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How to fight Homesickness onboard ship

Updated on March 21, 2011
HOMESICKNESS-a book by Murray Bail (Courtesy of
HOMESICKNESS-a book by Murray Bail (Courtesy of

Homesickness is a state of mind. When you’re far away from your love ones, you tend to be lonely. You miss the voices of your wife, your son, your daughter or even the bark of your dog and meow of your cat. There are many “ifs” that come to mind. If only I could be with my son’s graduation. If only I could be with my daughter’s debut. If only I could be with my wife’s side solely tackling both my fatherhood and her motherhood.(For a Guide Handbook, if you'll gonna spend your summer in camping or onboard ship, there's a book available at Amazon.)

In A Floating Community

The rigors of a sailor’s job can cause you so much stress that you tend to have a breakdown if you are not resilient enough to adjust with the ship’s atmosphere.

One good person to follow is your master or captain, acting as leader and a father in a confined community known as ship. His decision is always followed at all times. Basically, the master is the representative of the ship’s owner or charterer, so all his subordinates must follow his instructions at all times.

His job extends even in the smallest problem that may arise inside the vessel. Let me cite for instance…homesickness.

Aside from the drowsiness that you can feel if you’re still amateur in seafaring, homesickness often cause trouble for those seamen who cannot control their feelings. It also affects their jobs that lead to an early vacation.

The good thing is my first captain offered good ways to combat homesickness.

  1. Muscle-Building is the best way to keep your physique in good condition. Being confined in a vessel for long days at sea causes stress from work and homesickness. With all the provisions that you can consume during your contract, it is understood that you’ll get fat. To burn the calories, it is a must for a sailor to have an exercise regimen inside the gym.
  2. Watching movies is a sensible past time to all sailors. Local television stations in the Philippines offer subscription that you can watch old movies and tv programs.
  3. Yoga is also an effective approach to fight homesickness. Self-help books can teach a sailor for the proper procedure.
  4. Reading books is a very good past time. Many commercial vessels have a library full of fiction and non-fiction books and magazines that are good source of valuable information.
  5. Therapeutic massages are offered by some of the crew who have knowledge in reflexology, Sweddish, Korean, Chinese or even the Filipino type of massage called hilot. Being a part of catering department, the captain often request with massage through our steward.
  6. Karaoke singing is popular among Filipinos. Although, it was widely known in Korea and Japan, it is originally patented from the Philippines.

Alcohol Addiction

Most sailors, including me, resort to a drinking spree every weekend or Saturday. It is allowed onboard ship with a limited alcohol intake. A 12 ounce (oz) of beer in can contains 5 per cent alcohol. The alcohol advisory in the ship's brochure, only allows two cans of beer.

How can you control both some officers and crew if they request more beers or even hard liquors from the ship's slopchest (the store onboard ship)? Those who have night watch duty at the bridge should refrain from drinking too much.

Many reasoned out that by drinking alcoholic drinks and beverages, they momentarily forget their problems at home. Many experienced crew are usually sent home because of drinking too much, than often cause the quality of their jobs.

Fighting homesickness will depend upon the quality of a seafarer, physically and mentally. If a sailor prioritize his work and his family, including his country, nothing can go wrong. You have a contract to finish. The remarks that will be given by your superiors will depend on your performance onboard ship.

Homesick by ironoriel

Homesickness by College Health Guru (illumistream)


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    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 8 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thanks, Truth From Truth (TFT). It's really difficult to be away with your love ones. You'll miss memorable events, like birthdays, graduation, anniversaries or even fiesta celebration. It's a great sacrifice to be an overseas worker, as in sailor.

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 8 years ago from Michigan

      Nice hub Sailor, I can see that it would be difficult at times missing loved ones that are far away. Good luck, I hope things are well at sea.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 8 years ago from Seven Seas

      Loneliness is a friend of homesickness. A man realy need a company in order to live happily. Thanks for your comment, travel_man1971.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Homesickness can bring a sailor to breakdown if not backed up by supportive colleagues. Thanks for this hub, thesailor.