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Lost in a sea of love
Septic tank
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 9:25 PM
Joined: 02/11/2009
Posts: 79

To make a life on the sea is to learn how to say goodbye to those you love the most on a regular basis. When youth and adventure fill you heart and mind it's easy to say ciao. Time matures and hardens people and prompts men to be wiser and love more than just adventure. The greatest risk for a sailor is sharing everything with another and caring for them more then themselves. Each time I say goodbye to my loved ones a piece of my heart tears open and bleeds. At the beginning of my journey it was all about leaving, whereas today it's all about coming home and sharing life with my bewitchingly beautiful wife and our two vibrant children. They say home is where the heart is and as everything comes full circle I long for home and feel lost in a sea of love whenever I am half a world away from that which is more important than me.
Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 11:55 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

I personally don't know how you guys manage family responsibilty and life as a high plains drifter. The mental stress would be just too much for me. Countless times, while on the road, Ive run into fellow shipmates who are simultaneously trying to cope with onboard scenarios and family problems 5 time zones away.
Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:58 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96

I feel for you Seppo but that's yachting, at least you have the option of going commercial with all the benefits plus rotation.

Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:01 AM
You must still enjoying your work enough to make the choice to leave your loved ones behind. Yachting is not the only industry where people have to leave loved ones for long stretches of time. We should just be grateful that those we love are sitting on a luxury yacht in a glamorous resort and we are not waking up everyday wondering if they have escaped another car bomb or gorilla attack. Spare a thought for service men and their families. Or any of the millions of refugees getting seperated from their families due to war or natural disaster or politics who they will never know when or if they will see again or what horrors they may face in that time. That, and thank the people that invented airplanes and skype so we don't have to wait for the weeks/ months for a letter or contact. Life is not that bad!!

Crew Confessor
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 7:45 PM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94

Dear Lost in a Sea of Love,

You are experiencing feelings that have been shared by sailors since the onset of time.  For many of us in the hands on aspect of the yachting industry, namely the captains and crew, the reasons we have for wanting to get out of yachting are often the same ones we had for getting into it in the first place, ironic to say the least.  When we are young the lure of travel and adventure can be a powerful lure, eventually though the constant travel and lack of personal privacy can become a negative.  That you have a wonderful wife and now children makes you a fortunate man and your writing reveals that you deeply value your family and you have my sympathy for the ache you must surely feel.  I also sympathize with your wife who, while she may not complain to you about her position as a single parent, must surely feel the strain. 

Take note young crew people:  if family life is part of your grand life plan, begin planning how precisely you intend on achieving that, in other words begin laying the foundation for your career when becoming a "family" is a reality.  This may be through altering your career path into that of one of the many feeder  industries of the yachting world (ex. yacht broker, shipyard maintenance, marine insurance, your own business), or plan to work on a yacht that does not travel too often or far afield.  Women should pay particular attention to their future if childbearing is part of their plan, that biological clock thing is not a myth, fertility begins to decline rapidly after the age of thirty. 

For you my dear Lost one I realize that not everyone is in a position to magically obtain a land based yachting gig, especially in our still volatile economic conditions.  If you sincerely wish to remain as a captain it may be the only way to become the full time and present husband and father you wish to be.  If you are amenable to seeking a new career path begin now to lay the groundwork and set to work obtaining the skills and qualifications that will enable you to transition successfully.  You may have to reconcile yourself to earning less than you are now, hopefully temporarily, and begin saving for that now too.  If your new career goals are within the yachting industry try to position yourself for success by taking advantage of every relevant networking opportunity that you can, like so many others, in this business it really is "who you know." 

Believe it or not, many owners are sympathetic to the family conflict issue, and there is more than one owner who has helped fund new businesses for their favored crew people.  Tread lightly here though, would hate for you to lose your job prematurely, before you have laid the necessary ground work for this next phase of your life.

Over the years I have met many older captains who have expressed their regret at having missed out on so much of their children's lives, time and experiences that can never be replaced.  Divorces that probably never would have happened if they had not been absent for lengthy periods.  It is certainly worthy of serious thought and consideration.  The old adage that when on one's deathbed rarely is their regret for not having "worked more," rather it is for time missed with loved ones, that Little League no hitter your kid pitched when you were in the Med, or the first time your little one sat on Santa's lap.  Time and good health are two things that cannot be bought, they are priceless.

So start making plans Lost, and include your spouse in the process.  I suspect she'll be greatly relieved to see a light at the end of the tunnel and you should be too.  As some others have suggested utilize the affordable technology available to us today and stay in touch with your family as much as possible, and resist the impulse when you are with your kids to always be the good guy, when you are there be there Dad, not just Mr. Good Time.

With High Hopes,

Your Crew Confessor

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