Thursday, June 20, 2013

Faces of the Sea : Thank You Seafarers

On June 25,  2013, we are one with the world to pay tribute to the 1.5 million seafaring professionals who are dubbed as the "Unsung Heroes” of the Seas..."The Seafarers." 
This year's theme features the "Faces of the Sea." 
To the men, I sailed with THANK YOUfor the lessons learned and the memories. 
To those, that I came to know by chance or through the social media, your stories at sea are all worthwhile to feature.
There is always a reason to smile when the vessel gets into port after a 19-day sea passage from South Africa to USA east coast or vice versa. Whether to unwind ashore, receive snail mails and packages, do some shopping, visits the place tourist attraction, feel the culture, blend with the locals or simply wait for a homeward flight.
People ashore are wondering why are the seafarers less visible?
Fortunately, only a few have a FREE access to the Internet on 
board their ships. Likewise, there are few ports around the world that offers free WIFI.  
The high cost of  communication while in open sea  
using the satellite, is one of the myriads of reasons for their silence
Those that have an activated  Fleet Broad Band on board the 
vessels are  dealing with some budgeted allocation, that a 
24/7 operation cannot be made possible. Sometimes, the 
broadband speed also poses a challenge
However, despite these known challenges, they remained 
grateful, that an access to the Internet is available to alleviate 
the loneliness while at sea and while in port when shore leave is
impossible due to the vessel's schedule.
Moreover, the availability of the Free Internet on board 
sea going  vessels provided additional savings to their pocket, 
because they don't need to buy prepaid voice cards or 
reload their mobile broadband, just to be in touch with 
their families back home.
Lest we forget that a good communication is the backbone of a long- distance relationship, be it in business, personal or professional undertakings. 
Further, let us take a sneak peak on how other seafarers in the fleet spent bonding time at sea  from the following snap shots: 
The Officers and Crew were enjoying the BBQ party while in transit in South Atlantic.

A Captain shares lighter moments at the bridge mentoring his cadets.
When celebrating life's milestones at sea, costume parties are not just for children but also for the seafarers who remained young at heart.
Feasting on the succulent food  after  playing outdoor games, is one of the favorite weekend bonding at sea for the Officers and crew.
Playing Basketball at sea not only promotes camaraderie, but also  fitness and wellness on board.

The tradition of  celebrating the holiday season lives on even if miles away from their families.
Life's special moments are also celebrated on board in open seas.
While at anchorage in Durban, Za, fishing is a favorite past time not only for the Officers and crew but for  the sailing wife as well.
When the east meets west, they worked together for excellence with-out racial, cultural, and gender discrimination.
A breathtaking sail out shot capturing the  South African Pilot, who is off from the vessel in Port Elizabeth via a helicopter.
Playing the tug of war reminds them the importance of  TEAMWORK, because a great team simply means that "together everyone achieves more."
At any rate, they are hopeful and looking forward to the day when the unlimited broadband with a better internet speed is available on board  all vessels sailing across the seas, knowing that a great team +excellent communication + good cooperation and a management support par excellence equates to a successful shipping operation. Meantime, let us COUNT  our blessings, continue to LOVE your work  and LEARN to EMBRACE and HONOR a beautifully imperfect system...perfectly! ^_^
Carry On Guys...Our SALUTE...Cheers!!! 
Wishing you clear skies and calm seas. 
Have a safe sailing everyone!
God Bless your trip!!!


Disclaimer: The contents herein are views of my own.
Image Credits to: Capt. Efren Esparagoza, Capt. Vince Fabila, CO Harsh Pandey, Dhananjay Das Warrier, Church Dietrich LebrillaJoel DeOcampo, Pj Revilla,  Ms. Eds Esparagoza, Ms. Jean Cabaral, EO Angelito Guiwo, Ms. Nancy Lacanilao-Agawin

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