The Life boat drill.
We had to do a life boat drill in case of emergency, the life boats had to be lowered down into the sea. Its a good job it was only a drill as one lifeboat wouldn't move.Some crew members were getting hot and bothered trying to lower the boat over the side.There was some kind of winch system that lowered the boat, it did not work Never dawned on me at the time,but on reflection,scary stuff,in an emergency at sea and the lifeboat can't be lowered.
One boat was finally lowered and we had to climb down a rope ladder into the boat. Many crew including children had gone down,with my fear of heights and it being about 30/40ft down, I panicked.In fact I got quite hysterical,so Molly( not her real name)was very patient and kind trying to coax me down the swinging rope ladder.All the while Molly was looking around worried and explaining' I had to calm down or could get into trouble'. Finally I sobbed my way down the ladder,to a big applause from the rest of the crew.Thankfully I never had to repeat the exercise.
The parade and uniform saga.Renaming the flotilla.
In Corfu we were having the official renaming of the ships.The messengers were measured up for uniforms.We were to have a big parade on the dock,with Greek dignitaries coming.We all had to look smart.Our uniforms came,but my skirt was missing.Molly kindly lent me one of hers.It was very long and she said i could sew the hem up,but i was not to cut the bottom off.I had never sewn before and after a couple of attempts and having this thick tuft of material at the bottom of the skirt,I unpicked my sewing and cut the bottom of the skirt off. Unfortunately I cut off too much.Stupid really but I didn't think Molly would notice,she kinda told me off, but was smiling.I did feel really bad though.On the day of the parade,I spent the whole time trying to pull my skirt down,it was a micro mini.So much for looking smart.
In the lead up to the big day of the renaming ceremony, we had to practise drilling on the dock.Hubbard wanted it perfect, so on a few occasions we had to all line up in sections of rank. On other occasions in my job as messenger I was toing and frowing between Hubbard and crew to check all preparations were being made.I don't recall exactly but some crew were making some sort of wooden contraption that had to be finished on time, this involved a lot of running backwards and forwards between the crew and LRH.
Again, I can't remember whether it was a rehearsal or the real thing, to me it wasn't of much consequence. Mary Sue Hubbard had to christen the Apollo with a bottle of champagne, but every time MSH threw the champagne it failed to hit the ship.In the end another male Officer stepped in to help, with a bemused look on his face. The one thing I do remember is MSH seemed embarrassed and it occurred to me she was human after all, something I had failed to see before.
The upper decks were gleaming, a big buffet had been prepared. Pomp and ceremony were lavishly employed for the renaming of the 'Royal Scotman' to Apollo,we stood on parade awaiting the arrival of the Greek dignitaries. The Greek national anthem was played, salutes given by the loyal officers as the dignitaries were taken aboard "the sanest place on earth" the renamed good ship 'Apollo'.Whilst seated on the deck,a speech given by LRH, lavishly praising the Greek government and the inhabitants of Corfu, this was one of the biggest shows on earth to gain approval for Scientology to set up home in Corfu.
And meanwhile, the crew lived in squalor and the overboardings continued.
the man who"wanted" to rule the world was a science fiction writer, who lived out his fantasies in real life.Some body some day will say this is illegal. It won't come soon enough.