Category: Life Story


Selfishness – An Apology


Right.

I’m sorry.

Over the last few mo…..well let’s face it, over the last year I’ve been somewhat of a selfish pig I suspect.

To people who were kind enough to let me into their lives, stay at theirs, meet their family, & all the other stuff that comes with being close friends.

I find it difficult being a friend sometimes. I allow distractions & the job come between me & them.

I’ve been studying for my Chiefs, then away at work, then studying again. I actually haven’t had much of a leave in nearly a year now. The last 2.5 months I have had a weekend here & there off, but most days have been taken up with studying for my Chiefs Oral exam.

My mind hasn’t really had time for much else, I’ve spoken, actively spoken to about 8 people outside of my Family in the last 6 weeks. My entire being has been consumed with passing my Chiefs. I’ve had to be selfish to do this, whether it was a conscious or subconscious effort I’m not sure.

The leave before I had opportunity to see friends close to where I was studying & didn’t. Instead I tried making friendships away from college & put my heart & soul into passing my written exams.

I’ve grown distant from people I count as my dear friends.

I never meant it to happen, & I didn’t want it to.

Maybe I spend too much time alone, so I forget there are others out there, maybe I am inadvertently selfish all the time & I’m only just noticing it.

Maybe this is just a load of self indulgent bullshit.

I’m sorry if you’ve felt like I’ve ignored you, forgotten you, left you behind, or sidelined you. Because I haven’t. I’ve been trying my best to be something, be a somebody.

& I appreciate you all, & think of you often.

I’m sorry I’m not there, but I’m thankful you’re here.

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Why, why like this?


On board I can cope with stress, no problem,

Split pipe? Isolate and change.

Fuel leak? Isolate and clean.

Blackout? Kick duty engineer, start stby generator, ask why emergency didn’t start, kick electrician

Sewage system down? Get angry that 4th can’t fix it, fix it myself, stress gone, kick 4th anyway.

I can deal with work stress, I have the answers, and if I don’t have the answers, the Chief will, and if he doesn’t well, I’ll wait until smoko and take the piss, and the stress dissipates, it might be because I am blissfully unaware of everything that is going on, or it might be because I have accepted that not matter how well you look after an engineroom and its equipment, if something wants to fail, throw its hand in, fall over, or generally make a mess of what is always the bit you’ve just cleaned, that’s fine, its done, dusted. The engineroom Ernie has done his deed and away you go to fix it.

But why can’t I cope with real life stress? And why do I let one bit of stress infect every part of my real life? Honestly, when I get stressed ashore, it’s like someone has dropped a bag of water, and it just goes everywhere. I am suddenly not the cold calculated git I am onboard. I no longer have the “ah cock it, that’ll do” attitude that I generally have.

I feel abandoned, insecure, dull, uninteresting, disconnected and generally like a weight round everyones neck.

I get stressed and worried about one thing and like trying to hold back leaks in a dam wall, you can only block so many,, and the one you can’t reach has all the leak through it. Well the last couple of weeks its been getting worse, dam gave way, stress coating everything.

And I don’t get it. Why. Why I do this? Why I focus on one part of my real life, and go into what seems like self destruct mode with it when I’m stressed. It’s not fair on me, and it’s not fair on others.

Is this my way of gaining control? Is this what happens? If by forcing something, feeling something other than the all consuming stress, my brain and body prefers that?

Because if that’s the case, it can fuck right off, I want to go back to being in control of myself again, and being a decent person, not this malingering needy cycle I have slipped into.

You’d think, my brain would help me out here, but no, he put me here, and he’s damned if he’s gonna help me back out.

The utter and total shit.


Now then chaps and chappesses.

For too long now I think I’ve taken to long term planning….everything.

I’ve always needed to know where things are going, how things should be, needed to know if it was worth it, whether there was any point to my current actions to warrant me doing something and carrying on for something. Living in the “now” was something other people did, other people who could obviously manage themselves better and were abel to have a good time, so I wanted and tried to plan like that.

To the point where enjoying myself went out the window quite frankly. I couldn’t relax in anything, without knowing, a full plan, a full sequence of events, whether the decision I was making now, would be worth it in the long run. (we aren’t talking red wire/blue wire stuff here by the way, I mean social, relationship, nights out, entertainment, non work type stuff)

Which is strange frankly, as when I’m at work, the unknown is what I deal with, and going ashore in the badlands of bizarre shithole ports is a speciality subject of mine, the aftermath of which is usually reserved for sharing with select company, over select drink, in hushed tones of revered reverence.

