Freighter travel experiences?
Replies: 36 - Last Post: Jul 10, 2012 9:01 AM Last Post By: gawkabout
Apr 14, 2003 1:38 AM
Freighter travel experiences?So who has actually travelled by freighter? Yeah, I know, it's expensive, but it's something I want to do someday.
Were you bored out of your skull? Did you have any exciting storms? Did you write a novel? Was it awkward beiong stuck with such a smal number of other passengers/crew?
Apr 14, 2003 2:06 AM
I havent travelled by freighter but I have sailed on a 100 foot square rigger from Hobart to Rio. With 56 crew in a very confined space for 10 weeks.......Different situation I know but for the majority of the time, we all got along fine. We were all there because we loved sailing and I think having that in common helped.
And yes, we had some awesome storms......an experience I'll never forget!
Apr 14, 2003 2:14 AM
Apr 14, 2003 2:20 AM
Apr 14, 2003 2:26 AM
4JK - here you go....doesn't sound like my cup of tea...
Apr 14, 2003 2:35 AM
Apr 14, 2003 2:39 AM
Apr 14, 2003 2:44 AM
Apr 16, 2003 6:17 PM
8I did, on my first trip as an engineer, ran aground, ran out of fuel and food, picked up a tow at sea, lost two lifeboats when one sea(wave) came aboard, lived through a Typhoon with wind blowing so hard we went backwards(with the tug) for two days at 3kts, when we got to where we were going, Yokohama, we caught fire!
otherwise it was an uneventful 8months 12 days and 17hours!
Apr 21, 2003 2:58 PM
9I did 7 days from Le Havre (France) to Montréal in December.
And unlike most posts here, I loved it. But if you don't like solitude and contemplation, just don't.
I was NEVER bored out of my skull as the weather at see changes incredibly fast and for anybody a bit curious about a new experience, it's an incredible adventure. Sea is addictive anyway I feel.
We did go through a big winter Atlantic storm (Force 10) but nobody except one passenger and half of me found it exciting?
And yes I did write a journal as cargo trips give you lots of time for it.
It was absolutely not awkward beiong stuck with such a smal number of other passengers (3) /crew (25). The Indian officers seemed quite happy to have me on board actually (not the Captain who wasn't really nice, like most captain I've heard ;-)) as it broke the monotony of their job they said. THere were only 2 women on board.
There were 3 passengers a young Canadian army guy back from Bosnia (who was bored out of his skull and just got out to take a picture of the citadelle when we passed Québec), a middle-age swiss guy (who did lots of cargo trips and just wanted a winter storm for an experience) and me (who wanted a nice symbolic way to arrive to my new country).
I didn't find Atlantic crossing boring at all but winter storms are definitely terrifying but I don't regret it (since I'm alive :)).
42° pitch on a 250 m cargo boat, my laptop didn't like it but survived, not the captain's though.
Feb 2, 2004 12:48 PM
10I've been on four freighter voyages, two of which were more than 15 days.
They are expensive but if you can't figure out how to occupy yourself for days on end, you should not go. The time is broken up by meals, table tennis, swimming, reading, whatever. I did get a lot of writing done. Grammatical concerns aside, the traveller gets a real feel for the size of the world. Flying is a bit like time travel, where you phase in and out of zones and end up a day ahead of behind. Ship travel gives no such illusions.
I loved it, and would do it again.
Voyage 1 was Long Beach, CA, - Tauranga, NZ - Melbourna, AUS.
Voyage 2 was Darwin, AUS to Dili, East Timor.
Voyage 3 was Bremerhaven, Germany to Cape Town, South Africa.
Voyage 4 was from Israel to Italy.
All are on my website. Click on journals to find the relevant entries (Basketball in the Trade Winds, January entries, etc). http://www.mariesworldtour.com . I also went on the QE2 at the end from the UK to US and that was a completely different sort of experience.
Oct 30, 2005 8:16 AM
Nov 24, 2005 2:40 PM
12Went through the tail end of a typhoon (hurrican in the West). Deadheading (empty ship). Rode on the surphace like a leaf. Hurricane threw us about like a doll. Rogue waves hit the side of the ship. and bummmmvvv. The old girl shook like a sheet of tin rattled from the edges. A ship is a living thing.
The crew got to meals through the propellor drive shaft. It was too raging to go out on deck. Sometimes they rig up lifelines out there.
"No money - No Honey"
- seaman's proverb.
Nov 24, 2005 2:41 PM
Feb 17, 2006 1:34 PM
14Not such recent experiences, but I was able to find passage from Vanino (near Vladivostok) in Russia up the Pacific coast to Magadan in July 1993, on a big cargo ship hauling flour and contraband Japanese cars and appliances. Just asked around the port til I found passage, paid $10 total, helped the Russian captain complete a test (in very poor English) for Japanese captaining. Took a week, ate meals with the officers (good food!), then later drank vodka with the crew. The latter was draining, they can drink!
Also traveled from Masala Eritrea to Assab, Eritrea in March 1997, down the Red Sea coast on a small cargo ship. Same deal, asked around the port til I set it up. No charge for the 36 hour trip. Was amusing watching the people pray on the deck one time when the third (or worse?) mate was at the helm, ship kept weaving, the people praying kept getting up and reorienting themselves to Mecca, which was, at sea, a moving target.
I did this more for passage than adventure, but had a great time. Then, and probably moreso now, it was much easier to find passage within a country than internationally, due to maritime rules about repartriation of passengers/crew, as well as insurance company rules, hijacking concerns, etc.
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