So, following a brief exchange of tweets the other morning, the old age question came up about how to make life at sea more attractive to young people.

I’m not talking about the Royal Navy, as I’m sure most young people are aware of the Grey Funnel Line.

I’m talking about my type of going to sea, the Merchant Navy. The type that many of you wouldn’t have heard about if it wasn’t for me forcing it down your throats every other sentence, about what I do.

If it was me I wouldn’t get 80 year old ex seafarers who have been retired for for the last 20 years talking to them about how great life at sea is, & how you spend your life with your back teeth awash, a girl in every port & a week in every port, as it’s lies nowadays.

Don’t tell them you’ll get to see the world, as if you end up on a deep sea ship you’d more than likely end up seeing various container ports from around the world. Or if you are on a tanker, odds are a lump of concrete miles out to sea & load oil from there.

Concentrate on what in reality they, as cadets will get, ONCE THEY ARE QUALIFIED.

You’ll get a tax free income if you work deep sea or overseas, you’ll have at least a 4 months on 2 months off leave ratio, more commonly a 3:2 ratio, increasing to possible 1:1 as a senior officer (or damn near it).

If you work in the offshore industry don’t bank on getting a tax free income.

You will meet fantastic characters, you’ll see some amazing sites (maybe not Panama ashore at night *shudders*).

You will turn into a geek of the job, you’ll be swinging the lamp, & pulling pistons when home.

You’ll change nearly everything about you, from how you speak & walk, to how you organise your room & life.

You’ll grow up, you’ll learn a trade, you’ll do something with your life, you’ll do something others have no idea about, you’ll do something different & almost magic.

You will occasionally get a chance to be lost & drunk in a ridiculously foreign country, which, quite honestly is fantastic.

Most importantly

You’ll be a seafarer.

You’ll be one of us.

And may God help you.

AJ

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