Diary of a Seaman – Part 2

Dec 9, 2013 Any idea how it feels like being on a voyage where you haven’t seen a glimpse of land or even a single ship for weeks together? There is water, 360 degrees around. No sign of any thing, either floating or flying around, not even a passing ship. Standing here on the bridge of my Ship sailing near Madagascar, I look at the skies above with twinkling stars and crescent moon lighting up the dark sky.

We will be reaching china around 27th. We had a little rough weather for the past few days. Today, it’s better. I’ve seen the fury of sea. The storms cause even the biggest ships to toss to and fro like a helpless feather swaying in the wind. These storms can twist even the strongest iron like one who wrings clothes.

There are quiet times too where you can see a glassy sea without even a single ripple on the surface of the sea, except for the wake left behind by the ship due to its propulsion. This sight is astonishing when seen from an airplane. The best part of this sea-life is, a silent and a pollution-free atmosphere where I can hear nothing else but the whisper of wind in my ears. The sun heats me up and the cold sea-breeze blowing just enough to keep me warm.

Wow, what a feeling! We get to see both extremes of climate at sea. In Saudi Arabia temperatures could go above 50 degrees Celsius and the other extreme in Russia where it goes well below -10. In these cold conditions, the sea freezes up forming islands of ice that you can walk on. An Ice breaker moves ahead of the ship cutting through the ice to make way for it. This gives opportunity to see the sea cotton-white all around, instead of its regular blue. This sight is bliss to watch.

In the Bahamas Island you can see a natural aquarium where beautiful fish of many hues play around the ship. A few areas like the south of Sri Lanka, giant Whales show up giving a Mariner an uncertain doubt looking from afar whether it’s an uncharted island or a submarine. It’s exciting to see a fountain springing up from the huge animal’s forehead. Hundreds of dolphins dance around the ship; sometimes racing with the ship, jumping-out and diving in synchronization with each other, making it a million dollar worth sight to watch. Thousands of seagulls flying above and countless other birds diving into the sea and coming out fish can enthral bird watchers. At night, there are places where glittering creatures in the waters show up out of nowhere like a billion radium dolls placed in the sea.

The shooting stars flying above the head every now and then give an observer a doubt if someone is lighting up fireworks in the sky. One day, I saw more than a dozen of these meteors within a couple of hours and thought so. The  different types of clouds- some are scary thunder clouds others which are gentle looking. They reflect the sun light creating beautiful scenery of various colours like pink, orange and yellow.

The best sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset can be seen only at sea because there are no obstructions. The rising sun shows up so vehemently that it looks like it will vaporize the sea. The moon, when rising or setting would look as if it would freeze up the sea. These are excellent to watch when  the sea is calm. The reflection of  their light in the sea is extremely beautiful. No photo/video camera has ever been invented which can capture this beauty at sea.

I have worked as a mariner for 7 years, visited 30 countries, and touched the coastline of around 27 countries. Psalm 107:23, 24: “Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep.” I have experienced the beauty and awesomeness of this verse! I wrote the ‘Mariner’s Song’ based on this verse which is used in UESI ministry.

When people around ask me About my life at sea
I smile and describe the works of God Almighty,
And His Marvellous wonders in the deep.

1. The Biggest ships and sea lie as humble as can be,
With engulfing waves tossing them in all of its fury
When men cry out to God of all glory
He reaches down, picks them up, to be a living testimony.

When I see the dolphins dancing and hear the oceans roar
When I sail gazing at the rainbow When I feel the whispering sea
breeze and hear the thundering clouds
I behold an amazing God.
I’m amazed at how great You are!

2. When the sun sets fire to the skies
And the moon brightens up my eyes
The myriad stars point me to the Maker above
As I stand speechless, captivated by the Maker of it all.

Great whales describe your greatness
Coral reefs display your beauty
The deepest oceans bring forth your love
The highest mountains declare your majesty.
Even after writing about so many things, I must admit that the most negative point in this career is the lonely life here. Especially for Christians who don’t have any Sunday service or any kind of fellowship.

In my career I have seen only one believer with whom I could sing, worship and pray. During my visit to so many of these countries, I should say that the adversary, the devil walks about whom he may devour everywhere. Especially when one is far from the herd (fellowship). But I can say boldly that 2 Pet. 2:9 is true in my life which says ‘the Lord knows how to deliver the Godly out of temptations.’ And I also love the starting of the verse Jude 24, now unto him that able to keep you from falling . . .”

I read the Word of God, sing, play guitar and harmonica, worship and pray in my room. Moreover, I know that there are many saints who are praying for me every day. I only have fellowship through e-mails. I do share the good news with a few when I get the opportunity. Without doing all this, it’s almost impossible to stay connected to Him.

Feb 10, 2014

We are at anchorage now. Anchorage is a place where the ships can safely anchor without fouling their anchors because of the numerous submarine cables and various other obstructions at sea.

You know something good happened here. We had a pilot on board our ship from Nigeria, never met such a believer from a marine background these many years. He is a pilot (for ships) in Nigeria and we were talking for hours on Saturday. He accepted the Lord after years of tear filled prayers of his wife. He is now 60+ and told that he regretted not accepting Christ at an early age. His wife used to suffer a lot earlier but they are a happy family now. He said that he too experienced so many different situations especially, the ship
wrecking storms!  He gave me a few tracts, Christian magazines and also the Sunday school manual (its actually not for kids) but for adults. It has topicwise study material. He has his  Bible and Quiet Time diary with him wherever he goes. I’m very encouraged after talking to him.

Feb 13, 2014

We have started now from Nigeria. We will reach Gabon in a few hours from now. I thank God for the glorious hope I have in Him . . .
Psalm 104:24-25, O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom thou hast made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is the great
and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both great and small.

Prem and Jeslyne Isaac

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