This week I’m back on my imaginary VLCC super tanker. Last week we passed Cape Town and received stores and spares by helicopter, but once again, the ships agent forgot to send us the crews mail. It’s soul destroying when this happens; yet it seems to happen so often. It makes me feel that I might as well have been in prison, or under lock down like my friends and family who are at home.
Last weeks sailing has been tough as we battled against the strong Agulhas current that is right on the nose. The subterranean topography causes chaos with the current and churns the seas up so that they are mountainous, short and very steep. To preserve the integrity of the vessel the Captain sets a course that is considerably further south than usual which means our mobile phones have no connectivity with the South African land based mobile towers – so still no contact with my family as we enter month two of our outward bound voyage.
And don’t think that just because we are a VLCC we are bomb proof as far as bad weather is concerned. The ocean bed just south of South Africa is littered with the wrecks of vessels of every size whose backs were broken in these killer seas.
Ten days after rounding The Cape of Good Hope and we are now approaching the Southern end of Madagascar. Next we will head North with Eastings so giving the Seychelles as wide a berth to avoid the pirates.
We might all be feeling a little lonely as our lock-down constraints continue. But as tough as it is, there is always someone else who is worse off than we are. For example,
think of all those, like the imaginary sailor on his supertanker, who have to cope with these conditions every day of their working lives. The soldiers on foreign postings. The scientists in the Antarctic. The front line care providers who have chosen to move into hotels so they can keep working and keep their families safe. The list of Angels supporting us in lock down is endless and their sacrifices real and generosity real..
May God bless and keep them safe, as well as you, your families, and your friends in these difficult times.
I apologise in advance if you find this weeks Scribblings are a little dense. Sorry, but that’s the fault of the biblical text.
Keep safe, keep smiling.