4-8 on a Coastal Product Tanker

You can pretty much guarantee that my life each day on the 4-8 watch involved the same things, day after day after day. You get yourself into a routine and everything just starts to happen automatically after time. You wake up and go to sleep at the same time, meals were always at 8, 8am and 8pm. The afternoon nap wasn’t something that you planned it started to happen naturally no matter where you were. Yes that’s right. When I hopped off the ship for some time off I would instantly start to fall asleep at 3pm every day. If I didn’t I would find myself curling up in the corner somewhere just to try and get half an hour of shit eye. You were the same clothes, either bridge uniform, overalls or casual gear. You know who everyone is instantly form the distance by what shirt they were wearing. Being a woman you can mix and match things every now and then to avoid boredom. Things like doing different hairstyles. On many occasions I have braided my hair in over 40 little plats. It took me over 3 hours so it filled in basically an entire watch while we were deep sea.
Anyway my daily routine when on the 4-8 watch was basically set out as follows:
0330 – Wake up and get ready for watch.
0400 – Bridge or Cargo Watch commences.
0800 – End of Watch.
0815 – Breakfast, usually by myself.
0930 – Study.
1000 – Morning cup of tea.
1200 – If not doing safety checks or study then may have lunch.
1500 – Afternoon nap.
1530 – Wake up and get ready for Bridge or Cargo Watch.
1600 – Bridge or Cargo Watch commences.
2000 – End of Watch.
2015 – Dinner, usually by myself.
2030 – Study.
2200 – Try and be asleep before clock reads 2200.
Don’t you get bored of routine? What do you do to relax? Do you ever become complacent? These are just some of the many questions I get when explaining deep sea life to my friends and family. Going deep sea you get a lot of time to reflect back on your own life and also look forward to future plans that may happen. I had a friend who went deep sea for a few months and planned an entire world trip for him and his wife when he hopped off. The amount of time you get to pay attention to detail is incredible. Having no distractions around you so that you are able to focus on what you enjoy the most and having beautiful scenery to relax in at the same time makes it all worth while. Sure you do miss your friends and family with being away for so long, but the times that you get to spend together when you see them is like gold to you. You resort back to the old fashioned hand written snail mail letters which take a week or two to get back home when you do actually get into port and send them. Now days though most ships have caught up on the latest technology and internet accessible throughout most of the world. Emailing and even Skype. You can talk and see your friends and family while you are away on the ship so it actually feels like they are there with you.

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