Category Archives: LIFE ON BOARD

Christmas on board HS Columbia

Christmas on board

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. I guess you already know the lyrics of one of the most famous Christmas carols ever written and I really hope you listened to it during Christmas time – at home, with your family and friends or on board, together with your fellow seafarers.

A special birthday on board HS Onore

Birthday on board feature image

Celebrations of any kind are meant to be shared and enjoyed with the people you love – in the middle of your beloved family or among friends and relatives. Unfortunately, seafarers are not always so lucky.

Easter celebration on board HS Onore

Easter celebration

Religious holidays are to be celebrated at home, among families and friends, in the usual routine which keeps us closer to our beliefs and connected with our community. We can go to church or take part in other outside religious ceremonies, we can have festive meals with our extended families or just enjoy the day in any traditional way we are accustomed to.

Halloween party on board HS Bach

Halloween party

Many people consider Halloween a children’s holiday or just a foolish way in which adults behave like children, but it is nothing wrong in this. Adults should never forget how to have fun and how to enjoy perfectly harmless children games in order to keep their spirit young as long as possible. Moreover, leisure and fun activities are always welcome on a vessel where people work many hours continuously without the prospect of enjoying peaceful and rewarding evenings in the warm and cozy environment of their beloved homes.

Incident report HS Bach

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I do not like to speak about accidents and bad weather while travelling, but I have to say a few words about a small incident which took place on board our vessel a few days ago. One of the reasons I am doing this is for the lesson everybody learnt from it – regarding ‘safety first’ while working.  It is very important that all the seafarers pay a lot of attention when doing any kind of work, keeping themselves safe and not putting any other’s life at risk. I hope the lesson was learnt and we will all be a little more aware of everything happening around us and we’ll never forget the most important rule of seafarers’ work  – ‘safety first’.

Fishing at Antwerp anchorage

Fishing in Anvers

All the seafarers tend to get a little excited and even happy when they hear about the prospects of a few day anchorage, especially when it is going to take place in a temperate or warm climate. This doesn’t mean that the work stops on the vessel, but on the contrary. Sometimes a few day anchorage is the only solution for the crew to perform some maintenance jobs on deck, in ship’s cargo holds (if these are empty) or in the engine room, jobs which cannot be done or which are more difficult to deal with when the engine is running.

Baptism on board HS Beethoven (March 2015)

Baptism ceremony

 

Being on the vessel for the first time or crossing the Equator are both great opportunities for seafarers to receive blessings and show respect towards the Gods of Sea. It is a very important event in the life of seafarers and passengers alike and it must be celebrated accordingly. 

A new leisure activity on board

Leisure activity on board

Time is passing faster on board if you choose to spend it doing the things you like best. I am talking about the free time, because working hours are just for working and they pass very hard, no matter what you are doing – keeping the navigational watch, working on deck, in the galley or in the engine – regardless of the weather, the outside scenery, the latitude or the date in the calendar.

Why is a ship called a ‘she’?

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English grammar taught me that nouns (and pronouns) can be classified in three distinct genders according to the forms taken by the adjectives they can associate with and I remember how I used to distinguish them when I was in school. It was not very difficult, as English is a very friendly and far more logical language (at least regarding this specific area) compared with German (for example) where nouns can belong to very different genders that the ones they should. I will never understand why a ‘perfectly’ female noun like ‘girl – Madchen’ is neuter in gender in the German language (das Madchen) and not feminine as it is in other languages. Anyhow, some things are better left unexplained and people like us should comply with all the rules and regulations any language is based on in order to speak and understand it properly.

On board activities

Leisure activities on board

Social life on board a cargo vessel is very important from my point of view because it can offer seafarers a certain degree of amusement, closer to the ‘normality’ they are all used to when they are ashore. After a hard day of work, between two ports or during long passages, seafarers have the time to enjoy a few hours of leisure activities in the common spaces, like Recreation Rooms, in big or small groups. Even if these leisure activities are nothing more than a few hours spent in the company of your fellow seamen while watching a movie and sharing a glass of wine after dinner is certainly the sort of activity you wait for all day long, in order to relax and see the more optimistic side of life.