But I suspect – in fact know, that things have come to a head. I’ve let this overwhelming concern for my longterm future in minuscule aspects of my life, ruin, sometimes, parts that really should have been fun and stuff.

So now……now stuff has happened – which through spending near enough all my life on twitter for the last 4.5 years, I have learnt is none of your concern, I need secrets, I need a private life, regardless of what it is about – something has happened that’s made me realise, living for now, taking something at face value, and just enjoying the moment, is good, damn it it’s even healthy.

I get caught up in the details, caught up in wondering if a badly pronounced word is enough to ruin an entire night. If cough in the middle of someones conversation will give off the impression I am not interested.

I need to, want to, and finally am I think, becoming someone who can enjoy himself in a moment in time. Without looking for cause for concern. Without being so worried about the future, that the future is killed off.

Because that’s just suicide of the soul, just one tiny slice at a time.

AJ


I’ve been using the term “College is not an environment I thrive in” quite a bit recently.

It’s true, even though all we are doing is talking about the job, OK in some deep detail, but still, it’s ALL job. It’s not an environment I like or feel comfortable in, I’ve struggled through every day of academic life I ever found myself placed in.

I’m still surprised I have a Class 2 Certificate of Competency, with full Chief Exemptions. I am not the worlds most intelligent guy. I struggle with 95% of the things I do. It physically hurts for me to write for more than 25 minutes. I have the ability to recall injection pressures of fuel injectors I set up 10 years, but ask me to draw the circuit diagram of an AVR I practised half an hour ago? Then its a whole new kettle of fish.

However in all honesty, I am in the happiest place work-wise, I have been for years. I’m at the rank I’ve wanted for just over 12 years now, I’m working on engines people don’t believe the size of, which I strangely like. The size of the job still impresses me, the fact I physically climb into engines for a living.  

Image

(AJ in a cylinder of main engine from Maersk Chennai)

 

As much as I do want my Chiefs Ticket, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for me if I didn’t get it. Being Chief involves mainly paperwork, getting dangerously stressed, and not that much dirty hands. I enjoy being hands on, I enjoy being the go to man onboard for issues, I enjoy being a bit of a dick downstairs and being in charge. I am a Second Engineer and there is no getting away from that, I’m just not sure if being a Chief is for me at present.

 

I think being a Second with A Chief Engineer ticket is good, and really how it should be, however, if I fail to achieve it this time I’m not going to be that gutted. It’s not like failing my 2nds, I’m already a 2nd, I’m already where I want to be.

 

To be honest also, since going 2nd a lot of stuff has ironed it self out mentally for me. I am in a better place in my head, still having wobbles, but this a) just one of those things, b) is also partly due to being at college I suspect. Which brings us back to why it’s an environment I don’t thrive in.

 

I’m better when I’m doing, rather than when I’m being told. I’m quite an animated person at work, I swear, take the piss, liable to throw something, usually a shifter when I’m annoyed, tell people in no uncertain terms when I’m right and they are wrong. I am comfortable with how I work and how things work onboard. I am confident in my work, and confident in making sure other’s work, and woe betide the engineer who regularly falls below my slackest efforts.

 

On board, I’m “The Man”. I’m the engine room character, I’m the source of tales of nights ashore and drinking onboard. I can relied upon to belittle someone humorously, find suitable jobs for suitably abled people. I have control over a close knit bunch of lads, I enjoy it and relish it. I almost look forward to it every day. 

 

But back at college, I’m back to being a nobody. Back to trying to make my voice heard amongst many others. Back to being just another face that ultimately doesn’t really matter. I suddenly have mental blocks on how to describe kit from the ship I’ve just come off of. I suddenly find myself unable to recall even basic knowledge that I know in myself I intuitively know.

 

It’s a bind to say the least, and it depresses me. Greatly. I’m good at my job, I’m not going to lie. It sounds arrogant, but I am, and I believe you need a certain amount of arrogance in this job to have the confidence in your actions, as an engineer, to know that what you are going to do is the right actions.

 

And college does not encourage that. I feel like a fish out of water there. I try my best, I think I’m doing enough work, without overwhelming myself, which is very easy to do.

 

I’d like my Chiefs, really I would, but its not the end of the world, thats for sure.

