Hey whatsup Jeff here, today we are going
to do something different My other vlogs might seem all rainbows and
sunshine They are intended for your entertainment purposes
but in this one I want to talk about the reality and the difficulties of working at sea
I want to advise people who are interested in maritime that it’s not all that easy
… by giving my personal experience It’s not to discourage anyone from the maritime
industry in fact, I feel it’s the best possible career
opportunity one can get especially after you get a captain license
you have so much options at sea or on land So let’s dive into it
Number 1 Lack of Medical Care This one haunts me the most because I’ve
had a traumatic experience with it Even though it is mandatory for ships to carry
powerful drugs that are found in hospitals Sailors we aren’t trained to do anything
more than first aid Let me describe an incident that happened
during my time as a cadet on my 2nd ship A crew member he got very very sick when the
ship was halfway between Christmas Island and Western Australian
Something to do with his pancreas or liver we weren’t sure because we couldn’t diagnose
what it was He had to suffer 48 hours of excruciating
pain before we could get our ship to a location where the helicopters could pick him up
And during that time we administrated heavy doses of morphine to him
Even with the morphine it was still unbearable, he was PASSING out from time to time from
the pain And His whole torso was swelling
Honestly we weren’t sure if he’d survive It was a scary moment
We were lucky it was near Australia, if it was in the middle of pacific it would have
taken maybe 5 or 6 days to get help By that time, I don’t think he’d survive
So my point is, on land you can get medical help fast but at sea on the ship sometimes
you won’t get help until 5 or 6 days So in this industry so you really have to
take care of yourself while working Number 2. Lack of diverse food
The food on ship is prepared by the Cook which we have no choice over
It gets boring when you work with same cook for 9 months
After months at sea everyone starts to crave for food from land
especially Fast food or junk food Remember the scene from Iron man where first
thing he come back from captive was ordering a burger Once you are on the ship the desire for different food is unreal
The crew jump on food like zombies once someone bring back something from ashore Depending on your luck, most cooks at sea
aren’t the best cook either, so don’t get too high of an expectation Number 3 Politics & conflicts
When you have 20 people living in one confined ship, it’s impossible to stay away from
professional or personal conflicts on board It makes it difficult to work and socialize
Not to mention It’s a very thin line between professional and personal life on the ship
since your co-workers literally lives in the next cabin
On top of that… Cultural awareness and equality is actually
very behind compared to land base organizations Sailors we aren’t educated or trained in
organizational behaviors The leaders, Officers Captains, Chiefs, they
are promoted based on skills not leadership And to complicate things even more
You have got people from different countries, different education, different personality,
age, sex and religion all living together in the same ship
With so much diversity, conflicts are bound to happen
Ultimately to do well at sea, you’d have to be aware of cultural differences
maintain an open mind and be able to take shit from your leaders Number 4. Unsettled Lifestyle & Short Shore leave
Having a traveling or “nomadic” kind of lifestyle
there’s a certain romance about it, you know… explore the world while getting paid
meeting different people and sightseeing commanding large ships across the oceans
The thing about traveling to places though is that compare to the past we have much faster
turnaround time And that means less time go ashore
And between work and rest sometimes you just can’t afford the time
or too tiring to go out A side note… VLCCs and large capacity ships don’t even
come to the port for discharging or loading they do all that at a remote facility so you
can’ go anywhere Jumping back a bit
After years at sea, you’ll miss the stationary lifestyle
A town or city in which you can “ground yourself”
For example, myself. I can’t even get a gym membership at where
I live because is a 6-month contract It’s not worth it when I am only 2 or 3
months at home on my holiday You start to wonder …When you spend more
time on ship than at home, is home really what you call home? Number 5. Lack of Social Life
We all grew up in a social environment, it’s how humans were meant to live
So when staying months on ship with restricted social life
negative effects such as depression, loneliness, and homesickness start kicking in
As time passes a sense of emptiness starts creeping in, eventually you feel miserable
You see the same people at work or off-work every day
you might or might not like them but you have no choice you are stuck on a ship
Depending on your personality and attitude Some might not be able to stand it
For Myself, I took advantage of this solitude and focus more on building myself, on my work,
video editing and exercise So a lack of social life is not necessarily
a bad thing Number 6. Away from the Family and everything
Although most can digest the fact of away from friends
parting away from family for months is what tears their hearts apart
marriage or parenthood, missing those precious moments with their loved ones for whom they
care the most is what pain sailors to the core
On top of that, not being there for personal and family problems put a person in a constant
state of worry which increases stress and affects the work
You are physically on the ship but mentally you are back at home
And that could endanger yourself or others at work
A co-worker of mine his father passed away when the ship was in the middle of Pacific
Ocean he didn’t’ know about it until we reached
America and the funeral was planned at a time when
he couldn’t sign off Greeting him every day in the hallway, he
had to put up an uneasy smile but you could sense the despair depression
and sadness within him, consuming him And that affects the whole ship, as a co-worker
as a friend you get affected too So that’s always a burden sailors will have
to endure Number 7. Pay and Benefits
There are crew members onboard my ship right now that are stuck working at sea for years
because they can’t find a better job There’s multiple reason for that, other
jobs don’t pay as well, they have mortgage, loans, their kids, their education expenses
etc. Back when my father sailed 30 years ago
he was making almost same amount in the early 80s compare to now
But think about the inflation for a second Merchant Mariners used to sail for 10-20 years
and retire easily with nice house & money in the bank
It was a fair trade of time and lifestyle Now days. Prices have been inflated so much
You can no longer retire after 20 years so it’s extremely hard to JUSTIFY or RATIONALIZE
the time spent at sea into your 60 My advice is to plan ahead and ask yourself
Where you want to be 10, 20 or 40 years later Number 8. Reducing crew members or reduce manning
20 years ago, a 200-meter will have 40-50 people working onboard
And Nowadays a 400m ship only have 20 people With the economy slowing down
Companies they want to cut cost, cut manning while demanding us to be just as efficient
Needless to say ships are getting bigger There’s more work more responsibility more
overtime for each crew No one cares about us, they only care about
the oil being delivered on time The iPhone or shipments arriving before the
holiday sales so that they can make money It’s not improving anytime soon Number 9. Hectic Life & Work
Every year new regulations come into sailors we have to fetch out money for endorsement
on new certificates, new license more paperwork, more checklist, new codes,
new safety procedures, new environmental laws Combine with reduce manning, it is quite overloading
And it’s becoming more hectic every year We are paying to get certified for what we’ve
been doing for hundreds of years It almost like the government or marine schools
are milking us for money There’s no end to that Last one is Limited entertainment, especially
Internet You have to ask yourself, can you live without
internet for a month? Some of my classmates they quit after their
first ship because they just can’t take the boredom
Some people are so accustomed to internet they cannot live without it
and you have to figure if that’s the case for you
Ultimately it’s how you personally embrace it
you could turn the situation on its head and use it as an opportunity to build yourself
to accomplish things So these are the 10 reasons why maritime sucks
Some might not be negative at all it depends on you, how you approach it
and external factors such as your company, your ship, the country you’re from, inflation
etc I’ve only given you a heads up and ultimately
you’ll have to discover if maritime is suitable for you
Ending the vlog here, if you got any questions leave it down in the comments below
and for sailors who have internet access right now please try and help out to answer some
of the questions With YouTube as a platform, I hope to build
an audience base that connect sailors around the world online for sharing information and
discussion So thank you for your support and see you
next time 