Merry Christmas, Sailors!
Ahoy, there! SAILORS of the WORLD...
can you hear me?
Hoping this Christmas message will reach you
safe and sound while on voyage.
I wish that you'll have a peaceful travels
while celebrating the Yuletide season;
Commemorating the birth,
of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer.
Let the beacon of shining stars,
be your guide in a long, dark, lonely nights.
Thinking about your family ,
Praying that they're safe back home.
I know the feeling of being away,
while celebrating the Advent season.
It's cold and often harsh out there,
the perils of the sea can double your fears.
But always believe on the Unseen Hands of God
forever watching us wherever we are.
He's the Master Sailor, our Guide;
we will never go astray because He's with us.
Have a Merry, M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S ! ! !
I made this simple poem to reach out with traveling sailors, regardless of races they belong.
I know, it's lonely out there. Many are laughing just half-heartedly; but deep inside, they long to be home as the Christmas eve approaches.
There will be celebration on board ship; with all the prepared foods and gifts and wines. But sharing it with your family back home will still be the best.
I'm sure, the ship's phone will be very busy among those seafarers who will be busy calling their families back home to hear messages of hope and hapinness during the season.
As a sailor, I've been away from home during Christmas time.
- Way back Christmas 2002, I was with a Greek-owned container vessel traveling the Black Sea. Our destination was Ilyichevski, Ukraine where we were going to sign-off, two days after. It was a mixed feeling because the ship was going to be bought by Ukraine Shipping. Celebrating Christmas with Greeks were enjoyable. There was full of festive foods, wine and their branded liquor such as, ouzo and Metaxa. I will never forget my first Christmas onboard ship.
- My second Christmas on board ship was in 2004, onboard a VLCC (Very Large Crude Container) ship. We were loading crude oil in Middle East going to China for discharging. Loneliness were forgotten momentarily as we celebrate the holiday. Waking up at 12 midnight and sharing the food we prepared to all sailors on board, then later, in the morning, the routinary work will be canceled just to give way with the celebration.
- My 2007 contract also coincided with Christmas party on board ship. It was in Texas, USA. Well, there were lots of gifts given by the people at Houston's seaman's center. The wives of our Greek captain, chief eingeer and 1st engineer were also on board and joined us with the celebration. I initiated series of games and raffles to Filipino crew and 1 Rumanian (our electrician); with much delight and amusement.
- In 2008, I was onboard cargo vessel and we spent our Christmas (all Filipino officers and crew) in Canada. It's winter there, so it's expected to be battling with colds and donning of thick winter jacket and shoes. Seaman's center personnel in Windsor provided free rides to fetch us at the nearest store for our shopping. After loading our cargo, a bountiful table of Filipino food and lechon (roasted pig) were enjoyed by the sailors; plus the raffles, drinks and karaoke. We also enjoyed our newly-assembled live band, tinkering the available musical instruments onboard.
Like I said, it's lonely out there. When I went to my cabin, half-drunk and tipsy, I still cannot sleep because I was thinking of my family back home.
Christmas onboard ship? Did you experienced it, already?