 

AJ

A Little Clarification


I think a little clarification is required as to what “The Merchant Navy” is.

A lot of people seem to think I am in some way part of the Armed Forces.

I’m not. I’m a civilian. I am in no way a Member Of Her Majesties Armed Forces.

Just because it has the word “Navy” in, it does not mean I am part of the Grey Funnel Brigade.

People think because I’m Merchant Navy I’m a Matelot, & I have an exhaustive knowledge of all RN ships from the Falklands forwards. It’s like saying, “You work for Ford Transit Vans? oh right, so you know the history of Alfa Romeo & Mario who worked briefly for them 25 years ago on a production line” 2 completely different things.

Yes I have a uniform that is extremely similar to the RN one. Yes I go to stupidly dangerous ports & seas, yes I work in what are technically classed war zones & yes I work away for months at a time.

But make no mistake.

I am NOT Royal Navy. It even states in my Profile. I’m Merchant Navy.

We are Container ships, oil tankers, bulk cargo, car carriers, ferries, Cruise ships, ocean liners, drill ships, FSPOs, PSVs, Tugs, AHTS, drill barges, MPVs, Barges, heavy lift, dredgers, the list goes on and on

& also fishing boats

& super yachts (apparently)

You will notice there that none of those ships, as a rule, are armed.

So next time you see “Merchant Navy” don’t automatically think “Royal Navy” as we aren’t.

At all.

Ta

AJ


Whenever I hear The Waterboys – This Is The Sea, after the 1st minute of just basking in its glory my mind goes into a mental sideshow of the fun times of my seagoing career.

I wish I’d taken more photos of it all,had more physical reminders but I didn’t so I don’t have them, but I still have the memories of it.

They are memories of pratting about ashore in far flung corners of the world
They are memories of pratting about in far flung corners of a ships bar
They are memories of laughing & joking with others & strangers
They are memories of fixing & mending for others
They are memories of smiling & laughing about the pratting about
They are memories of nearly falling off a tender after a particularly fun fact finding mission in Pussers Rum Factory
They are memories of making people laugh
They are memories of things that can never be taken off me
They are memories of working at sea
They are memories of things that have changed me
They are memories of things that have made me
They are memories of all that is me, & things yet to come.


After watching 3 films this afternoon/evening, I have to wonder occasionally if I have “socially” wasted my life to date. I mean it’s only now really, where I would say I am making proper friends.

The 3 films I watched were Human Traffic, The Inbetweeners & Kevin And Perry Go Large.

I’ve never been on a “Lads on Tour” holiday, I’ve never really had a group of friends that close where I would consider going on holiday with them. (I do have a few now but not loads), I’m aware that Human Traffic isn’t exactly a holiday film, but it’s the message it carries.

I mean yes working on cruise ships was basically a lads on tour for 5-6 years, but it’s different when you are working, I mean yes I drank and fornicated by way round the world on the ship, and you had a group of lads all the same rough age who main interest and social past time when off watch was drinking and fornicating. But it was all done to schedule and between set times. No matter what I did the night before, I always had to be up for work the next day, or more often or not the same day, in a few hours. It wasn’t like a holiday. Even now when I’m on leave I generally wake up for the 1st time at 0715-0730 for the first 2-3 weeks. Even after a night out.

I’ve now also reached the age (at least my body feels like it) where a few pints of real ale having a laugh in the pub because you can hear everyone more or less is more appealing than going and spending over a fiver for a piss poor measure of rum and coke, listening to someone drunkenly yell and spittle into my ear, then feel socially uncomfortable as everyone else boxes off and I scramble for a taxi trying to avoid the drunken tosser looking for a fight with the large quiet person getting into a taxi relatively sober compared to the rest. I’m beyond that.

Its been a good while since I went “clubbing” (a good 24 months I would think). I’m beyond it. Totally. I think. I dunno, it’s a hard one to call at times. Penzance doesn’t exactly blossom with excellent nights out.

But I wondered whilst I was watching these films, why, why have I ended up like this? I mean yes quite obviously I put work 1st, anyone whose met me would say I unequivocally put work first, but this is because I’ve nothing else to put before it. But why didn’t I when I was younger make an effort to go on holidays and stuff?

I first went to sea when I was 17, I had my 18th, (Off South America) 19th, (In Pacific Somewhere) 20th, (Mediterranean) 21st, (Mediterranean) 22nd, (Caribbean) 23rd, (Transatlantic) 24th, (Caribbean) 25th , (Caribbean) and 27th (Aberdeen Docks) Birthdays all on board a ship at work. My 28th will probably be on-board as well.

