My Life, me as Marine Engineer!

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Yes, I could have supplied some good quality pictures, but I stuck to some grainy old pictures… why?

Well, those who don’t know me, I worked as “Marine Engineer” for about 7 years on merchant ships and oil tankers. Basically I had to sail on ocean going ships maintaining and managing ships engines. Generally there would be 3 to 4 engineers on ship. Ship has a large engine room which is size-wise equates to 6 story apartment complex! So there is lot of work and ofcourse lot of fun too.

So here are some pictures from my adventure.

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TT Damavand, largest ULCC (Ultra Large Crude Carrier) in the wold when built, carried 444,000 Tones of Crude Oil from Iran to Suez, Engine generated 45,000 bhp (Your car generally has 100 to 150 bhp) Top Speed was about 16km/hr
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Bulk carrier ship, generally they are like trucks which could carry anything like rice, cement or anything. These are fast moving made about 30km/h and engines generate about 15,000 bhp
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My ship carrying logs, through Suez Canal, its about 5 hours passage to cross the Suez, and all ships go in line, its a only one way traffic per convoy to avoid collisions as you can see the narrow waterway!
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Ships engine room, this is where engineers work! Temp of this room is generally 55C (130F) yes boiling! And noise level is humongous. You can see spare piston hanging behind me! Engineers are responsible for complete running of the ship and there is no help as you are sailing if the main engine stops everything stops… Titanic story!
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Engine crew always in dirty cloths as an engineer we do mechanical work, with oil, wrenches and engine parts. I am wearing a blue suite(called boiler suite) This picture was taken at Kobe Steel Japan, this factory had their own port! Unfortunately this place completely destroyed in the last earth quake!
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Ships have lifeboats, and weekly we will make sure its running and sea ready, we stop our ship in the middle of the ocean and do these testing. As I am a engineer, its my job to keep the lifeboats little engine ready too. I am there with blue helmet with my little engine!
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Ships control room, this is a air conditioned place and from where ships engines are controlled.ย 
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As engineers we have to make sure there is no leaks and all sounds normal and operating, generally we would take hourly rounds to each and every corner of engine room 24 X 7
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Engine Control room of another ship.
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Me, posing on that worlds largest tanker! This was during Iran – Iraq War and we were paid extra because we were in war zone and could have been fried in seconds!
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Suez Canal crossing,ย 
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Officer and a Gentleman! (Remember that movie?)
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Inspired by George Michael
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Yes lady on board! I sailed with my wife for all trips, basically our honeymoon was on ship!
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Engine Control Room at night is very quiet as there wont be any work other than managing the engines. So my wife always stayed with me.ย 
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St. Petersburg Russia, party on Bridge of the ship, time is about 1 AM!! Yes late sunsets!
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There is always a reason for party on ship! Cheers time!
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Rough seas part of the life!
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In this trip we were trapped by hurricane and had massive damage to ship.

Some interesting things happened in my ship life

  • We were attacked by Somali pirates they chased us for 24 hrs and shot at us by machine guns, but they could not intercept us and finally gave away.
  • Our ship got a hole in the bottom and our engine room started getting flooded, any water flooding in the engine room could be a Titanic Story! we all prepared for abandoning ship too. Contacted shore for help. As we were close to shore rescue helicopter came with divers who went down and blocked the hole from outside, by welding a sheet. We sailed with that patched ship keeping our hearts in hand.
  • My ship collided with other ship at Anchorage, and two ships anchor chains got entangled, and ships started rubbing to each other. Being both oil tankers any fire would ignite the tankers and would be a bomb but then we sacrificed our anchor to release the ship.
  • There was a sick person in ship and air lift was requested, the helicopter tried to land on the ship, and because of the sudden roll of the ship helicopter hit the ship and destroyed in 60 secs!, luckily helicopter crew managed to jump in to water and rescued by us!! ย And ship was taken to shore with all involved.

 

So you see basically it was an adventure filled times for the brave-hearts. But then I decided to quit the sea life and get back normal one! Other side of the mountain always…. bla bla bla

But to be frank me and my wife still we miss that life! Worth the experience! That made us strong as ever!

Wrote this story inspired by this post

57 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks like a great adventure indeed. Your pictures quite interesting too. You have gone through some scary experiences too. Hats off to your strength & bravery !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Raj says:

      Thanks Pooja for the likes and the comment. But bravery part… I am not sure though, we all become brave when we don’t have another choice! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And so well said ” What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger “..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Raj says:

        Exactly, also now I can see how those olden times people did those navigation across oceans without any technical aids..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You must have learnt a lot on ship. Things which is otherwise not possible to learn on plains..

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Raj says:

        Ships life is kind of self sufficient one. Generally we have about 25 crew all together, we have to manage everything from, generation of electricity, fresh water, heating, cooling, cargo handling, sewage … basically we maintain our own small city inside the ship.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. A different world altogether !

