Reporters on the Job
• Sea Chanteys and Maple Syrup: Correspondent Rob Crilly spent five days aboard a Canadian frigate off the coast of Kenya and Somalia (see story). He gained a new appreciation for the work of sailors. "Mine was the very last spare bunk on HMCS Ville de Québec, right down at the back of the frigate, up against the steering gear. Each night I tried to sleep with the roar of water racing past my ear. The other sailors in Mess 19 – mostly firefighters and mechanics for the ship's helicopter – were not allowed earplugs in case of nighttime emergencies. But without them, I wouldn't have slept a wink," says Rob.
He says that no one expects spending four nights on a warship to be luxurious but his Canadian hosts did their best to make him feel comfortable.
"At breakfast we poured maple syrup brought from Nova Scotia onto crispy bacon," he says.
But the best discovery was that sailors still listen to sea chanteys, albeit blasted through speakers attached to an iPod. "It seemed fitting that we were listening to old pirate songs as we sailed along the coast of Somalia where today's buccaneers plunder the sea," he says .
• Iftar Dress Code: Staff writer Ilene Prusher and her Arabic interpreter, Nuha, attended an iftar dinner, the daily breaking of the Ramadan fast, for today's story. They wore head coverings. "But women working for various Islamic groups approached Nuha and me twice and complained that we were wearing pants. Nuha was a bit annoyed, saying that it was OK for Muslim women to wear pants, but she promised them that next time we'd wear skirts," she says.
– David Clark Scott