So I’ve never really had an excuse to organise a big blow out holiday as I’ve always been at work. My 26th was at home, I presume, it wasn’t on a ship.

So occasionally when I watch films like this I feel this void, I feel this emptiness that I don’t have these stories of Ibiza or Malaga or one of those places ending in “a” which seem to be the places to be and say you’ve been.

Don’t get me wrong I have had more nights out and parties and heavy sessions than most people have in a life time, but they were all to a set schedule and routine. On cruise ships, if you not getting drunk in the Wardroom, then you get dunk in the crew bar (considered a night out) or a crew party (BIG night out) but it was always the same people, drinks, routines, nothing special, nothing that films are made of, well unless you count “Behind closed doors” Documentary a film. Hell if C4 decided to do a documentary on my times on cruise ships it would only be do able late at night, with a warning before hand. But I digress.

Yes I suppose I have sacrificed a social life for my job, my career. I replaced my social life, for a way of life. Yes I do regret it slightly, but then I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’ve always, maybe selfishly, put the job first, I’ve had to, haven’t I? If you haven’t anything outside of work really, why not launch yourself fully and passionately into work? It doesn’t hurt anyone.

I wish I’d had the chance to do lads on tour. I wish I’d had the close knit bunch of lads.

But these days I’m getting those friendships, OK so they aren’t “lads on tours” relationships, (mainly because I am friends with girls as well), but they are friendship I hope that make me see the benefits of coming home. Friends I get to spend good times with, not necessarily just hard drinking nights with, because, if I’m honest, that’s what my old friends are really. But I’m making new friendships, making friendships with people who I actually don’t feel like I need to prove myself to them. People I feel genuinely close to, and always pleased to see, and I have a sneaky feeling may miss me occasionally.

So, lads on tour, maybe it’s not be all it’s cracked up to after all, but friends for the journey mean so much more.

Ta

Antijanner/SW


It’s approaching that time of year again. I’ve been thinking of something that I generally haven’t shared that much. I’ve told maybe 7 or 8 people the following story, and even then it was only the edited highlights. Not entirely sure if I’ve told my parents this amount of detail to be honest.
But anyway.

14th Of September 2006

5 years

5 years since probably the most traumatic incident I’ve been involved in has occurred.
Some of you (very few) I’ve told about it.

Sharing it to the general public I guess is the final part of it and will hopefully put it to rest a bit. It affects pretty much every minute of my working life, and when alone in the engine room or alone in general my mind generally goes to thinking about it.
This particular event has pretty much changed my life, I think about it pretty much every day. It’s one of those things that will never leave me. I partly blame myself for it. Partly don’t blame anyone for it. It’s taken all this time to get that far.
It happened on a ship (surprisingly enough), in an engine room.

The event was one of the reasons why I eventually left cruise ships, it did temperamentally make me consider quitting sea all together but I didn’t, I just changed company/ship type. It also made me a bit weird for a while but these things happen.
Without going into a full technical report (for your sanity as much as mine), there was an issue with an economiser circulation pump. I was on Midnight to 0400 watch, we had a zero flow alarm activated on the pump. Usually this was just cleared by blasting though the pressure gauge line. 20 bar of steam and water will clear most things. I tried it a couple of times, it wouldn’t clear, I couldn’t be bothered with arsing about with it, I had other things to get on with in the engine room. I called the 1st engineer and he isolated the pump and economiser and that was it. The pump was isolated (as far as we could tell), economiser deemed Out Of Action for the night and it was put on the top of the job list.

I finished at 0400, handed the information over and me and the rest of the watch naffed off sharpish as we had drills in the morning at 1000.
I awoke at 0930 and sauntered down to the engine firelocker for the drill. I could sense as soon as I got down to the main working alleyway something was wrong. Barely any engineering staff were about. Generally you’ll see a few of us rushing about constantly trying to hold the world together with a shoestring but there was no one about. I got to the fire lock and a few of us were there and then I heard. There’s been an accident downstairs, Francisco had been hurt, all the Medics were on scene. Me and my mate rushed downstairs, my mate on watch had his ear defenders on, I was in my boilersuit but just trainers and no hearing protection. (it’s strange what details you remember)
I ran down the 2 decks to the bottom plates where the economiser pumps were. And there he was.

