Being a sailor since 4 years I have sailed a lot, some short and easy some long and difficult, But every sailing ended with something new. People often ask me about the advantages and disadvantages of sea life, actually most of them are intrigued about the sea and ship, well not their fault, also, guys who want to join Merchant Navy want to find out how is it there on a ship on the sea, so here it is, I am trying to Penn down some up’s and downs of my sea life, it’s not sure that my list will be the same as other mariners. So sailors please don’t take it personally….…or take it anyway!!
- Paid Training
Yes, After finishing your pre-sea training which is conducted in a marine school, we join a ship for onboard training as a Cadet and get paid. The Amount varies from company to company from $300-$600.Lets say when your friends will be completing their bachelor degree you will be “earning for learning” and that too in dollars
- Tax Free & High Income
According to Indian government if you are not present in India for 182 days, you are not eligible to pay tax. So, if your contract is more than 182 days in a year, NO TAX!!
And getting paid in dollars , working on water , actually is profitable and that too in early stages.
- Long Vacations.
As long as it’s considered, when you are at home, you are free to do whatever you want to. Time off varies from weeks to months and from company to company.
- Travel Experience (Meals & Lodging)
There is no charge for the food you eat, laundry, room you sleep in, flights u board (mostly), your company takes care of that from the day you join even as a fresher. It actually let you save more.
- Uniform & Respect
I don’t know about other sailors, but it makes me kinda proud u know!!
- Pure Environment
Not that level of pollution, after a certain time period you find yourself working in proper air conditioning, food you eat is handled by professionals.
- No Politics.
I am not saying this happens every time, sailors generally live like a family, but if some damned soul join you, can’t help it!!
- Impermanent Bosses & Colleagues
The thing is if your boss is really an a** hole, either you quit or apply for a transfer , but here you just have to bare your captain or chief or whosoever may the Officer is , for a contract, chances are you won’t see him again.
- Self Improvement & Time to Think.
Sailings, when you are not on duty, when as a fresher sleeping is the favorite thing, but as you grow you do things which you couldn’t do because of the lack of time , reading literature or anything else, sketching. Numismatics, there is no boundary. You think about things and yourself, it’s just you and your mind.
- Multi Lingual People & Cuisine
Travelling around let you to meet people from different countries, there is no Indo-Pakistan border there, if you are a foodie like me, its haven!!
- Limited Working Perimeter
You don’t have to get up early, freshen up , be ready , take a bus or drive through kilometers ,parking, then work or wander the market ,again travel to home, Here it’s like, get up, freshen up , change. Limited perimeter for working.
- Offshore Work Opportunities
Number of possibilities, being a surveyor, a pilot or just teaching in a maritime school.
- Long Time Away From Home.
No matter how I put this but I won’t be able to convert it , with increasing connectivity and allowance of family on ships by various companies , but still most of the time its away time. Being a sailor or accepting the fact can make you a little bit stronger than your family but the better half of yours, kids……!!
- 7 Day Work
There is nothing like weekends , you have to be on duty every day, and if there is any emergency be ready to stay on 24 hrs duty.
- Stress + Home Sickness
No matter how hard you try but it takes onto you, mostly when your contrct is about to finish.
- No immediate help in any Emergency.
Imagine this you’re in pacific, no land nearby, and if any serious injury happens, we do study about medical attention , frankly first aid advanced level, but if victim require urgent hospitalization its not possible. Many deaths happen, making it one of the most dangerous profession.
- Studies Never Ends.
Yeah !! Don’t think that youre an hard a*s and can go through , then comes studies , its like sea experience den exams , den again experience and den exams, this goes on and on.
- Relationships & Social Life
There is no stability, sometime you can call somethime you cant, there are world sim for calling and surfing net , but it doesn’t gives that level of connectivity which you can get on a land job so comparison here is worthless.
Though is happens rarely and in some specif parts of the worls, but it does exist, companies are forced to keep private security, a new course added as ship security, and number of changes for Anti Piracy, but it does scare you,
Nearly impossible to survive, I WAS a vegetarian.
There may be number of other points taken as advantages and those as disadvantages, but with my limited experience, I reach here,
I believe not everyone can be a sailor, it really takes a different kind of a man or a woman to go and become a sailor. Today if I am right if 100 fresher finish their training and join their first ship, only 30 reaches to OOW or next level examination, whatever be the reason for them to leave but it happens.
95% of cargo is transferred by ships alone, from petroleum to chemicals to luxury goods, it’s possible that the laptop or desktop you are reading this blog was transferred by one of a ship. If ships stop for a day you can’t imagine what can happen. That makes me, us important. I AM A PROUD MARINER.
Until next time, ciao!!