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Travel Man as part of Ship's Conduction Team
From Zhejiang, China to La Union, Philippines
After sixteen days of mixed feelings of homesickness, anticipation and triumph to be part of a new ship's conduction team, I am finally jotting important notes as this hubber makes a comeback in documenting my travel as a seafarer.
The prelude of this hub concentrated on the Port of Ningbo which is part of the eastern coastal province Zhejiang, a booming commercial hub and known for its fishing and busy international port.
My hands are still numb from the cold weather of the place, especially at the city of Zhoushan, a city just fronting the Ningbo anchorage, and from the busy works at the galley (kitchen) of the ship.
I don't have any assistant at the galley, so I am always free to concentrate on my cooking and at the same time, think about the materials that I can share on HubPages.
From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport-Terminal 2 in the Philippines up to Shanghai Pudung International Airport in China, I kept myself busy documenting the episodes of our travel with the aid of my old but still, a reliable digital camera.
I may back-tract for a little recall on what happened after being cleared at the airport custom personnel at the cozy airport of mainland China.
- The agent ushered us, Filipino seafarers and the owner/representatives of the shipping to a bus that carried us to the nearest restaurant (huh?) after a five-hour travel. There, we've eaten our dinner in installment basis (what a laugh). From hot rice, then the soup, shitake mushroom,hot green pepper in sauce and with the use of chopsticks. Wow! I will never forget this experience.
- From that dinner, we're on the road again hoping to see the LCT vessels, but our agent ferried us to Gui Hao Hotel, part of Dinghao, Zhoushan at Zhejiang, where we stayed overnight. The buffet breakfast was more sumptous than our dinner. Still, chopsticks were the main utensils. Spoons and forks were missing (sighed).
- The agent carried us to the port where we were carried by an old service boat for our embarkation at our assigned vessel. Our vessel is paired with another vessel.
- The succeeding days familiarized me with the nooks and crannies of the galley. It was half the size of my usual galley in other vessels. I put my stores or provisions inside my cabin and the frozen goods were stored inside the chest freezers and chiller at the messroom.
- Sea-worthiness checking followed. Inspections of ship's machinery, lighting and spaces were conducted so that the vessel can travel safely to the Philippines.
- Customs and immigration personnel made us report personally to their office at Zhoushan. Still, they re-check our status on board the ship at anchorage.
- The first pair of vessels were given approval for travel for just a week of stay at Ningbo anchorage.
- Our vessel, together with our pair traveled safely to La Union anchorage after 16 days.
Still, there's an invitation from the manning company and the owner that we should repeat our performance as part of their conduction teams.
Reasons? They're not going to have difficulty in procuring our Chinese visa once the shipyard back in China release another four LCT vessels.
Filipino Seafarers' Conduction Teams (From Philippines to Mainland China)Click thumbnail to view full-size
Rules of a Conduction Team
As per directed during the pre-departure orientation seminar, each team will always coordinate with each other.
Being a part of the team means the strength or weakness of the group will depend on each other's abilities to perform the job allotted or given to them. It is based on the contract signed at the office and approved by the government's labor and employment department.
As Filipino seafarers are bounded by the contract for, let's say, a week or a month, their payment will be equivalent for a month's salary on board a ship.
Rules to be followed are the ones tackled during our final briefing.
- Observe the company policies and procedure. This includes safety at all times.
- Personal prohibition on alcohol and drugs while working on board ship.
- Maintaining a nice working atmosphere and friendly disposition among colleagues.
Familiarizing the rudiments of every department (deck, engine and catering) will result to less or zero accidents.
The vessel as a whole and sailors, too!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sailors's comfort foods
Each has its own regional dishes or comfort food.
My hunch will always tell me that this officer and that crew will always want variety of cooking with the same ingredient.
Although, I prepared my own weekly menu, it only serves as guide on my day-to-day cooking episodes at the galley.
I will always follow the usual fish on Mondays, chicken on Tuesdays, pork on Wednesdays, beef on Thursdays, fish again on Fridays, and a lot of combination during weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).
As much as I can, I don't want to rely on noodles as their snacks during their watch at night and soft-drinks.
Seafarers are now cautious nowadays when it comes to food preparation.
From time to time, there will be officers and crew hovering at the galley inspecting the way I prepare the food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
There will be leftovers or throwaways that will end its existence at sea for the fish and more, but I always follow the budget requirement daily.
By the way, Filipino comfort foods, include the famous 'adobo' (any meat cooked in soya sauce with vinegar and little sugar), sinigang (also cooked in vinegar) and regional dishes, like 'laing' (driied gabi leaves cooked in coconut milk with hot pepper and strips of pork meat with fats and little shrimps or any variation).
Sailors usually want some taste of their wife or mother's home-cooking, so, I am trying 'hard' to extend the taste on board.
Travel Man's Cooking on board shipClick thumbnail to view full-size
More readings related on this hub
- Amazing Travel Series # 2 - Traveling as seafarer at...
Ningbo City is now a flourishing commercial port in mainland China. As part of my contract as seafarer. I will be part of the conduction team that will bring one of the 10 new ships to the Philippines.
- Royal Dragon Ocean Transport, Inc. - a New Player in...
This sailor attended a Crew Orientation conducted by the Royal Dragon Ocean Transport, Inc., regarding boarding LCT vessel from China to Philippines. LCT industry is a booming factor on the Philippine Shipping Industry.