Francisco was lying on the plates, surrounded by medics and crew. He had been covered/drenched by boiling/scalding hot water from the neck down. You could see this because like most of us he wore his front open because it gets so hot down there. His skin had peeled off from the neck down . His hands looked like someone had poured wallpaper paste over them. His boiler suit I remember vividly. Was bone dry. I remember thinking to myself that that was odd. I only realised later that it was probably because of the latent heat he was giving off that the water had probably evaporated anyway.
The reason why water was still in the pipe is a matter of physics and fluid mechanics under a vacuum. I’m not getting into it now.

I remember getting angry at the stretcher carriers who were just standing staring at him, getting in the way. Me, my mate, and some of the other Philippino crew realised what was needed to be done, we started getting one of the engineroom cranes ready. We shifted lumps of metal that it took 6 of us to move usually, that 2 of us were able to shove out the way.
I don’t remember what happened after this in the engineroom but he got taken out.
Next thing I remember was the drill still going ahead, something I found disgusting. I was out on the boat deck, we were in Palma, and we heard Francisco was being taken ashore. Apparently Palma has a very good burns centre nearby.
Francisco never survived. He died a week later. He was kept in an artificial coma for his own benefit. The company managed to fast track his wife a Visa for her to get to his side, which to be honest was pretty damn amazing in my opinion. The Drs in the hospital had said he was finally starting to improve as well. They had had to cut his tendons in his arms as they were retracting but it honestly looked like he might survive.

He didn’t.

We were told onboard. I was in the main workshop. I remember running off to the mineraliser room. And crying. I don’t cry often. But that day I cried. There was a service onboard the ship when he died. I was on the 2000-0000 watch during the service so I couldn’t make it. I was devastated that I couldn’t go. I never got my chance to say goodbye to him.

Francisco was one of the hardest working guys I’ve met. All “The Lads” on this ship were and still are amazing. I have always had a good relationship with them. We work alongside them, we work our bodies to breaking point at times to ensure the passengers had everything they wanted. The Lads were superstars. I had been play fighting with Francisco in the workshop a couple of days before the accident. He looked like Manny Pacquio.(sort of)

Everything that happened that day in September, would it have been different if I had been arsed to try a bit harder? I don’t know. Impossible to tell now.

A few things happened to me after that event.

I drank heavily for a few years (this has stopped)

Thought of it constantly for 2 years (And yes I do mean constantly, it consumed me)

I became the life and soul of the party (mainly because I didn’t want to be alone in my cabin)

I got diagnosed with minor PTSD by the ships Doc (it was all off the record and nothing on my medical record)

I cleaned myself up a bit, sorted my life out, left the company.

I left the ship and the accident behind me.

I still can’t escape the underlying sense of guilt I have and the broken video I have of seeing Francisco there, that plays in my mind.

The ship it happened on is still my favourite ship in the world. I don’t lie when I say I experienced every emotion possible on that ship. Pure elation to minding numbing depression.

I carried round the accident with me in my head like a sack of wet porridge, it weighed and fugged everything I did. It made me want to spend more time at sea and else time at home. As if somehow spending time at the scene of it would solve matters, Or at least being there would mean that I wouldn’t have to answer any questions about it. It didn’t help. But you live and learn I guess by these things.

I never walked over the spot where it happened in the engine room.

Francisco Ramirez. I still think of you every day mate. Don’t think I won’t stop any time soon either.

Love you pal, still miss you, still hurts, still thinking as ever of it and you. Keep smiling mate, I know you are.


So, 3 weeks into a 7 week stint, 4 to go.

I have had an epiphany over the last few weeks about contact and correspondence I have with the real world. Now bare with me as this blog is a bit higgledy piggledy

It was a strange old couple of weeks before I came away this time, I’m not going into detail over them, but I had prepped some stuff to take away with me to do some correspondence when I went away with someone. With one thing and other that didn’t happen but I still had the writing materials with me.

