Saw a Facebook post about someone who quit or turned down a job because they didn’t have WiFi onboard. As expected lots of guys (mostly older) were ripping on him and complaining about how soft this new generation is, saying we can’t live without technology.
I’m in my early 30s so I guess I’m technically young but my thoughts were I probably would have done the same haha. I get and agree with the thought process about not wanting guys glued to their phones and TV on watch, but given the fact we spend half to 2/3 of our lives away from home the least a company can do is cough up some money to let us stay in touch with our family or unwind with some tv in our rooms after a long day.
And I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of older captains and mates I’ve caught scrolling endlessly through Facebook or some lame dating website while they’re supposed to be standing a navigational watch!
I’m in my early 40s. If I don’t have cell service at least every few days, I would not take a job with no wifi or at the very least can use a satellite phone or email. I wanna hear from home every few days. When I first started out I dealt with using payphones when we hit the dock. Those days are gone.
As far as tv goes, that doesn’t bother me too much. On the boat I’m a reader.
Gotta take the good with the bad sometimes though. Can’t find the perfect job where you are able to check all the boxes.
Captain: “My mistress may be the sea, but the thing is… that’s just an expression. There ain’t really no sex involved.”
Maybe because there was no realtime communication with home when I started sailing that the idea of being disconnected isn’t such an issue with old timers. Now, I haven’t sailed in many years, but I do spend some time at sea for work purposes. Having connectivity is helpful in getting reports out, but I also carry books with me for those jobs where I am going to be gone for a bit.
I agree completely. They can keep the TV service, I’m happier without it. I’d rather read. But cut me off from communicating with the outside world? Fuhgedaboudit!
I’m in my 40’s also and spent many years without any communications while onboard but now I will not work on a vessel that does not have wifi and a sat phone available for casual use. Those days are over and will never be back.
^This^ is absolutely the right attitude to have, but it’s always hilarious to me how many old timers have the opposite attitude, such as in the Facebook post that the beginning of this thread referred to.
“Life was awful back when I was your age so you have no right to complain now that things are better!”
Pound sand, old man (not you, @coldduck, the hypothetical old man in my fictitious quote above). By that logic then we should just keep regressing back and back and back. “YoU hAvE nO rIgHt To CoMpLaIn AbOuT lIfE oN yOuR mOtOr VeSsEl BeCaUsE i HaD tO sTaRt On A sQuArE-rIgGeD sAiLiNg ShIp!”
There’s a lot of days that are behind us and that will never be back, and that’s for the better. We should all look forward together now, and wifi is firmly a part of that future, no matter what some thrice divorced old captain who doesn’t want to call home anyway says about it.
Not to mention a lot of people manage their bills and banking completely online… not having wifi in this day and age aboard ships is almost ridiculous.
The old timers moaning about millennials rejecting job offers because of lack of wifi still aren’t clued in to the fact that you can even pay bills online. Their 20-year-junior fourth wives like it that way because they have to leave the checkbook at home for “housekeeping” purposes.
I do like being able to talk to the family as much as i can when i am gone. TV is good. What it should be about is crew comfort offwatch. Being able to see/talk to family. Wind down after a hard watch. Crew comfort should come in the form of good quarters, fresh and healthier food, access to communications, and workput or recreational equipment. It is an aspect that is severely lacking across the industry in my opinion. When i set sail we had email access that cost us and i always asked my family to not just reply, because we were charged by MB. So TV in moderation, wifi, limitations and riles (which are in place during watch hours) should be brought into every companies operating budget. Amongst the forst things to be reduced during down cycles tend to be the VSat budget. So as the mariner sacrifices his time away, for the rewards of course, it should take into account that we are not Dana lovomg before the mast, but perhaps another Spithead is in the future.
Exactly, it’s our home away from home. Been on a couple boats that just felt like a steel prison on the water. Always counting the days to crew change. Throw in some asshole captain and it’s quite a miserable experience.
How else are they gonna take their boyfriends out on all those nice dates?
Tried getting into reading myself, but unless I’m really into a book I usually find myself to brain dead after watch and would rather just mindlessly watch 30 min to an hour of tv.
I’m all for the WiFi and TV onboard but for example, I don’t appreciate my junior who was FaceTiming through a maneuver. I pull out my phone and take pictures/videos all the time while working. Half the time for work, half the time for the gram. I kindly asked him to kill the live feed and take a video if he wanted to show someone what we were doing during maneuvering. It’s a blessing and a curse.
That shouldn’t take into consideration wifi and comms onboard, that should be towards company policy and not having your phone on watch as a standard. Off-watch if you want to be an Instagram influencer while onboard - I am all for it - more publicity for our occupation will only help.
As I’ve posted before, back in the old days I had my HAM gear on long trips. Phone patches and messages were no problem for the crew.
I just had a flash back to the turn of the century. The company was transitioning from SSB to SAT-COM. The satellite services were very expensive back then. We had a service of “canned messages” that was the cheapest that just required to log on, send and log off. On one trip to Brazil, the GM had an apoplexy over a $!0K satellite bill. Seems the new hire 2nd mate spent the 12 to 4 watch surfing the internet. He was perplexed why they didn’t call him back for another trip…
I agree but I (and our company) don’t have a specific policy on whether or not folks can have their phones in the engine room. We don’t stand watch so it’s rare that there is opportunity for them to bring out their phones while actively working. If I see something unsafe or intrusive to our work or company policy I address it to the engine team as a whole so they know why we shouldn’t have our phones out at certain times. As for myself, if I have my phone with me it is because I am using it as a tool. Typically taking photos or videos to share with shoreside folks be it purchasing, the port engineer or a repair vendor. I usually carry the CE phone unless it’s really crappy, then I carry my own if I need good resolution. If something I have taken a photo or video of will not get me in trouble then I might share it on social media for my family and for visibility of our work.
What deep sea union companies don’t have WiFi anymore. The last I heard the prepositioned ships don’t but you can easily buy a cellphone/ WiFi card and get the service from shore. The last commercial company I heard with no WiFi was the crowley AMO tankers. Is this still true?