Boat life

I used to work on a ship in the Pacific, and these were my experience and thoughts.

my last few days...

The illness & injury rate working on a ship has to be astronomical.

** * ****

“People weren’t meant to live on boats.” -Chiefmate


I spent long days cleaning mold with unknown chemicals & longer nights, red rings starting to encompass my eyes. The glory of working on a ship quickly dissipates when the crew is never able to have any sort of freedom. It becomes a quick blur of endless chores (that truly have no end) and long, exhausting fire drills.

The first day of our two week “coveted” photo trip en route to find the grey whales, the water was riddled with aggressive whitecaps, nearly capsizing every guest over in their rooms. The captain decided to stop traveling north after six hours and to turn around immediately. The stewards spent the next day cleaning up vomit and feces out of the guests cabins,  added to the large workload they already had and recently spent ten aggressive days positioning up from Panama.

Tired doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word and dead seems too strong of a word.

Most of the crew smoke on the fantail of the boat and gossip. A rare few exercise and get about 7 hours of true sleep.

I watch the constant flirting of coworkers, a spiral that never EVER ends.

My manager, who is in his final two weeks, reads endless stacks of horror books and absently smiles at guests like a marionette puppet. My coworker smashed a part of a deck box against her face, and the removal of her stitches by the ships doctor proved to be the most entertaining part of this two week trip.

The whales are mostly up north by now and due to this, the naturalists are either drinking, under the weather, or answering a repeating rolodex of guest questions. “Are we at sea level?” “How deep is the water?”  “Is the internet working?” “Are there sharks here?”

On my only day off, I spent two whole minutes (a luxury of the highest) brushing my teeth, flossing and shaving my legs.

I’m exhausted.

finally no more flippers

the 6th extinction