Monday, January 23, 2012

Top Eleven (11) Social Welfare Activities Onboard Ships

The working condition at sea is less conducive to maintaining a state of good health compared to those working ashore. It is because the shipboard opportunities for recreation and social interactions are very limited. The living quarter varies from ship to ship and from one company to the other. The quality of the leisure time is dependent entirely on the shipboard circumstances such as the vessel type and  the trade routes. The working hours, the feeling of monotony, long-time separation from the families, psycho-social problems affect the quality of the Seafarers’ social welfare on board ships.
Thus, finding the best Avenue to optimize  their leisure time on board  the ship is a challenge not only to the Seafarer but also to the Shipping companies that will provide the needed budget and support system. While at sea, the choices of activities to undertake are quite limited specially if the company has a no alcohol policy, and when in port, some vessels have relatively short stay that the crew has a difficulty to get the chance to unwind ashore.  Nevertheless, despite all these prevailing circumstances, Seafarers are resilient. They survive the life at sea by exploring their creative and innate talents. They try to find worthwhile activities to spend bonding time in a fun way on board ships. During my latest sailing, some of the following indoor and outdoor activities  were undertaken to foster camaraderie on board:
1.) Bingo Socials

2.) Parlor Games
Newspaper dance
                                                                Ice Cream Eating 
Apple eating
Tug of war
Apple Dance
Drawing Contest
                                          Chips  Racing
                                                         Orange Relay
                                                Mark the Designated part          
3.) Classic Dart / Dart Killer games
4.) Board Games
           a.) Scrabble
          b.) Chess
          c.) Dama/Checkers
 5.) Karaoke
A  chance to show your singing prowess, otherwise if you are not blessed with the golden voice, be a good listener  and cheerer to those who compete for the prize.

6.) BBQ Party/ Celebrating Milestones
They usually have a Monthly get together in the vessels' poop deck whether to celebrate birthdays and other significant events in the lives of the crew, or simply hang out. It is  a time where all the Officers and Crew gather to roast their own food and do some outdoor sports or activities, weather and deck cargo load permitting. 
7.) It is necessary to motivate seafarers to engage in sports, in order to maintain a good physical condition. Motivation for sports requires that the Seafarers enjoy the physical activities on board, by doing it the fun way. Sport events or competitions organize on board the ships highly motivate for exercises like in the following Outdoor Games:
                                                               Table tennis
                                                            Shuffle Board Game
8.) Use of the IT Cafe
A centralize place on board ship where the Seafarers can access the  internet for those that do not own a Laptop or a "wifi" enabled mobile phone.
 9.) Video Viewing
The most common past time they do on board is to watch good movies. Weekly, they will have a viewing of the safety video.
10.) Use of the Ship’s Library
Through good books and magazines, the Seafarers should be able to access quality reading materials for career advancement and to keep abreast with the latest developments in technology especially if internet on board is not available.
11.) Organize Swimming Competition
For vessels’ with swimming pool, they have the option of holding a monthly get together alternately, as BBQ Party with Outdoor Sports or Swimming Competition.
Initiating and motivating the crew to participate in the different social welfare activities on board is a way to create a striking balance  between work and leisure. It promotes the general well being of the Seafarer while away from home and should be part of the shipboard management team agenda.
The contents in this article are views of my own,  while some of the photos used are my personal shots with the crew onboard
Wiki, Isfwc
Images Credits: 
icsw,wiki, Betting expert, wordpress

1 comment:

  1. I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

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