Monday, January 19, 2009

Ambushed in Singapore

Well, let me start this off by saying that I am back at the house. Yeah, a few months early. I was discharged when our ship pulled into S’pore.

All seemed well. It was a total and complete ambush.

Our day started at 7am with an oil spill on deck. Every body was called out on deck to try to contain and clean this mess up as we were pulling into port.

Mid way through the clean up, I was told to eat breakfast and bring the ship in (that means to steer the ship into port). It seemed a bit odd. It wasn’t time for my watch. One of the other guys should have been up there. But I shrugged and went on up to the bridge and brought the ship in.

Usually, once the ship is alongside the dock, the helmsman is released to go down to the deck and help to finish tying up the ship. This time, they kept me up on the wheel. Again, it seemed a bit strange, but this is (was) a strange ship.

Once everything was secure, the Captain asked me to follow him to his office. I (dumbly, blindly?) thought that there was some paperwork to bring to the Chief Mate or gangway. Hehe, I was wrong.

He had paperwork allright; for me! I was told that it was obvious that I wasn’t happy and they were letting me go.

“Here is your discharge and travel itinerary.”

It isn’t too often that I am caught completely unawares, but they got me there.

On a ship, there is a bit of paperwork to be completed before you are discharged and sent on your way; payroll, USCG and various other forms.

I was a bit numb and surprised by what was going and they used that whirlwind of disorientation to whisk me out the door and off of the ship. I asked about my discharge being “for cause” and was told that it was from “arguing with the mates and the bosun.”

That was such a laughable matter and so ridiculous that I didn’t even say anything else. This kook wanted me off the ship and was just basically using his imagination (after all else failed) to get rid of me. I disagreed with the bosun, but we never had any arguments. And I only had one real argument with a mate. That one was well known and supposedly taken care of after our earlier meetings.

The second mate was great and the Chief mate was pretty damn easy to get along with also.

But his mind was made up I knew that I wasn’t going to change it. So, I signed off and came on home.

These people are about as shady as it gets. As I looked at my itinerary, I saw that the arrangements had been made a week before. And I had a relief waiting at the dock! That doesn’t happen with out a bit of forethought and planning. Yet, these A**holes were smiling and joking all the way from Diego to S’pore.

There were two engineers that were also let go. They were given all of twelve hours notice. So, again, I felt somewhat vindicated that I wasn’t the only one that was treated like this. They crap on everyone!

That’s about it for now. I am sitting here getting over my jet lag and starting the search function all over again.

I have rather enjoyed blogging this whole ordeal. I hope you have found some sort of amusement/amazement at this world that we have to deal with out there. I have.

Lets see where the journey takes us…

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