The sea calls, out to an old hand, to go sailing to new lands….

My dream of owning my own yacht is getting agonisingly closer to fruition. I now officially have my own sailing craft, a little Tinker Traveller dinghy, which I have got to grips with nicely. I absolutely love sailing it, and it’s reignited that long burning flame of me wanting my own liveaboard yacht. I can at least call myself a WAFI.

The last few weeks have been really good. I’m not going to say they’ve been great, because cavalier use of the word ‘great’- when misused, really gets up my nose.  Every time I see someone on social media say something like “had a great time” or a “great holiday” – I mean, come on… when you think of the word great in it’s correct context, I.E remarkable in magnitude- then a fucking average run of the mill event that some moron has experienced should hardly be deemed ‘great’, should it?  The great wall of china, great white sharks, Great Britain (for how much longer?) – such an angry chap!

Whilst I’m ranting away, I’ve noticed a new strain of motorists on the road, who much like the ‘great’ abusers, are really getting on my proverbial tits- they are people that drive what the motor industry call “Crossover Cars” – Pay for a normal car- and assume the aggressive faux ascendant persona of an actual 4X4 driver, without the cost.  Being someone who gets about 100 miles or more a week in on a road bike, I’m regularly nearly killed by morons in cars, and over the last few months, most of the near misses have come from “cross over” cars, and at least half of those incidents have been caused by this steaming pile of shit.

 

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These cars are often on finance (the stonacre stickers in the back are a give away) and the people driving them have the intellect of a tennis racket. Do you drive a cross over car? If you do- just stop what you are doing and take stock of the situation; yes, you’re slightly higher up with your driving position, but you don’t have the right to drive your wank vehicle like a panzerkampfwagen, and the high way code still applies to you despite your fucking massive car. Anyway…that’s enough of me acting like Holden Caulfield, apologies.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been really enjoying myself working as a deck hand on the Mersey Ferries. During my last shift, as I was saying my goodbyes to the bridge staff, I heard the Captain of the other ferry (two in operation) calling in a distress over VHF, as he’d grounded The Royal Iris of the Mersey, and she was taking on water. Thankfully, no one was hurt; and I walked down the gangway, and left all that behind me.

It’s funny how things work out isn’t it? I wanted to live on board my own yacht, and explore the Med in depth; particularly calling at the more less travelled areas, and I’ve just landed myself a job as a 4th Officer initially, but as you can see from the picture, I have my 3rd officer stripes, so I hope that promotion will be rapid.  The cruise ship I am joining will basically be going around Italy, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, and some others, which I can’t off the top of my head think of. I’m not under any illusions, I know that I will be there to work, but it’s good that I’m at least in the area that I so desired to reside in- and rather than being on a 10m  yacht, I’ll be on a 215m cruise ship. If I can pop ashore now and again, then it’s a bonus! Plus, I can get away from all this Brexit bull shit!

The prospect of coming home from this trip with enough money to actually buy my liveaboard is really exciting me, but I don’t want to rush in. I’ll put away some money after this trip, and then perhaps look at making my first yacht purchase when returning from my second trip next May. This could mean rather than buy a smaller sailing craft, I could jump right in with the purchase of a liveaboard. This is all however speculative at this point, because I’ll have to see if I like cruise ships won’t I? They’re not for everyone- and I never planned on it myself- I always wanted to stay on Bulk Carriers, or perhaps move over to larger ferries. At the moment, I’m feeling really nervous about it. I have no doubts about my ability to navigate the ship, I’m more worried about the people on board. Those of you who are reading this who have gone through a cadetship will agree, that the cruise ship cadets all seemed to be on a different frequency to the rest of us, much like the RFA lot, but perhaps at the other end of the spectrum.  I’ve never been one for uniform either, so mincing around in a costume for 8 hours a day is something I’m not really too excited about- although I did sail with a psychotic Indian captain, that insisted that I wore my uniform at all times when entering the mess area- even if I was there filling up a water bottle. I think I’m just over thinking things, and I feel like I’ve taken a gamble by leaving my job on the Mersey Ferries; but staying as a deck hand, when I’m qualified to be a navigator is just silly, especially when a permanent job has come up, with prospects of rapid promotion.

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Wish me luck….

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