For anybody who has family, friends or a boyfriend on board a ship out there on the high seas , now you can easily find and track they’re ship position at any time online. This is done using the AIS (Automatic Identification System) signal of the ship , which some sites track for free. There are several sites on the internet that do this , however i recommend https://www.marinetraffic.com/ , a free of charge site with an easy to use interface. I present you below an example how to find a ship anywhere at any time. (You only need to know the ship’s name or it’s IMO number )
1. This is the home page , in the upper right corner you will see a search box
2. Type the nave of the ship you are looking for , if there several ships with the same name , select by the type of ship
3.You will reach the ship’s dedicated page , here you will find in the left column details about the ship’s length, tonnage, age of ship , MMSI code, flag. A little further down you can see the port from which it left and the next port it’s going to along with the ETA (Estimated time of arrival) to the port. Scroll down further and you will see a separate window on the left that contains information about the ship’s position and the time when the ship’s position was last updated. If the ship is out at sea, the ship’s position will not be in updated in real time due to the fact it relies on shore receivers. You will see there also a button called “see live on map” . Click on it to see the ship’s position on google maps.
4. Track your ship live on the map , in this case the ship is underway from AU BNE (Brisbane, Australia), going to NZ AKL (Auckland, New Zealand). You can find out easily what each port code means on this site HERE. On the right window we see in this example that the latest position was received a day before on the 10th of July 2019. You can see also on the graphic map that the ship is already very far away from any shore, so the crew does not have a signal to their mobile phones. To speak with your loved ones on board, the ship has to be very close to a populated shore.
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Every sailor has thought at least once during his career to quit sailing but many have been discouraged by the grim prospects of hiring ashore, especially in their home countries, in my case Romania. For seafarers, a professional conversion is a a much greater challenge than for others. It implies not just a change of job but also your changing your entire lifestyle.
It’s easy to think through out your contract on the ship about all those harbor workers you meet when the ship is in port and can’t help not to feel a little envy towards them. They finish their shift at regular times (more or less) and than go home to be welcomed by their families and sleep in their own bed with their wives. In the mean time, you just go 2 decks up to a small cabin where you have to rest quickly because you have to be back on deck for work after just 6 hours. On that deck you have to spend at least 4 to 5 months more before you will ever see your home and family again. For some, the decision not to pursue this kind of life, was taken as early as during their first voyage at sea. I remember clearly a cadet on the ship who decided after 5 months on board that this is not the life he wants to pursue and that he will never come back on a ship again. I kept in touch with him, and the boy kept his word. For others it took more than that, I was more persistent and after trying different companies and different types of ships, I took the decision explained in my article “After six years at sea” to quit. I really felt fed up with it and decided to make a change. Pursuing a career at sea was not giving me any satisfaction so there was no point in doing this…
After six years of life at sea all I’ve got to show are a lot of white hairs, a car, a plot of land, a few good and plenty bad memories. I dedicate this article to all young people who are considering a career and life at sea.
I made my first six months voyage in 2010 during my last year at the naval academy and I was among the lucky few who caught a cadet contract during the academy years… . Now that I think about it, I was among the lucky few from my class who caught a cadet contract at all.
I was happy and excited when I first left, it was my first grand adventure in life, the first time I was leaving home for such a long period, the first time I was going across the ocean to America and on my plane ticket was written Los Angeles. Los Angeles I didn’t get to see that time , I only saw the highway from the airport to the ship. The enthusiasm vanished in less than a week, when I realized that I would spend the next six months sleeping in a narrow bed in a narrow cabin, on a ship with a narrow deck, where everybody abuses you, where you work absolutely every day and where everyone only cares about their own skin.
