Days prior to the joining date for a ship can be best described as mayhem. With a million last minute things to do and the stress of leaving family behind, it is not exactly a pleasant situation. From important documents to utilities needed on board ship, many things are needed to be packed. And in an attempt to complete everything on time, a few things are often left behind. Many of these things might not seem very vital, but can help you a lot with your time on board ship.
1. Important documents
It’ll be rare that a seafarer forgets his important documents like passports and CDCs but forgetting lesser important things like certificates is bound to happen. To avoid that, make sure all your certificates are put in one folder and take that folder with you always. Even if some of the certificates are not needed on certain ships it is always better to have all of them with you.
I know it might seem like a silly idea that someone may forget something as important as their epaulettes, but you’ll be surprised to hear how many times it happens. When the joining date of the ship is near it is often the case that they go missing. Sometimes you find just one of them and sometimes they are too old and tattered. Make sure you have them with you a few days prior to joining so you don’t have to rush at the eleventh hour.
3. Nice clothes
For most seafarers a boiler-suit or uniform is all that they’ll ever need on board. But that is far from the truth as nice t-shirts and pair of jeans/trousers is equally important. You may not need them every day but once in while during parties and shore-leaves such clothes become very important. And a different dressing style is always a welcoming change!
If you are on a long-term medication, make sure you carry that with you. Also if there is a particular brand of medicine you know suits you well, take it along as well. Although the ship is well-stocked as far as medicines are concerned but they might not suit you or may not be exactly the same as you need. Taking a few of your own medicines that you are sure you can need is always a good idea. If you have an allergy or a medical ailment, do carry the necessary medicines with you and avoid depending on the ship’s medicine stock for the same.
5. Family photos
There is nothing more saddening for a seafarer than the thought of leaving his family behind. But taking their photographs can keep you happy and make you feel closer to them.
6. Comfort foods
Everybody needs comfort food, and nobody needs it more than a seafarer. Because of the stressful job and odd sleeping hours, the tension and fatigue is bound to affect a seafarer. And this is where the miraculous properties of food come in handy. Carry with you anything in particular that you relish, in quantities that will last you at least 3 to 4 months. For example my husband loves to have mints after food so he makes sure he carries dozens on mint bottles with him. They are not big in size and can be easily stowed away in the luggage.
7. Movies/ magazines or books
Things like movies or magazines are a life savior on board. After the grueling work hours, light activities like reading or watching movies can erase away all the tiredness. If you are one of such seafarers who enjoy watching a favorite movie over and over again, do take them with you.
Addiction to videogames is not uncommon these days, and they are certainly not for children! If you have portable gaming consoles do take them with you or you can always take the PC games to play on your laptop. And when you get bored with yours, you can always share games with the other crew members on the ship to keep yourself busy and interested.
Carrying an Mp3 player is almost as important as carrying a toothbrush on ship. Music not only soothes you but also takes away all the stress and tension that you encounter each day while working. Fill your player with soothing and happy music, which will lighten you mood.
Although taking out time from a hectic schedule is really difficult, but whatever free time is left, can be best utilized by indulging in whatever your hobbies are. Hobbies like playing the guitar, playing chess and sketching can be easily indulged in on board and provide an excellent way to keep mind off the stress of the work. So make sure you have everything you need to hone those hobbies of yours.
You may also like to read-Top 10 Ways to Pass Time On Board Ship