Life as a Deckhand

One of the things I like most about life as a deckhand on-board the ship is also one of the things I dislike the most: every day is completely different.

While the schedule of each day is the same–wake-up call at 7:30, lunch at 12:00, dinner at 6:00–the work that fills in the rest of the hours varies wildly. It’s great because if you’re stuck doing some horrible job, of which there are plenty on-board the ship like emptying three weeks of rotting compost like I did yesterday or scrubbing the grease off the wall behind the deep fryer on your hands and knees, you can reassure yourself that it’s only temporary.

In fact, later in that day could be practicing maneuvers on one of the jet boats or at least outside in the fresh air with a view of the ocean. At time’s it’s really frustrating to not have any control, let alone knowledge of what my day holds. For instance, when we wake-up on Sunday excited to finally have a day off after weeks of working every day only to be told after lunch that the deckhands have to wash the deck…. Anyhow, here’s what some of my “typical” days have been like this past week:

Day 1
3:45 Wake-up call
4:00 – 8:00 Port watch
– Gangway watch
– Safety rounds on the hour
– Collect and sort all garbage and recycling, empty organics
– Wake-up call for crew and put away clean dishes
8:05 – 9:30  Sleep
9:35 Breakfast and coffee
9:55 – 12:30 Working
– Leading boat deck tours during open boat
12:35 Lunch
13:00 – 16:50 Rest
– Visit temple
– Walk through market
– Drink coffee with Tim
17:00 –  21:30 Working
– Prepare the ship for departure
– Securing items on deck and in the hold
– Removing both gangways
– Preparing for mooring operations
– Departure @20:00
– Retrieve the spring, breast and headlines and stow them in the forecastle
– Secure the gangway on the heli-deck
21:35 Shower
21:45 Sleep

Day 2
3:45 Wake-up call
– I hear Tim and really wish I could just pretend I didn’t and fall back asleep but I put myself out of bed
4:00 – 8:00 Watchkeeper
– Look-out from the bridge
– Make coffee from the mate and I
– Safety rounds on the hour, collect and sort all garbage and recycling, empty organics
– Sweep and mop the bridge
– Wake-up call for the crew
8:05 – 12:00 – Sleep
12:15 – Lunch
13:00 – 15:00 Working
– Prepare paint for the bow
– Use angle grinder and wire brush to prepare inside of vent to be painted
– Paint vent
15: 00 Smoko (break)
15:30 Muster station drill
15:45 Campaign briefing in bridge
16:00 – 17:45 Fire fighting training
– Practice putting on fire fighting equipment including breathing apprentice
– Simulation entering for galley fire with hose and CO2 extinguisher
18:00 Dinner
18:25 Shower
18:35 – 20:00 Watchkeeper
20:05 Movie Night
– “Down Parascope” movie night in lounge
21:45 – Bed

Day 3
3:45 – Wake-up call
4:00 – 8:30 – Watchkeeper
– Safety rounds
– Garbage, recycling, organics
– Tiny fishing boats nearing the harbor
– Anchoring
8:35 – 12:40 – Sleep
12:45 – Lunch
13:00 – 16:00 Rest
– Reading on heli-deck
– Swimming
– Stung by jellyfish
16:00 – 18:45 – Working
– Launch MOB, Rhino and Daisy
– Recover MOB
– Deploy more anchor chain
– Store and secure small gangway
– Lead tour of fishermen with campaign
18:45 – Dinner
19:30 – 21:30 Working
– Crew on Rhino to bring people back to shore
– Lift Rhino and Daisy and secure in cradles
21:30 – 1:00 Drinks and talking shit
1:00 Sleep

Day 4
6:30 Wake up call
– Allergic reaction to jellyfish
7:00 – 12:05 Work
– Launch jet boats
– Crew on Daisy to pick up Mayor and other guests from key
– Garbage, recycling, organics,
– Inventory heli-hanger equipment
12:05 Lunch
12:25 Sleep
13:00 – 17:45 Work
– Build roof for starboard bridge wing
17:45 Shower
18:00 Dinner
19:00 Pack belongings in event of deportation
19:45 Sleep
– With lucid, anti-histamine induced dreams on the horizon

Day 5
7:20 Wake-up on my own & have breakfast
8:00 Morning cleaning
– Clean toilets, finish laundry and start to clean mess room
– Paint floor next to beer fridge and touch-up painting on the walls
10:00 Smoko
– Read book on heli-deck enjoying the last day at sea
10:30 Working
– Help the fitter install new sections of pipe for the galley greywater
– Receive life lessons advice from fitter as an unexpected, yet welcomed bonus
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
– Hung new shelf in our cabin
13:00 – 15:00 Working
– Continued to help fitter, though it was mostly more pep-talks
15:00 Smoko
– Read on the poop deck
15:30 Cabin inspections
– In preparation for the ship inspection tomorrow. No biggie
15:40 – 17:35 Working
– Deck wash (squeegeeing water into the scupper for a couple of hours)
5:35 End of working day
– Read on forward accommodation deck
– Watched the sunset over the sea for the last time this trip
– Shower
18:00 Dinner
18:20 Blog update
20:00 Movie Night!
22:30 Sleep


2 responses to “Life as a Deckhand

  1. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks|

  2. have really enjoyed reading your posts over the past few days!! found your blog when I was searching for Mys Aniva lighthouse

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