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I chose this career of life at sea mainly to get to see the world rather than for the money, but I soon realized that you get see the world only through airports transits, or when you are woken up in the middle of the night to assist with the ship’s docking maneuvers. You can also see it in your only 6 hours break time if you sacrifice your sleep hours and if your legs are still able to support you. Port views are usually limited to a large container yard, often far away from any town, usually a 25 $ taxi ride away from the city. There are exceptions of course, ports like Hong Kong or Singapore, where the port is practically the downtown area. On special occasions you get to stay one month in a shipyard, or sit idle with your engine broken down somewhere nice. Sometimes when you sign on or off from the ship you’re lucky enough to catch a few nights at a hotel, then you can really get to see and enjoy the city, but due to economic reasons this happens very rare. It happens sometimes to catch a long port stay in some places, where the cargo operations are very slow due to the management, but this is usually the case in third world countries where you don’t want to stay long, and you definitely don’t want to go the city.
In these years of life at sea I have learned, usually the hard way, that there is no justice on the ship. No matter how many rights and goodwill you have, you will still bite the dust. To survive here and climb in the ranks, you have to step on heads and be like a snake. And I also realized that in an isolated environment if you give the power to a mentally deranged individual who had a bad childhood, he will start acting like he is the master of a slave plantation and will fuck everybody, and there will be no one around to keep him under control.
But this isolated environment also creates good things: you will make tight bonds and friends that in an office environment would never happen. Apparently if you spend a few months, day and night in a small confined space with the same few people, you either become very good friends with them, or you will find a thousand ways to kill them in their sleep and throw the body in the ocean at night without being seen by anyone. If you’re not a racist you will probably become one, because most people on board are. This starts also from the shipping and crewing companies who assign ranks and set the length and wages of your contract based on your nationality.
There is no more honor in this business, virtually all your life you will be a mercenary of the sea, in search of better conditions and pay. Before, each country had it’s own merchant fleet, manned with national crew. Nowadays you are likely to find yourself celebrating New Year’s eve somewhere in West Africa, among pirates, in the company of barbed wire, surrounded by Russians and Filipinos, on a German ship sailing under the Liberian flag. Isn’t globalization beautiful?
And than there is the other life: the life ashore. Your time spent home between voyages, which may be shorter or longer, is not just a vacation, it’s basically a glimpse of your old life from before you started sailing, life that you are trying desperately to cling on to, but with each voyage it becomes more distant and unimportant to you. After 6 months on the high seas, you land in your country for 2-3 months and you simply do not understand what is going on around you. You missed your mother’s birthday, you missed the wedding of your best friend, you missed the latest movies … you missed a lot. And by the time you clear your head and start to adapt somewhat in society, your phone rings and you have to pack up and leave again.
Now imagine what it’s like to start a serious relationship in these conditions. Unless you’ve had your wedding in your early 20’s, or you are in a good consolidated relation with your high school sweetheart, you realize how damn hard it is to start and especially maintain such a relationship. Be prepared to face situations like: you just finished a contract and come back home to find that your girlfriend is pregnant and already moved in with another dude. But the good thing is that because of these situations you will have a stronger character and you will cope more easily in future years. And more important you will know how to select and value those who remained beside you during hard times.
Years of continuous non-interrupted daily work with long hours, little and random sleep periods, eating food of doubtful quality, extreme swings of temperature, years of living in a vibrating and rolling environment where your time zone can shift daily, where the only available comfort you will find in alcohol and tobacco and where coffee in large quantities is your best friend, will have an impact on your body. If you managed to escape serious physical injuries and accidents, you can be sure that you will pay in other ways. Those many white hairs that appeared on your head are just the surface syndrome.
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snow today, tropical heat tomorrow
cargo hold cleaning
another sleepless night at port watch
There is also the good part of the life at sea that everyone is thinking about: the money! If you live isolated on a floating prison, means that you do not really have on what to spend the money you earn and you will put them aside. If you got some brains in your head and at the end of the contract you don’t not spend them all in one shot on a BMW, after a few contracts at sea you can actually think about buying an apartment, a piece of land, or a house with cash down payment. So while your friends are struggling with credits at the bank for the next 30 years, you have a chance to avoid all of this. But as I said earlier, you will pay in other ways, whether it’s with your time, your health or happiness. It is the price worth it? … . That is for You to decide!
