Star Ferry Sailor

Fai (輝- “glory”)

Tsim Sha Tsui (尖沙咀) 
06:15 - 14:45

“I am proud to have worked here as a sailor for 16 years. The Star Ferry is over 120 years old and has been with so many generations of HongKongers. I travel back and forth from TST to Central every day and help with ferry maintenance, docking and I also look after passengers as they board and disembark. Over the years, the rides have gotten shorter and shorter due to the reclaimed land. There are always seven crew members on each boat - a captain, a vice captain, four sailors and a mechanic. You will recognise the sailors as the guys in blue uniforms throwing the mooring lines as we dock - these ropes weigh at least 20, 30 pounds - so you need to be strong and fit! I love being at sea every day. I mean, who can ask for a better office than the beautiful and iconic Hong Kong harbour?”  

「我好自豪,可以喺度做咗16年水手。天星小輪有超過120年歷史,陪伴過好多代香港人。我每一日都係咁來回尖沙咀同中環,幫手修理同清理隻船,埋岸,亦會幫助乘客上落船。填海填咗咁多年,個船程都愈縮愈短。每隻船都梗會有七個船員嘅,船長啦、副船長、四個水手同埋     械師   。著住藍色制服嗰啲就係水手,我哋會喺隻船埋岸嗰陣,拋啲纜繩上岸,啲繩起碼二三十磅重,所以你要夠大力夠壯㗎﹗我鍾意每日喺海邊㗎,試問有咩辦公室比得上呢個咁靚咁獨特嘅維港?」

Odoo • Image and Text
“I’ve always had a special affinity with the sea. My family were “boat people” and we lived in the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter for many years. My father’s job was to help tai-pans drive and look after their fancy yachts. As a kid, I would be brought along to these trips and would often be treated to western cakes and pastries - these were really such luxury items back then, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be exposed to this different world. That was also where I learned how to swim - I was basically just thrown into the sea; so it was sink or swim! I still remember my first Star Ferry ride. I was about 5 years old and happened to be in Kowloon that day, perhaps visiting family. For some reason, I missed my father so much that I was determined to cross the harbour to see him. So I just boarded the ferry on my own and, by some miracle, I walked all the way from the ferry pier to the typhoon shelter and found my dad. What an experience! The Hong Kong skyline was as charming back then as it is now.” 

「我同個海好有緣份。我屋企係水上人,喺銅鑼灣避風塘住咗好多年。我阿爸份工係幫啲大班打理遊艇。細個嗰陣,佢哋會帶埋我出海,請我食西餅,嗰時嚟講,呢啲嘢好名貴好奢侈   㗎喇,我有機會見識到另一個世界,幾鬼開心。我仲喺嗰度學識游水,   就咁掉我落海   㗎咋,一係就游,一係就浸囉﹗我仲記得第一次搭天星小輪。我嗰時應該係五歲到,過咗九龍,可能係探親戚。我突然間好掛住阿爸,好想返過海搵佢。我就係咁自己一個上咗船,又好神奇喎,我由碼頭一路行到去避風塘,真係見到佢。嗰次好難忘。香港而家嘅海景同以前一樣,都係咁迷人。」

 “As sailors, we need to be prepared to save lives. I’ve jumped into the sea on three occasions to rescue people - sometimes it’s drunk people, sometimes it’s a careless accident. Just like in any job, you can come across some pretty interesting characters - there are people who take over the benches and sleep for hours, people who board with lit incense sticks, as if they are visiting a temple, people who jump into the sea because they just “want to have a swim”...each to their own! I love coming in to work and there is great camaraderie amongst my colleagues. I’m head of our “social committee” and we organise big team dinners every month or so - it is always good fun. Back in 2006, when it was announced that the old Central pier would be demolished - I remember feeling so touched by the overwhelming number of HongKongers who got emotional about the prospect of losing this iconic landmark. People were flooding in to take photos with us. I do miss the regular chiming of the old Central pier clock tower though; there is something very beautiful and nostalgic about that sound.”

「身為水手,我哋隨時都要準備去救人。我試過跳落海三次去救人,有時係因為有人飲醉酒,有時係意外。同其他工一樣,你有時會見到啲幾有趣嘅人,例如有人會霸住船上成張長櫈喺度訓幾個鐘,有人會拎住幾枝香上船,好似拜神咁,有人會無啦啦跳落海,話想游吓水喎……個個都有自己嘅故事﹗我好鍾意返嚟開工,同班同事好好感情。我係康樂組組長,間唔中會搞下聚餐,好開心 㗎。2006年嗰時,佢哋宣布話拆舊天星碼頭, 我記得見到咁多香港人對小輪同碼頭咁有感情,真係好感動。大家都好唔捨得呢個咁經典嘅地標。啲人湧到入嚟同我哋影相。不過我都好懷念中環舊碼頭鐘樓嘅鐘聲,嗰隻聲音好靚,好有味道。」