As most of us work in the relative safety of our homes, I cannot help but think of the seafarers traveling the world in the midst of the pandemic. Seafarers are going about their day to day routines, bringing us much needed cargoes. We are fortunate that the Port of Wilmington is open and that commerce is flowing.
Unlike us, seafarers do not have the reassurance of family close by. They are not able to watch the news and get hard facts. Many have been stranded on ships long after their contracts ended and others are waiting at home needing to go to work to support their families. Those that are on ships are not getting shore leave. Imagine their fear. If this virus were to infiltrate the ship while at sea, they would have no doctors, no nurses, no ventilators.
Sheltering in place has reinforced to me that I could never be a seafarer. As hard as it is to isolate at home alone, it is nothing compared to their lives. I have the option of going for a walk or watching Netflix. I have learned to use Facebook Messenger so that I can see my grandson and my sister in South Carolina. Those options aren’t available to seafarers.
Here in Delaware seafarers are not getting off the vessel – they are not receiving their much needed shore leave. I continue to visit ships – from the pier and not on board – and am finding a wave from below does bring smiles to the crews up above on their deck. We are delivering things like socks, DVD movies, games, puzzles, soap or decks of cards to the bottom of the gangway. Small gestures to remind each and every crew member that they are not forgotten. Anything we can do to make someone smile is important.
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Our Contact Information is:
P.O. Box 405
Wilmington, DE 19899