears masks on the streets in China, they are not obligatory, sometimes they go to bigger shops and ask to put them on, but inside they can take them off again, nobody says anything," says the captain, laughing. mastered the technique of eating with sticks and ate as much rice as he did not eat in Lithuania in 1 year. Future crew members of the new ship are scheduled to spend the whole of May in China.
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