Jose Fernandez picks up a piece of paper with dramatic flourish and tearing it asunder, declares, ‘I don’t quit!’ He then goes on to explain he’d actually sent in his resignation by email earlier that day and would have to walk the four decks up to the bridge to speak to the captain and tell him not to open that email, but we got the idea.
The reason for his change of heart? “That eclipse was the coolest goddamn thing man,” Mr. Fernandez explains. “In fact I can’t remember the last time I stepped out of the bridge on watch. I think it was that time we were looking for Sam, even though everyone knew where he’d gone. And that was 8 years ago now. Poor Sam.”
Across the seafaring industry, in online forums, Twitter, Facebook, and in person, reactions were the same; the eclipse was pretty damn impressive and served as a reminder as to why many were drawn to the sea in the first place. A selection of posts here:
“Haven’t seen all the crew in one place without lifejackets on ever,” Tweeted a deckhand on the cargo ship Never Home.
“Actually put the fourth season of GoT on pause to go out on deck.” Said another in a private forum called ‘Role-Players First, Sailors Second. Unhand Me Good Sire.’
“Was going to quit and try to find something shorebased, maybe in hotel management or waste disposal, but seeing that ochre orb hanging high in the heavens like a glowing portal to a happier dimension, really reminded me why I spend my life on a giant metal box moving shit no one really wants.” Posted Capt. Anonymous on his blog ‘I’m Captain Anonymous, Who The Fuck Are You?’
A canvas of vessel management companies this morning confirms that resignations are down and crew morale seems at an unusually high level today, following the celestial event shared by millions.
“I would put spirits out on our boats today at slightly higher than, ‘I think I might manage a shower today’, which is a damn sight better than it’s been the last few weeks, hovering somewhere between ‘Who cares?’ And, ‘Not me.” Says Dermot McDermaid, lead operations therapist for Maersk.
“Our usual daily attrition rate sits at about 30%.” McDermaid confesses. “People who don’t quit that is. It’s all we can do to keep up. We’ve had to start chartering daily flights from Moscow, Manila and Colombo just to make our manning requirements. Life on the water is tough, and if I can be frank; devastatingly boring. An event like this does wonders for raising interest and taking people’s minds off the fact that they are literally being paid to sit in a chair in the middle of nowhere far away from everyone they love.”
With consensus across the board being that a celestial occurrence such as this is a solid win for those who spend their time on the water, eyes have turned to working out when next seafarers can expect to witness a similarly uplifting event. Reaction to the answer has been understandably muted.
“I was hoping for something more along the lines of next Sunday night.” Admits Mr. Fernandez, reaching for his ripped piece of paper and a roll of scotch tape. “2033? Yeah. I won’t be out here for that.”