“The landfall has already been made, Engines are on Stand by”, said the Second Mate.
I was standing on the bridge wing with cold night breeze hitting my warm cheeks, giving me a sense of completion of this long, tedious voyage.
“Let the Engine Room know that we have a delay in the pilot boarding”, I told Second Mate. “You can reduce to Slow Ahead and maintain ETA to Pilot Boarding Ground for 03:00 AM”, I instructed.
It was 01:30 am and this was just another odd time we were approaching port. Nevertheless, it was time to work!
Most of the times while I stand on bridge wing, with the lovely lady making her way through water giving me a sense of comfort, often it is the time that I introspect.
I often wonder regarding the vast difference between the two worlds – the first one which is shimmering around the plethora of lights – we popularly call ‘shore’ and the other one – floating over the water with 20 ordinary but ‘not so ordinary’ people – popularly called ship.
These two worlds are ghastly opposite to each other carrying their own upsides and downsides. However, there is one important characteristic, while the ‘shore people’ hardly have the chance to live a life at sea, a seafarer has an experience of living on both. And he does take pride in that!
“The engines are slow ahead now”, called Second Mate from the inside of the darkness of the wheelhouse. “Would you like to have a cup of coffee, Captain”, he continued.
The weather was cold, 2-3 degrees on the thermometer but positive. “I wouldn’t mind, thank you”, I replied to him.
My thoughts rushed back to the previous moments in which I was engulfed in demarcating the two worlds. I did not want to break the chain.
I constantly kept on breaking my head over series of reasonings which ultimately led me nowhere. However, I just consoled myself thinking that both sides has its pros and cons.
While they are with their loved ones, we are away, lonely, tired and withered.
While we are safe and sound, they are fighting a pandemic!