After work – Seafarers about their free time on board

At sea, the workdays can be long and demanding. And even when they’re over, crew members are still far from home.

What do they do at these times to relax and recharge their batteries? We asked seafarers on five of our ships to tell us... 

Beloso Andei Sabordino, Officer of the Watch, “Frankfurt Express”

I started boxing on board in my spare time. I really enjoy using several different fighting tactics to contend with the bouncing punching bag. It’s my own kind of workout routine, and it helps me to relax at the end of the day.

Beloso Andei Sabordino started boxing in his spare time on board
Christoph Gerhard Müller, Technical Officer’s Assistant, “Chicago Express”

After several hours of hard work in the engine room, I sometimes just want to drink a cold beer and watch movies. But I also often go swimming in the pool, or we play water polo. At home, I sometimes go to the “Övelgönne” museum port in Hamburg and shovel coal into the huge boilers of the “Stettin”, a steamship built in 1933. This helps me learn more about the early days of shipping.

Christoph Gerhard Müller (far left) in the pool of our “Chicago Express”
Georhell Amon Juanillo, Electrical Technical Officer, “Chicago Express”

In the evenings, I keep in touch with my family, relax or have fun with my colleagues. That’s easy to do by playing foosball, when everyone is really enthusiastic. Otherwise, my great passion is music, which I play to recharge my batteries for the next day. I’ve taught myself how to play several instruments, and I like to pass on my knowledge to the other crew members or to help them find the instrument that’s right for them.

Georhell Amon Juanillo (right) playing table football with colleagues
Sarah Maria Zimmerer, Officer of the Watch, “Santos Express”

After working for eight to 14 hours, you usually don’t have a lot of free time. So I enjoy it all the more when I can retreat to a quiet place with a book. Ultimately, we are on call virtually around the clock, which naturally limits our time off. And even though we are a super team, it’s different than being with friends and family.

Sarah Maria Zimmerer reading a book on our "Santos Express"
Dascalita Radu Dan Alexandru, Chief Officer, “Frankfurt Express”

For amateur photographers like me, working on board is a big plus. There are so many unique phenomena that you don’t get to see on land. Out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no light pollution, the colours of the galaxy are so vivid. In the pitch black, you can see the Milky Way dividing the sky and being reflected on the water. Seeing that fills me with great joy.

Dascalita Radu Dan Alexandru loves to take pictures on board of our vessels
Rowell A. Gallerno, Messman, “Chicago Express”

I love to cook, and I’m really good at it. I like to try out new things and create little works of art. That’s how I can make the everyday life of my colleagues a bit more beautiful. At home, I like to work in the garden and grow all kinds of vegetables, such as chillies, tomatoes and okra. I follow a set ritual every morning: After morning prayers, I do some calisthenics and stretching exercises and drink water on an empty stomach. After that, my day can begin.

Rowell A. Gallerno loves to cook
Elizer Bedana, Oiler, “Vienna Express”

I often play foosball or table tennis to relax. But the real highlights are our birthday parties and barbeques. There are always yummy things to eat, and they’re also laid out in a cool way. This last Easter, after the classic Easter Egg hunt, we all gathered in the mess room, had a drink, and – as you can see – had a lot of fun together.

Elizer Bedana (far right) in front of the bar on the "Vienna Express"
Leo Ray Mark Vanguardia Tatad, Engineer Officer of the Watch, “Chicago Express” (r.)

Working at sea is like a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes everything goes smoothly, but sometimes the seas are rough. For me, it helps to relax in the evening in the television room, for example, or to play a table tennis match to revive my spirits. Later on, I usually try to reach my family.

Leo Ray Mark Vanguardia Tatad (right) loves to play table tennis with his colleagues
Edifel Caturza, Officer of the Watch, “Santos Express”

There are lots of options for passing the time on board. My favourite is playing basketball. I like team sports, as they strengthen our team spirit – which is something we need here while working together so closely. Sometimes we have parties on Saturday nights and sing karaoke. Staying in contact with our families is a big deal for everyone. For that, it would be great to have better internet connections on board.

Edifel Caturza (front centre) likes to play basketball on board to relax
Victor Galas, Chief Cook, “Vienna Express”

Long voyages can be very monotonous. So I’m always very happy when the routine is interrupted by a shore leave, such as when we were in New York. It was a cool city – and a welcome change for us. The most demanding times for us cooks are Christmas and New Year’s. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen at those times preparing holiday delicacies for the crew.

Victor Galas (in the back, second from the right) always looks forward to shore excursions, like here with his colleagues in New York.

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