I joined a Marine Survey Company in Colombo which was owned by a Senior Master Marine and Marine Surveyor, and started work as a trainee marine surveyor. I enjoyed the work very much. About six months later, I was made permanent and started to work as a marine surveyor. It was not an 8-5 job and as such, we had to be prepared to work anytime, any day.
I attended the same ship on behalf of the owner's protection and indemnity club.
'Collision to Mutiny' is what I have had to face; Not only face but to make sure as Master, I settle those problems.
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The Master and crew on that ship were Chinese!
I sailed with a company that owned Refrigerated Cargo ships (Reefer ships) about twenty five years ago. At that time, all officers on-board were British, and I was a Junior officer. The other non-British Officer was the Third Engineer.
One of the Master's whom I sailed under, used to repeatedly tell me, that I will never be able to command one of those ships since I was not a British national. He made this comment all the time in the ship's bar, when most of the other officers were present.
When I saw all Chinese crew on a British ship, I was thinking of what that Captain used to tell me.
If you're still around, I ask you, how did this happen, Sir?
Today, one of my colleagues went on holidays, and will be away for one month. Work load is building up. But we will not have any pressure because all in Gods time.
It was great to be back in Sri Lanka. The weather there in the month of December is usually not warm or humid. But, it seems like everything, weather patterns, too have changed. Very warm and humid afternoons and then the thunderstorms associated with lightning and rain showers were experienced in the evenings.
I was able to attend my nephew's wedding, and then a very unfortunate and sad situation of sudden death of a cousin. All in a nut-shell.
Also patronized my clubs, 'Capri' and CR&FC (Ceylonese Rugby & Football Club).
Christmas was peaceful and we had a small family get together at home with live music provided by a three piece 'Calypso band'.
My mother who is topping ninety years came and spent about sixteen days with me. That was great!
"All that starts well, must end well" and, I left Colombo December 30th, and arrived in Maryland on December 31st, 2019.
From about early July to early November last year, I kept shuttling between Chesapeake and Wilmington. I was in charge to see the vessel pass the Hold cleanliness inspection and thereafter load maximum cargo the vessel could carry, considering stability parameters and draft restrictions.
The above is not an excuse for being away from the blog, but the type of work I was involved in, has a major role to play in that.
On speaking with the crew on some bulk carriers, I have found some of the contracts are long as much as nine months. Surely, that is too long. Unlike in the past the port stays are very short. And upon berthing the vessel, authorities board the vessel to inspect and grant inward clearance. Soon after the inward clearance is granted there are so many to follow, which includes us, other surveyors such as Port State Control, Flag State , and also Class Surveyors.
Life is not easy especially for the Master, Chief Officer and Chief Engineer. When they get breathing space, almost a day is gone!
I too have experienced such situations, during the time I sailed as Master. This is the life of a seafarer!!