merchant mariner families

...a highly unusual, sometimes maddening,
but mostly comical way of life.

June 25, 2014

day of the seafarer...

Of course you know by now that it is officially the Day of the Seafarer all over the world.  A moment when we take the time to thank all of the men and women who bring us 90% of what we live with each and every day.  When I look around the house, it's stunning to think of everything that was brought here by sea.  But what's even more incredible is to know that despite such giant contributions to this world, the life of a seafarer is still a fairly anonymous one, which is why the IMO and other organizations are making such efforts to put a face on the shipping industry.     

I could definitely go on and on about what seafarers have brought me of a tangible nature, of course we all could.  But what I wanted to write about today was what one seafarer, in particular, has brought me and I'm not referring to Beady's Law or any myth/legend about sailors.  
(Although that would be funnier.)

What I'm referring to instead, are the most important things, the elements of life that are so sweet and help you get through the rougher times we all encounter.  

To begin with, Beady has brought me a tanker full of memories from all the travels and adventures we've experienced over the years.  His job, and the schedule that comes with it, has given me the opportunity to see so many parts of the world with him.  Places I don't think I would have ever seen had I not married a seafarer.  I love him so dearly for that. 

And of course, there's the love.  This seafarer has brought me an endless amount of it from the day we met.  It's a well I draw from repeatedly and what gets me through the tougher parts of Merchant Mariner Land.  Many, many times, when I've been at my darkest and thought, 'Why do I do this to myself?  Why have I married a man that's never here?!' I stop and consider the alternative.  That's always a slap in the face, a wake up call, because I'd rather be with the man I love for half of the year than not at all.      

 But the most important thing Beady has brought me?  What's more important than love you ask? 


Yup, this boat would've sunk a long time ago without it.  Laughter has always been a critical part of my life from the time I was a wee one, and I can't imagine how I could possibly do without it, especially in this "line of work."  Now he doesn't make me laugh 24/7, or even daily, but he so often pulls out this huge moment of humor and I deteriorate into fits of laughter that border on asphyxiation.  And the lack of oxygen, for however many minutes, is completely worth it.  Worth the sadness I feel at dropping him off at the airport, worth the anger I feel when the furnace breaks down or the car starts smoking, worth the birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays he might miss.     

 So for me, life is good because this seafarer has brought me my fill of the world, my fill of love, and my fill of pee your pants laughter.  And now my wish for you is to take a moment to appreciate all of the "stuff", tangible and not, that your seafarer has brought you.  And remember, sometimes the best gift they give us?  Leaving for a few months, everyone needs a time out now and then!  

Copyright 2014 Callie's Mariner

June 14, 2014

father's day at sea...

     How many Father's Days must my father have spent at sea?  Most likely a lot though I can't remember a one.  Why?  Because it didn't matter.  He was my father 365 days of the year, not just for a day.  He still praised me over the phone when I experienced moments of excellence, listening intently as I described every boring detail of the occurrence.  He spoke sternly to me from shore-side, in whatever country he was in, when he heard I was giving my mother an excessively hard time.  He assigned me tasks at home from letters sent quickly in between ports, ensuring I wouldn't turn into some lazy, good-for-nothing teenager who wanted nothing else in life but to lay down.  And most importantly, he constantly told me how much he loved and missed me when he was out to sea, whether I wanted to hear it or not.


     Yes it was an unconventional way to live, being apart for half of the year, but it didn't tarnish our relationship, we were never wrecked.  His presence was felt in that house, gone to sea or not, every day.  And if Father's Day rolled around and he wasn't there, we planned for the day he would be, as the cards and presents were put aside for his return.  He was, and still is, the very best father I could ever have and he managed the best way he knew how, despite the limitations Merchant Mariner Land dictated.  

    So Happy Father's Day to my dad and all of the other fathers out there who, for whatever reason, must leave their loved ones from time to time in order to earn a living.  You are missed constantly, you are loved incessantly, and you are appreciated all the days of the year, not just the ones for which you are home. 

                                                          I love you, Daddy! 
   Happy Father's Day and thank you for absolutely EVERYTHING!!!  

Copyright 2014 Callie's Mariner