Perhaps I am being subjective here, and on other ships, at other companies, the life on board is better. I write to you sharing my experience on container ships, deck department. But one thing is certain: nobody will give you back the time spent at sea.
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Dupa sase ani pe mare m-am ales cu multe fire albe, o masina, un teren, cateva amintiri bune si foarte multe rele. Dedic acest articol tuturor tinerilor ce se gandesc sa plece pe mare. Primul voiaj l-am facut in 2010, eram in ultimul an de facultate si am fost printre putinii norocosi care si-au inceput cadetia din timpul facultatii ….daca ma gandesc mai bine am fost printre putinii norocosi care si-au inceput cadetia in general.
Eram bucuros cand am plecat, era prima aventura in viata, prima oara cand plecam de acasa pentru o perioada asa mare, prima oara cand mergeam in America iar pe biletul meu de avion scria Los Angeles. Los Angeles nu am apucat sa il vad atunci, am vazut doar autostrada de la aeroport la vapor. Entuziasmul a disparut in mai putin de o saptamana, cand am realizat ca imi voi petrece urmatoarele sase luni dormind intr-un pat ingust, intr-o cabina ingusta, pe un vapor cu o punte ingusta unde toti abuzeaza de tine, unde muncesti absolut in fiecare zi si unde fiecare isi vede doar de basca lui.
Dupa cum majoritatea dintre voi stiti nu am mai scris in ultimul timp datorita plecarii in voiaj. Am aproape 3 luni la bord , si mai am aproape 2 pana termin , va salut cu ocazia asta din Kingston , Jamaica , unde este un fum inecacios cauzat de incendierea gropilor de gunoi situate in imediata vecinatate a orasului , si desi nu este chiar atat de grav si vizibilitatea este buna , jamaicanii au decis ca este o scuza destul de buna sa suspende munca in port si sa se relaxeze , cauzand intarzieri in lant la toata programa navei , atat a noastra cat si la restul navelor port-container ancorate afara care asteapta in rada o dana libera ; in cazul nostru intarzierea se resimte mult mai mult , pierzand rezervarea foarte costisitoare de pasaj a canalului Panama ce urmeaza dupa Jamaica. Acestea fiind zise , voi reveni cu articole si reviewuri despre orasele Continue reading “Quick update”→
[for English version article FIND SHIP POSITION click HERE]
Pentru toata lumea care are un frate , amic , prieten , iubit sau iubita plecati pe mari si oceane in caz ca nu stiati astazi exista diferite metode de a afla pozitia navei sale si pe unde umbla respectivul sau respectiva , fie ca vreti sa stiti din motive de siguranta , curiozitate sau “de control” sa zic asa.
Orice nava din lume este obligata sa care in ziua de azi un transmitator AIS (Automatic Identification System) , acest transmitator emite un semnal ce contine numele navei , pozitia navei si destinatia urmatoare , si tot acest semnal poate fi captat de alte nave , statii de coasta dar si de radio amatori care intra pe frecventa potrivita. Exista pe internet site-uri care capteaza aceste semnale si le transpun pe o platforma de genul google maps. Pe internet exista mai multe site-uri de genul , dar preferatul meu este www.marinetraffic.com , un site gratuit , simplu , cu o interfata usoara.
Va dau un exemplu dedesubt usor de inteles pentru a gasi o nava oriunde si oricand (este necesar sa stiti doar numele navei sau numarul IMO al acesteia)
1. Asta e pagina de start. In dreapta sus veti observa o casuta de cautare cu iconul de lupa;
2. Scrieti numele navei , si in caz ca sunt mai multe nave cu acelasi nume , selectati din lista dupa tipul de nava;
3. Veti ajunge la pagina navei , unde veti gasi poze cu nava , iar in coloana din stanga , detalii despre lungimea navei, cod MMSI, tonaj, pavilion si mai jos un pic portul din care a plecat si ETA la urmatorul port (Estimated Time of Arrival = timpul estimat de sosire in urmatorul port). Si mai jos tot pe stanga gasim o caseta separata despre pozitia navei , ce contine ora cand au fost primite ultimele informatii de la nava (daca nava este in larg sau in mijlocul oceanului nu veti primi informatii actualizate). Acolo exista si un buton “see live on map” unde veti vedea nava pe harta in timp real daca are semnal.
