12 November 02

My First Ship

After the initial dizzy feeling that came with the excitement and nervousness of my first real ship, I became a little worried

The third mate that I was reliving was too anxious to get off. I could tell he was warn down, like her had been cheated out of one month of his life. that month came after the four that he had signed on for. Unfortunately it came, most importantly it came out of the United States. Galveston was the first American port in 70 days and with Galveston came Me, his relief.

He warned me about when you know you are trapped. If the captain is excited to see you, very eager to get you signed on - you are in trouble. If the captain takes care of signing you on with as much enthusiasm as sending a fax to the home office, it should be an alright ship.

If the captain is too excited the it is an indication that the mate you are relieving needs to go, that fresh blood is in high demand. Most importantly in 120 days time you will be more than ready to get off the ship and your relief will be the next victim, the next one bonded for four months, the next fresh blood.

The third mate showed me the ship, told me what I needed to know and left the rest in a letter on my desk. It was only after he was in a taxi on his way to the airport that I read the letter.

Most of it was unexciting, what caught was the end where he gave it a happy ending and me something to look forward to "it pretty much sucks, life can get boring on there".