A Very Merry Ship-Mas.
Posted: December 15, 2021 at 7:00 am
CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS ON BOARD
We know it is not quite the same as being at home, surrounded by your family, but spending Christmas at sea can be fun too!
We asked some of our seafarers what they do when they are on board over Christmas, and we got some great answers that cover the good, the bad and the ugly, as well as some tips to make it as fun and festive as possible.
A common theme in the responses was that Christmas is a communal occasion, everyone pitches in and does whatever they can to create a fun, festive atmosphere and keep the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ alive! We also discovered that a tradition of the Senior officers cooking for the crew remains active today on many vessels.
HAVE A HOLLY, JOLLY CHRISTMAS
Onboard some vessels, the crew commit to wearing Christmas jumpers on the big day, and can often be found singing Christmas songs in different languages across the vessel. They manage to have a fun, festive time, even while working!
A few seafarers told us they always have a Secret Santa with the entire crew involved, so that gifts can be exchanged in front of the ‘tree’. Not all vessels put a proper tree up, but some have decorated a makeshift tree, and most get some form of decorations up which helps them get into the swing of Christmas.
Another crew member said that Boxing Day is more important: all crew members put on Hawaiian shirts to enjoy good food and fun together. Must be quite a sight, we’re still waiting on the pictures!
Several seafarers said that there was always a suckling pig on the spit roast, what a Christmas feast! We’ve heard from lots of crew that their Catering team pull out all the stops to make the festive meals special and they appreciate the effort.
One seafarer, who has experienced Christmas in different countries, said when in the UK they always sat down to a traditional Christmas lunch, however when in Brazil, the crew got together at midnight to enjoy a traditional Christmas feast. Embracing different ways of celebrating Christmas is just another part of being a seafarer.
Not everyone was so jolly, and a few seafarers said they liked to sulk alone in their cabins!
We all know in the Marine Industry that work doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas. Crew members on watch often find themselves eating their turkey alone because nobody can relieve them from their position. So spare a thought for the crew on watch this Christmas, and if you’re at sea pop up to say hello and spread some festive cheer.
Top Tips for Christmas Offshore
If you are struggling with the thought of Christmas on board, here are some tips to try and make life a little more festive whilst away from home.
- Be sociable! We understand that after a shift you may want to shut yourself away in your cabin, however, heading to see your workmates to wish them a “Merry Christmas” and enjoy some food together will lift your spirits, and fill your belly.
- Get Involved – whether it’s secret santa gifting, Christmas jumpers or Hawiian shirts, it’s always more fun to be part of the festivities.
- Christmas 2.0 – Plan a belated Christmas with your family when you get home. Get all the trimmings, open presents and celebrate as if it was the 25th of December all over again… even if it’s months later!
- Contact Your Family – Plan a video or phone call home to speak to your loved ones, send festive greetings, make plans for the Christmas party you’ll have on your return.
Whatever you do, the team at Clyde Marine Recruitment wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.