I had also been reading a few blogs and that (mainly this excellent blog http://themodstolemyboyfriend.wordpress.com )

Now I’m not going to put myself into quite the same bracket as the Guys and girls of HM Armed forces, but I do spend a considerable time away from home still (just over 50% of the year in my current company) at sea for at least a month at a time. I used to spend 8-10 months a year away up to 5 months at a time. And even though I spend this amount of time away from home, I’ve never in all honesty been a big one for keeping major contact at home, I’ve sent 4 postcards in the last 10 years, 3 of which were on holiday this March. B

When I first went to sea, I was 17 (18th Birthday during my first trip away from home, 3 months on a banana boat working the Pacific Circle then to Europe across the Atlantic), and I had to pay 50 US cents an email sent from the Captains email account – he was the only one with outside email access. The ships sat phone varied in price depending on what Time/day/month/religious celebration was going on, and it varied form £1.50 a minute up to £5 a minute, so as a cadet I certainly didn’t use that. I would phone in port if I could get hold of a phone card from the Seaman’s mission came on-board. And would use maybe a 1/4 of it on a phone call home. I never really got home sick on board the ship, I did when I was at college a bit but never really on the ship. I have a great time when I’m on ships and do genuinely enjoy it.

But I never really wrote home, not postcards and certainly not letters. I’d send the occasional email home but that was it.

I should point out that I come from a happy, unbroken home. My parents are together, we all love each other, there’s no real problems at home that I’m running away from. It’s just one of those things, when I go to sea I am able to disassociate my mind from family, I mean I still love and care about them, but I turn the “missing them” part of my brain off. I have no idea how I do it, and it probably sounds cold and callous to an outsider, but if it was an easy thing to do I wouldn’t need to try to explain myself.

When I qualified and became a full blown Qualified “Competent” officer and got a job on cruise ships I would go weeks and weeks without emailing home, maybe a quick phone call in which ever port I felt like it or suddenly realised I hadn’t spoken to home in a while in but that was it.

I’ve worked worldwide and it would have been a great record for me to have kept with sending letters home in every port and country. I wish I had now. I wish I had that tangible connection with my worldwide workings. But this can’t be helped, what’s gone is gone, there is not a lot I can change about this.

I tell everyone I become involved with on one level or another that contact is great at sea, we have free internet access on our ships and the Sat C-band phone is cheap (which it is now, its cheaper than a pay as you go phone). I can in an emergency phone home on the old style satellite phone, which is expensive but is pretty much 100% coverage. Yet still even with all this, I find it hard to keep an ongoing stream of conversation and contact going. I don’t use the Sat phone, In 10 years I’ve spent about 1/2 hour on the sat phone in total I think. I email regularly enough sure, but it’s just not the same, and with the amount of emails that go bouncing around back and forth, I have one line conversations with my father via email, he types in red, I in purple, its like a really low tech chat room.

So this trip to my surprise I actually sat down and did something I’ve never really done before, I sat down and hand wrote on 4 separate pieces of paper, 4 different things to 4 different people. 2 were cards, 2 were letters (the mystical blueys as they are called in the MOD)

I wish I had done it earlier. I actually did enjoy it, if that makes sense. It wasn’t the drag on my mind I thought it would be. It wasn’t the pain in the arse I usually get with having to handwrite technical reports.

It is definitely something I could do more often, and I believe I’m correct in saying this, they mean a bit more than an email.

I wish I’d had the motivation to write home, or to write to various important people in my life I’ve had come and go over the last few years. I didn’t back then. I do now.

Maybe my minds not as fuzzed up as it used to be, or this is one of those things that they call maturing, but one way or another its something I’m going to try to embrace.

So if one of you could send me a good quality address book it would be appreciated

Ta

S
Antijanner

The Call


I just got the call

From tomorrow I will be on 24 hour notice call out to join the ship.

The bags that have been up in the loft for the last 2 months are down and packed.

I’ve already got a job list in my head about what needs to be done on board, I have mentally left already.

I know for a fact I am several shades of annoying right now, I’m am remarkably more cheerful than I have been for the last week. But I couldn’t care less, because besides the fact I don’t really have anything keeping me home, I love going to sea.

I am going back to sea, going back to do the one thing I know that I can do and have some form of control over.

I can feel my pulse has increased, and I’ve a bounce in my step, I’m going back to the slightly dirtier world where I belong.

I can’t adequately explain how much getting back out there means to me at the moment. I’ve been laid up sick for over 2 months, and this is the day I’ve been looking forward to for the last 8 weeks 5 days.

I’ve a 7 week trip this time (my choosing) but it’s to get me on a different shift. I will be thoroughly fed up and tired by the end of it, and still have secretly enjoyed it. Though I’d never tell any of the crew.

I’m going back to work, and I bloody love the feeling!