Hello, I’m back, I’m back, I’m on the right track!!!

Well that was a line in a popular song back in the days when I was a DJ circa 1973…

I’ve missed the whole of July due to illness… even ended up in accident and emergency and ended up on morphine and several other powerful drugs such that I was off my face! I got an extended bout of severe sciatica. I don’t recommend it! Anyway, I am back full-time and had some great visits to seven vessels yesterday.

         Fire, Fire!! Well that is a first!

I had a good visit on one vessel where I was given a tour of the vessel and my eyes saw something I had never seen on a PSV before… you would be surprised too – can you see it on the picture?

On this vessel they had some excess food stores and asked if I could pass them onto the lads on the Malaviya Seven. This I happily did much to their delight as can be seen in the pictures below.

Thankful crew on M7 receiving food!
Just the job – “bees to the honey pot?”

You may be surprised to read that the crew of the detained vessel, now in port since June 2016 and no pay since the end of September, are still here! The the issue went going to court on the 27th of July and amazingly, despite GOL offshore going into liquidation in May, the Indian Bank who owns the mortgage stepped in at the last moment asking for a delay to prepare a case… This was granted for two weeks so on the 10th of this month its back to court! 

Of course, much has been going on as we seek to support the vessel, from providing stores, to fuel – twice – and water, we endeavour to ensure that the crew are looked after. 

The local newspaper did a little article on them which is opposite.

Yummy, yummy, food and good company!

One of our volunteers has done a lot for the crew and I have mentioned her in previous blogs… She really is an angel! She took the crew for a meal (I was invited to join them, but I was flat on my back at the time!) It would seem that they had a great time! It also gave the cook the evening off! 

A while back I reported on our visit to the cinema with the guys to watch Spiderman. I was given a picture of a few of us – they certainly are not camera-shy!! 

I was then embarrassed when I returned to work when they presented me with a home made ‘Thank You’ card!

Life at the centre continued in my absence and it is to the credit of our wonderful volunteers that it remained open throughout my illness. No wonder they received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, well deserved one and all! Please do get in touch if you would like to volunteer – there are many ways you can help so don’t be shy!

Home sweet home!

One seafarer made good use of our facilities as you can see. “It is good to get a little bit of home when away for so long from family. There are no home comforts on our ship and the couch is great to relax on.” (He even took his socks and shoes off!)

Numbers continue to grow year on year… and we are we are pleased that the facility continues to be well used!

Hospital and home visits continue and there always seems to be one more thing to do… I am so privileged to be part of this wonderful ministry to seafarers! 

There is more planned – the annual Celebrate Aberdeen parade will be on Saturday the 26th of August and you would be most welcome to join us for that!

The Lord Provost is going to be presenting our volunteers with their certificates for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – date yet to be confirmed!

On the 1st of September there will be a launch of the SEA-SHED! You probably are wondering what on earth is that? Let me explain my reason for setting it up. It is quite simple really… I have been meeting seafarers since 2001 in Aberdeen. Sadly, most of the elderly ones that live in Aberdeen I meet for the first time – at the crematorium! This is sad as we have so much we can offer them by way of friendship and support. Data Protection rules mean that I cannot get information about those who retire. So, I thought, why not have a ‘club’ for seafarers!

A Sea-Shed is a place where Seafarers feel at home and can pursue practical interests with a high degree of autonomy. A Sea-Shed offers this to a group of seafarers who share experiences, knowledge and resources they need to enhance their lives in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. 

They are places of skill-sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction. Above all, it is a place of leisure where seafarers come together to enjoy the friendship of the sea.

A Sea-Shed’s activities usually involve talking, discovering, learning and laughing! Although a Sea-Shed will mostly attract older seafarers, it may include younger folks who have been to see. Whichever activities are pursued the essence of a Shed is not a building, but the network of relationships between the members.

It could include many different things, but will include the development of IT skills with iPads being provided to use at the Shed for free; guest speakers; outings; tea/coffee and tabnabs; and plenty of fun and laughter!

If you are, or know of anyone in the Aberdeen area who would like to come along, then please do let them know – doors will be open at 1000 and will last to around 1300 with a light lunch being provided. 

Away from the harbour, I have become a grandfather again with the birth of Rachel Elinor in July. Last sunday we had a family lunch and it was lovely to have 10 of us around the table. The two cousins and mums are in the picture above… and Byron held Daniel for the first time – his expression is priceless! Happy days!

Well, that is about all for now… Hope that you are enjoying your day!

Blessings,

Howard ><>

 

2 thoughts on “Hello, I’m back, I’m back, I’m on the right track!!!”

  1. Hello Howard
    wrote a comment but don’t know if it sent…so I’ll try again…re Sea Shed….I ran a series of very successful workshops for retired mariners in Aberdeen 94-97…brought many old friends back together with reminiscence work etc….if I can be of any use I’d be delighted to help

    1. Hi Tina,
      I am sure that you would be a welcome addition to our team…
      Do get in touch and we can chat it over…
      Enjoy your weekend.
      Blessings,
      Howard ><>

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