Visiting home ports

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More than 25 years ago most of Romanian seafarers used to join their vessels in one of our local ports and they usually came back – at the end of their very long contracts – in the same ports, too. Coming to the home port by ship used to be the normal routine for a few thousands seamen who didn’t have to worry at all about their transportation when they were embarking or disembarking as their trip from ship to home (or the other way around) lasted at most for few hours and it didn’t involved any plane.

Nowadays fewer and fewer seamen are so lucky. Most of the time, they have to fly many hours, usually changing two or even three flights in order to join their vessels or to arrive home and very few have the opportunity of visiting one home port during their contracts.

For us this opportunity came last Wednesday when our good vessel HS Debussy got an unexpected call to our home port of Constanta Sud Agigea.

It was the first experience of this kind for us, as well as for the other six Romanians on board, all very eager to arrive ‘home’ with their vessel, not to sign off, but for a few hour visit.

Most of the time, when the vessel is calling one of the crew members’ home port, everybody is very happy and very excited about the event because nice and interesting things are always happening while the vessel is alongside.

For some of the seafarers, visiting a ‘home port’ with the vessel can bring along a lot of joy and happiness as their families can join them on board for a few hour visit. Wives and kids may come on board bringing with them a little touch of home, fresh smell of home cooked meals and cookies and a sort of holiday atmosphere which can brighten up the day for everybody else on board.

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In some cases, the seafarers prefer to go home for a few hours and visit their families and loved ones in their own environment. It is always very refreshing to spend a few hours in the company of your family before embarking yourself in another journey across the Oceans and Seas of the world. When they come back from such visits ashore, the seamen always bring some home made goodies which they are eager to share with everybody else and, for the next few days, a little ‘smell’ of home is felt among people and a real smell of good traditional food can be sensed coming from the Recreation Room fridge.

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For us, calling the Port of Constanta was very exciting and even emotional. Seeing our national flag high on the mast, listening to people speaking our own language and having a part of the family and friends visiting us on board made up for all the trouble and hard work of the last weeks and gave us ‘extra powers’ to go on for the remaining of our contract.

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Thank you dear wives, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends for coming and visiting us on the vessel and  for putting  your time and love in preparing such delicious cookies and dishes especially for us.

One Response to Visiting home ports

  1. st0rm says:

    Hello,
    It was pleasure to look thru you blog.
    As a seafarer myself I found your blog extremely cool and interesting.
    Wish you all the best, calm sea and fair winds an your next voyages.
    Bon Voyage

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