4. Vedeti pozitia navei in timp real, cu prezenta traiectorie (in acest caz , nava prezentata este in voiaj intre portul AUBNE (Brisbane Australia si merge catre portul NZ AKL (Auckland Noua Zeelanda). Puteti gasi usor ce inseamna fiecare cod de port pe siteul ACESTA. In caseta din dreapta vedem de asemenea ca ultima pozitie in timp real a fost primita de antenele de la uscat pe data de 10 Iulie 2019 de la o antena din Brisbane , deci cu o zi in urma. Se poate observa si pe harta ca nava este deja foarte departe de uscat deci echipajul sigur nu va avea semnal la telefon. Pentru a va contacta cunoscutii de pe nava trebuie ca nava sa fie foarte aproape de uscat.
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Daca ti-a placut acest articol da-i share, vezi si alte articole cu ce se intampla in Romania noastra din lista de dedesubt , de asemenea vezi si pagina site-ului de Fb GarciaCalavera.ro, care daca va place ii puteti da un like pentru a fi la curent cu viitoarele articole.
Ok , vacanta s-a terminat , duminica pe 6 aprilie am taiat-o la aeroport , cu destinatia finala Busan – Korea via Paris. Voi reveni peste 4 luni cu review-uri din Korea , China , Singapore , India si…. cine stie pe unde mai ajunge nava , va fi o surpriza si pentru mine , charterul actual al navei fiind aproape terminat. Nava este asta ,si astea fiind zise , va Continue reading “Paused – back to work”→
Pakistan- un stat tampon , creat artificial sub imfluenta britanica intre Iran si India , pentru a separa populatia indiana de religie musulmana de restul Indiei in speranta de a calma comflictele etnice , o natie de 180 de milioane de suflete , unde Karachi este principalul port si orasul cel mai mare. Am avut ocazia de a il vizita de mai multe ori la ultimul voiaj , dar niciodata nimeni nu s-a incupatat sa iasa din port afara in oras , mai ales cand stirile roiau de atentate cu bomba recente in oras. Desi PIB-ul si resursele tarii sunt impresionante , toata averea este tinuta in mana elitei coruote , majoritatea oamenilor traind intr-o saracie crunta , supravietuind cu cativa dolari pe zi , sau din agricultura sau pescuit. Pescuitul aici consta in mersul in larg cu zilele in niste barcute mici de lemn , Continue reading “How the other half lives: Karachi – Pakistan”→
Nouadhibou , un orasel cu specific pescaresc din Nordul Mauritaniei , Africa , este mai mult cunoscut ca cel mai mare cimitir de nave maritime. Datorita coruptiei oficilialilor portuari acest golfulet a devenit locul preferat de a te descotorosi de o nava de care numai ai nevoie , sau vrei sa o faci pierduta din diverse motive. Astazi golful este locul de moarte a unui numar mai mare de 3oo de nave , adunate in timp , cele mai vechi si mai erodate si-au croit drum pana pe nisipul plajelor , iar aditiile mai recente inca stau in larg la ancora fara vreun suflet la bord plutind singuratice sau legate in serie mai multe , asteptand sa se roada lantul ancorei care inca le mai tine pe pozitie. Astazi a ajuns un loculet destul de fascinant , demn de scenarii pentru filme postapocaliptice.
Nouadhibou, a fishing town in northern Mauritania , Africa is more known as the largest graveyard of ships. Because of the port officials corruption this bay has become a favorite place to get rid of a ship that you no longer need, or want dissapear for various reasons. Today the bay is the place of death for more than 3oo ships, gathered over time, the oldest and most eroded made their way to the sand beaches and the most recent additions are in still at anchor with no soul on board, waiting to for the anchor chain to erode . Today it’s a pretty fascinating place ,worthy of post-apocalyptic movies scenarios.