What is it about the Merchant Navy that holds the lure and charm of travelling across the seven seas and visiting far-off coastlines?
If you are an avid reader like me, chances are that in your childhood you came across books like Treasure Island, Moby Dick, Master and Commander, 20000 Leagues under the Sea, Mutiny onboard H.M.S. Bounty and other such tales that extolled the experiences of life at sea.
Currently, social media does its bit. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. People have used these sites to post pictures of their life (albeit the good part) and experiences at sea. This does provide an added attraction for those looking to join the sea.
But one must be warned that everything is not hunky-dory as you see online. There are struggles. There are extreme working conditions. You do not come home to your family at the end of a hard day at work. In fact, you may not go back to your room for extended stretches of time if you face an emergency situation which demands your presence.
Laws across the globe are strict and in many cases, e.g. oil spills, place the onus of proving one’s innocence upon the ship. The job profile is tough. But if you can sweat it out, there is no life like a life at sea.