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Lost at Sea

first ship there came a point where the Doctor ordered me to leave the ship for a few
days just to eat some food that would give me my energy back. I was almost
malnourished from the stuff they served me there. On my last I ate everything that the
passengers did, and I really enjoyed it! You just can’t imagine what those waiters ate
after they served you your steak and lobster. There are many levels of status on ships,
and your waiters were not high up on the list. Sometimes I was, but the Photographers
were generally considered a nuisance. Nonetheless, my boss Bob Harrow took good
care of us by negotiating with the companies that owned the cruise lines. Julie ate better
than any Cruise Director that I ever saw. There was always the option of spending my
own money and eat the local food of whatever port we were in that day. Of course, this
was often since most places not only had great food but there would be few
Not that I didn’t like passengers. They were not only the reason
we were there in the first place, but they paid my salary by buying my photographs. Still,
it was hard to get away from your job when you lived in a finite space alongside of your
customers. Let’s face it; the crew just simply had more fun. My motto was “Work hard
and play harder!” Since free time was such a luxury, I used it to it’s full potential. You
just can’t imagine the kind of parties that I witnessed below decks. There were times
when a mass of crew could sustain a party for days. People would come and go but the
crew blew off a lot of steam, and drank a lot of beer. This was better than college! I
could just as quickly say that I could remember very few times when it interfered with
anyone’s job. No one was going to crash the ship. You would not be in danger, but your
servers would be much happier.
We also went places together on shore. Many were the times when a
group of us would snorkel, swim, or just lie on the beach. Did I mention that the
Caribbean has a lot of beaches? Yes, I frequented many. We also went to a lot of
“special” bars that you will hear about as you read the pages. Some places claimed
many a good crewmember as road kill. I’m not sure why this happened with such
alarming frequency, but I guess that a continuous seventy-hour workload just led us
there. Funny how that works. Sleep was just not that important. Coming to a port
several times over the months really gave me an edge over the regular tourist. There
were people that actually lived in these places, and I got to know them too. I saw a lot of
the back alley places that the average visitor could never see. I don’t think that the
average person could even handle a lot of those places without a complete mental
breakdown. I guess that is the gist of it. The passengers were there to be pampered and
not think about anything for a week or so. We were there to stay, and we had to think for
ourselves since no one else would. Living on a ship was a lot like living on an edge. You
might think that we were taken care of completely, but a lot of things could happen that
made any crewmember shudder at the thought. If you want to upset any crew, ask them
about missing the ship! You get a few beads of sweat from that one. Imagine your
home drifting away from you as you stand there helplessly watching. You get the idea.
In short, working on ships could be both fun and boring. It could be calm
and leisurely or it could be 70 hours of work. I could see beautiful ports, or some dives
with beaches. The lack of sleep just smoothed everything over. It was the best of times
and the worst of times (where have I heard that before?). As a passenger, you get a
week or so of rest and fun. You cannot imagine just what goes on below you, and a