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Struggle with the Time off

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  • Struggle with the Time off

    Hi all,

    as the title says I really struggle with the time off ship and i think it is going to be the reason i stop working at sea in the very near future.

    to add some context: I work offshore 28on/28off and do enjoy the work but i cannot stand this time off - I get so incredibly bored! not aided by the fact that i'm 22 and have a very small number of friends and cont see them all that often because they all have lives of their own and work when im off.

    What do you other officers do in your time off to stop yourself getting so bored? at this point I would go as far as to say I am desperate!

  • #2
    Why not study something, volunteer for a charity, take up a hobby. I can assure you working a five day week, when it rains every damn weekend, with 4/5 weeks holiday spread over a year, not getting the exact weeks off when you want them is the flip side. You get half the year off. Is your pay only half that of your friends?


    • #3
      First of all I think you are completely and utterly nuts to complain about your leave!!! There are many on contracts which are way worse than yours that would kill to have your leave ratio, providing you are paid 12 months of the year and at a decent rate of course.

      Secondly I think this is a mindset problem. I was similar 30 odd years ago working on crankers in the North Sea, but I had loads of hobbies. So leave in the winter meant I went off skiing, leave in the summer off to the beach on Anglesey with my windsurfer. I became an instructor at both! I was also into scuba diving and so holidays abroad meant I was 30-40 metres down exploring the depths. All of these things meant I was off meeting people with similar interests and on their hollybobs which meant I found girlfriends this way as well. When I had girlfriends it was a bit different, fortunately one of them had a dad who owned his own construction company, so rather than be bored whilst the girlfriend was at work I was learning trade skills by working in all the trades as a labourer when I wanted. You can only imagine the pain in your shoulders the following day when you have spent an entire day holding up and fixing plasterboard to the ceilings of an entire house, but al least I was learning new skills, keeping fit, having a laugh and earning enough cash in hand to treat us both to some stonking nights out and weekends away.

      When I did not have a holiday booked, girlfriend, hobbies to do it was a painful 28 days because nobody was allowed out to play because they were all working in the day. If I did nothing in those days I hated my leave and it also felt as if it was wasted. You soon get into a mindset that tells you that you are working for nowt!

      Now if you have to take into account tax reasons for being out of the country then one leave in October or November is dirt cheap on an all inclusive to Cape Verde for £700 for a fortnight - so go and learn to sail, parasail, dive in lovely conditions.

      I also fly kites, big ones, which have given me a few problems in the past as I broke both heels in one incident, but it is cheap, easy to learn, years to master and good exercise. There are many clubs.

      There are literally thousand of things to do, and very soon you will think your leave is not long enough. The Hatchling is due home on 10 weeks leave in a week or so , he has 2 weeks scuba with us booked, a drone pilots course for a week, and a week off with a mate somewhere warm last minute. By the end of it he will moan the leave was too short!

      Desperation over long leave is a state of mind - change your mind, and if all else fails go and do somebody else some good and volunteer in any number of ways to help those less fortunate!

      You can always PM me and I will give you my landline number and we can have a chat.

      Lecture over!

      *Steps off Orange box*

      "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
      "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

      "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.


      • #4
        I love Hatchorders posts, take the opportunity to give him a call, his bark is worse than his bite.


        • #5
          I was similar when I came home from my first ship after qualifying. New hobbies help tremendously, especially ones that you can do during the daytime while your other friends are working etc. For instance, I took up paragliding, though that mostly involves 'parawaiting' for the wind/weather to be right; at worst it involves a nice hike up a hill, a lunchtime nap and then a walk back to the car


          • #6

            Develop some addiction, drink, drugs, hookers etc. your time off will go quick!


            • #7
              Find something you like doing and turn it into a business , there are so many cheap ways to start a website and make a few quid on the side , oh and the tax complications are easy to deal with if you launch it all in a SIPP. When you get up treat every day like a work day and make a start.Get out of your PJ's , make a routine of getting ready and get on with it. Personally being stuck on a tin can for any length of time I would take it outdoors and get as much exercise as possible along with turning a penny.


              • #8
                I volunteer for several charities, an independent lifeboat and a charity rescuing whales, dolphins and seals. They both appreciate having a seafarer available.

                Also look at side work if your contract allows it, there’s loads of interesting short term subcontracting jobs about.

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