Ocean (海洋)


  “I am one of the 23 crew members on this massive cargo ship and have been working on ships for over 3 years. My role as a third officer revolves around navigation and making sure that we are cruising safely at sea. Navigation is not easy; you need to spot the big ships, the small ships, the little boats; you have to be alert and meticulous but I love the challenge. I also inspect and maintain the safety equipment on board every day. I’m originally from Chennai, but the current crew hails from all corners of India - we speak different dialects so it’s funny that we need to communicate with our own countrymen in English! These cargo ships you see at sea all the time in Hong Kong, did you know that they can carry up to 20,000 containers? All the containers that you can see from afar sitting on top of the ship, imagine the same number of containers below deck hidden from sight. Pretty much everything that you buy, consume or use at home is there because it’s been transported by one of these ships. Because of COVID, we’ve been on this ship for six months and will be on it for another three. I see the same people day in, day out and we’ve become like family. Us seafarers work very hard for most of the year but then we have three months of full vacation off. It’s not easy being away from friends, family and home for so long, but when you’re on board you don’t have time to get bored - there’s always something to do. The ship doesn’t stop for anyone!”


“Every position on board is key and each crew member is tasked with very specific responsibilities. We have to do plenty of exams in order to work on board and rise up the ranks. It’s a bit like being in the army! The Second Officer is in charge of planning the most economical route of passage and navigation. The Chief Officer has an oversight over the whole crew whilst managing everything on deck. We have crew members working in the boileroom, engineers and, of course, the Chief Cook who has the integral job of feeding everyone! He experiments with different types of cuisine every day and we get fed really well. Back home, a lot of my friends wanted to become engineers but I always knew that I wanted to work at sea. The ocean is beautiful and you get to see the sun rise and set every day. I wanted to see the world and working on board was one of the best ways to do so. Before COVID, every country that we docked at we would have at least a few hours to explore - visit the sights, restaurants and bars. I’ve been to the UK, France, Japan, South America, US, Netherlands...all over. My favourite place so far is Turkey - such a beautiful place, great people and delicious food. I love those baklava sweets!”

“It has been more challenging during the pandemic as we have not been able to get off the ship at all due to various country restrictions. We are also really careful to not get injured or unwell because it is very challenging to get medical assistance out at sea. Safety is always our top priority. The ship gets inspected regularly so everyone has a part to play in ensuring that it is in tip-top shape. During our down time, we all hang out in the recreation room. It’s got a gym, table tennis, a playstation, darts and other games. In the night time, we go back to our individual cabins to sleep. Those who are off shift on the weekends will sometimes have barbecues or small get togethers on deck. I do miss my family and my girlfriend though, but with WiFi everywhere we are still able to communicate pretty regularly and easily. Whenever I feel lonely I like to write, especially poetry. I’m looking forward to those few months off when I can put my feet up and just relax. It’s hard work during the year so it’s really important to take that time off properly. Then I will come back recharged and ready for my next adventure!”



「船上面每一個崗位都好緊要,每一個船員都有專門嘅職責。我哋要過好多關考試先可以喺船上面做嘢同埋有晉升。有啲似當兵咁!二副負責計劃最容易到達目的地嘅航行路線同埋方向, 大副 就負責指揮船員,睇住成個團隊,同時打理船上面嘅所有嘢。我哋有喺鍋爐艙嘅船員,有工程師,當然最重要嘅就係有廚師,餵飽所有人!佢每日都會試驗唔同嘅菜式,我哋嘅伙食都幾好㗎。我家鄉嘅好多朋友都係想做工程師,但係我一直知道自己想喺個海度工作。個海好靚,仲要每日都睇到日出同日落。我想去睇出面嘅世界,而行船係其中一個最好嘅方法。未有疫情之前,我哋喺每一個國家泊岸嗰陣,都會有至少幾個鐘可以落地行吓,參觀吓景點,去吓餐廳同埋酒吧。我去過英國、法國、日本、南美、美國、荷蘭……喺個地球上面行咗個圈。我暫時最鍾意嘅地方係土耳其,好靚嘅一個地方,有好嘅人同埋好嘅嘢食。我好鍾意食佢哋嘅果仁千層酥!」

「 喺疫情期間我哋嘅工作都困難咗,因為好多國家都有限制我哋唔可以落船。我哋亦要小心唔好受傷或者病,因為喺海上面係好難搵到醫療支援。安全永遠係我哋嘅首要考慮。艘船會做定期檢查,所以每個船員都要做好自己嗰部份,確保隻船運作正常。落更嘅時候,我哋會去康樂房度消遣吓,嗰度有健身設備,乒乓波枱,PlayStation、飛鏢同埋其他嘢玩。夜晚,我哋會去返自己嘅船艙度瞓。星期六日落更嘅船員有時會喺甲板度燒吓嘢食,或者有啲小聚會。我都會好掛住屋企 人 同埋女朋友,但係呢度周圍都有Wi-Fi,我哋都好容易保持聯絡。我覺得寂寞嘅時候就會寫 吓 嘢,尤其係寫詩。我好期待放假嗰幾個月可以乜都唔做,唞吓。一年大部份時間都要勤力做嘢,所以喺嗰段時間好好休息,係好重要㗎。差足電,個人先有精力返嚟開始下一個旅程!」


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