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Raj says:

        Yes that’s what makes it special ๐Ÿ’™

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Great to know about you more and your experiences, my very close cousin is a marine engineer and he keep telling me about his work and all(actually, I keep asking him how all that works), but your adventurefull experiences are very interesting…I thoroughly enjoyed it…So how do you started career in IT, Isn’t little boring as compared to your previous work(though my husband is also an IT professional :P)?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Raj says:

      Yes it is kind of sit and do work in IT, but its different and different challenges here too. After my marine life, I migrated to Canada, and job situation was very difficult and I had to switch to IT, but I love IT. Its another amazing field without ends.. but at times I miss my ship too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s awesome. I had always had marine engineering as my preferred stream, but them I came to know that at times you have to stay on the deck for months and hence it becomes quiet hectic. I always had this great respect for marine engineers. Hatts off to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      No marine engineers do not have to stand on deck, that is the job of Deck Dept. But these days because of over supply of engineers in India they put engineers into deck dept, which should NEVER be opted. Only go into engine dept… You hardly have to go on deck, unless there is any repair work on deck. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, later I came to know about the same and I also realized where my interests are. But the respect for marine engineers never became any less. ๐Ÿ˜‡thankyou for your valuable reply.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Raj says:

        Its always a pleasure to talk about it and I go back in time! Thank you for being here! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡My pleasure

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You had one adventurous life ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜€ the white uniform looks so cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž now you work in IT? I remember reading that you are a mechanical engineer but now you work in IT. Ella okay but IT yaake? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      I thought everyone liked IT, there was a time during 2k we mechanical engineers couldn’t get girls to marry because mother in laws only wanted software engineers! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ nowadays everybody works in IT.
        I too worked in IT for three years and then I had to quit. But given a chance, I am not going back. ๐Ÿ˜€
        But even now, most of them want their son in law/daughter in law to either be a doctor or work in IT. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Raj says:

        That’s sad part about our India unfortunately.. parents decide about their children’s destiny!

        Like

  5. DreamTemples says:

    Incredible narrative and pictures! Reminds me of a line from my favourite poem- Ulysses.
    “I am a part of all that I have met, Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
    Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
    For ever and forever when I move.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Raj says:

      Very true words! Thank you very much for the comments and likes. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  6. N says:

    WOW…that’s your life story!?
    It is more adveturous, brave and romantic that any big shot hollywood movie. Thank you for sharing it…I think I am still inside that story looking at the images you have painted in front of my eyes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Raj says:

      awww that’s so sweet of you to say that… Only thing is back then we did not have DSLRs, I had my SLR and it was expensive to take pictures and had to think before you clicked that trigger.. More over I was fond of the white uniform! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. N says:

        The Uniform does look impressive and the quality of pictures gives it a very vintage an real life touch.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Adventures but at the same time responsibility work!! I really loved the way you described the images and overall portrayed you story in terrific manner!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Raj says:

      Thank you for you kind appreciation.. glad you liked it.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Wow! Interesting, adventurous and thrilling all at the same time. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    This can’t be compared with some movie coz they hardly show 5% of what it is in reality that too is already scripted but here you are actually creating the whole story without any clear climax in your head.

    Great to know your experiences ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      Thank you, yes I agree, we all part of some movies .. we don’t know the end, but some take the different path… if its bit more difficult… it will give bit more satisfaction at the end..Thank you for being here! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup a movie with no sequel. Those unusual path gives even unusual experiences.
        You’re most welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  9. K. Joseph says:

    An adventurous life! I have known others from my youth you went into the merchant marines, but this is the first time I am getting a closeup look at how this life is in this profession. You must be tough as nails (as the saying goes)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      Thanks Joseph for you comments.. Actually while working I did not feel like I was strong or anything, now that I left that life I feel… Is a tough job!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      Thank you for the link ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Like

  10. hati03nisa says:

    So interesting… seems like you had an adventurous life๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      Well I tried whatever the opportunity thrown at me.. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hati03nisa says:

        ๐Ÿ˜Š but you smiled very rare on pics ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Raj says:

        You are the millionth person to say that… actually on my facebook .. my profile picture… people always complain that… but I guess I dont know how to smile! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

        Like

  11. shalini says:

    Wow raj… Omg fabulous pics and I especially loved your courage and the personal danger to the trials of being a marine engineer….. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of it all… Somalia pirates sound like a movie scene quite scary..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      It was scary specifically for me … because my wife was on board .. and she was the only lady on the ship… But we ran the ship at top speed and even though they fired at us it wouldn’t do any harm to our metal armor of ship. Important thing is not to let them board the ship..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. shalini says:

        There was a Tom hanks movie with the same concept… But still scary.. My question is what do u do now. I know that you are avid photographer and a good teacher.. U write well on the days u decide to write…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Raj says:

        Yes I have seen that movie… Name if the movie is Captain Philips… It’s a your story…. Now I am heading a IT for a major business here in Mangalore… Associated with educational and other domains.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. shalini says:

        Wow… Big post and big responsibilities… Yea capt Philips… Saw it in bits and pieces

        Like

  12. Aayushi says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Such vivid photos and the information provided almost brings the story alive. And the grainy effect give such a vintage effect to the photographs. Oh and your wife is beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      Thank you Aayushi for being part of my life, That’s a sweet comment about my wife. Cheers!

      Like

  13. Omg. This is my dream job. Amazing post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      Thank you, yes I agree with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    1. Raj says:

      Thank you Pooja for the generous gesture… humbled … thank you very much… well this is my second of that nomination! ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What an amazing adventure. So nice that you were able to have your wife with you. Love the old photos; they really do help tell the story. Thanks for joining the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raj says:

      It’s a pleasure Nancy, but you have the chance.. Thank you โค

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Haley says:

    Wow!! That is one heck of a story! And how fun that your wife got to travel along side you. The pirates though!! So scary.. I am so glad you got away!

    Like

    1. Raj says:

      True, sailing together was fun, actually joined the ship just 15 days after the wedding!! ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

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