Pirates, Ports and Porn: Life on a Container Ship

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Pirates, Ports and Porn: Life on a Container Ship

Friday February 02, 2018 Written by suzi

Ever wondered what it’s like to live and work on a 906-foot container ship, making 57 day runs from New York to Singapore? Martin Machado offers up a very cool portal into his world. Here are some of our favourite gems…

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“The VHF radio, which here is not regulated like in the States, becomes a constant source of entertainment and misery at the same time. Some ship will transmit a Celine Dion song for way too long, then the audio from a fisherman's favourite porno will pierce the airwaves.” 

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“When I'm bored I like to put messages in beer bottles, seal them with wax, and drop them overboard when far out to sea.”

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“I am on the 12 to 4 watch, which means seven days a week, from midnight to four a.m. and from noon to four p.m., I am up on the bridge, steering the ship while in congested areas like the Suez Canal, or being a lookout…”

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“As we enter the most dangerous area off the Somalian coast, the deck crew rotates lookouts on the stern throughout the nights. Pirates are known to have Rocket-Powered Grenades; all we have are fire hoses that we rigged to the rails. We have not had any trouble so far, but it can be a bit frightening sitting there in the dark on a calm night with nothing but a pocket knife to defend yourself.” 

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“Shipmates tell me stories of brawls and knife fights on other ships, but typically like in most cases ashore, the really surly tough guys are usually the most sensitive and are the first to fake an injury to get out of their contract to get flown home.”

Read about more adventures here. 

Images: Martin Machado