Today Judy and I, like many of you, start week 10 of self isolation. Such is our collective lot!
Our imaginary sailor on his VLCC tanker has now crossed the Indian Ocean from South to North and is now traversing the Gulf of Oman before closing in on the Straits of Hormuz – that inhospitable and extremely dangerous gauntlet of narrow water that separates the Arabian peninsula from Iran. In the last crisis it was mined by the Iranians and although it is now thought to be clear, the MN Notice warning of possible rogue mines remains in force.
We have checked in with the anti piracy naval forces, informed insurers and made sure our ‘last love letters’ are at hand in the shore based office in the event that something terrible happens. And because we are so large and such a target we will join the inbound convoy with escorts of fully armed and ‘alert’ naval forces.
The fear on board is palpable. The threat is very real.
“Oh please God, not me. Not this time” is uppermost in everyone’s mind.
A quick check on www.marinetraffic.com shows that the straits are very busy and if it all kicked off, there would be utter chaos and possibly little help available for us as we are in ballast and only have eighteen souls onboard – none of which are American. So the ship is closed down and made ready for imminent disaster. Fire lines primed; boats swung out; crew mustered and drilled yet again in ’emergency abandon ship routine’. I make sure my survival grab bag is ready to go as I remember philosopher George Santanyana’s often quoted saying from his book The Life of Reason ” Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.
Like our imaginary sailor, we must all take courage and continue to keep safe as we wait out this CV19 challenge.
May God bless you, and keep both you and yours safe during these trying times.
I hope you enjoy the Scribblings.
Sunday Scribblings No.7. May 10th
Sunday Scribblings 7 – The 5th Sunday of Easter  (click the link to read)
Today we commence week 9 of lock down – don’t look behind, don’t look ahead … just keep going.
That will be the mindset of our imaginary sailor on his VLCC super tanker if he has any sense. Mind you, I have sailed with folk who have coloured in the days of a calendar on a descending basis from the day they join the ship to the day they expect/hope to be relieved. It rarely ends positively as the arbitrary date they have chosen for their relief to arrive is based on pie in the sky logistics, not reality.
I’ve always thought this to be a negative way to use the God given days that we have been allotted – it just does not make sense to me.
aybe this should be our current mindset too as PMA is everything when in survival mode.
This week our imaginary sailor will have been fixing razor wire to the ships rails to prevent pirates having easy access to the ship. All must be in place and the ship ‘hardened’ before we pass the Seychelles and head across the dangerous, pirate infested, Indian Ocean.
Sometimes, he thinks, it might be safer to work on a VLOC (Very Large Ore Carrier) as the chances of sailing to the Persian Gulf are almost zero.
But it’s not always safer …. Cargo liquefaction is a real danger.
I hope you are all keeping well and making use of the great weather – although I hear that Sunday will be colder.
Keep the faith,