Gurkaran Gill (36)
I am from India, near Mumbai. For me it was either going to sea or into the army. I saw this job as an opportunity to roam around the world. I’ve been sailing for 14 years now. It’s a flamboyant existence. You now have a more limited workspace because of COVID-19, but it’s adventurous work, not a regular nine-to-five job. I’ve had coffee in different cities on different days of the week. I have actually seen all four cardinal points.
In my work I am responsible for the cargo. I make the plans for loading and unloading and calculate the ballast, so that the ship remains stable. It is always a big responsibility. It’s only when I get off the gangway on my way to leave that I can really relax. Then I’ll be free as a bird, sipping my whiskey.
I have a family at home. My wife has to adapt a lot to my work. We have a four year old son. After the birth, she stopped working to take care of him, but she wants to get back to work as soon as possible. She is an officer in the Indian Air Force. I want to go back as soon as possible to take care of our son for a while. It is difficult to combine with my work, but we do our best. The thing with sailors is they always say this is their last ship contract, but we go back anyway. The money and the promise of a nice trip are too nice. Maybe two more years.
Once I stay ashore, it will probably be in a shipping-related job. Maybe inspection or at the shipping company’s office.