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Thursday, 23 November 2017 07:41

Cruising with Batman

Written by Kitchengun206

Since joining pen d-a_BAT, affectionately known as the Batman, has grabbed our jealously by the balls with the revelation that he sails around the world on cruise ships for a living. Today we set sail to find out who the man behind the mask is, the mysterious d-a_BAT aka Bruce Wayne, Captain Birdseye and Catwoman. 

 

Ah so the Batman and his glamorous life, ey? Reading this though, no longer will the jealously burn through your eyes every time he has to take time off PEN to go to "work". 

So what exactly does he do you say?

d-a_BAT: "So right now I'm a 2nd Officer for a cruise ship company".

 

Oh fuck off I'm quiting my job right  now and signing up to the navy mofos! After the delusion of the fantasy of actually working or joining the Navy clears, d-a_BAT continues:

"Before that I was a Deck Cadet, then a 3rd Officer for a cargo ship company. I started as a cadet and the goal is to become a Captain one day. You can't skip steps though - I have to go through the ranks to get promoted - the order is as: Cadet, 3rd Officer, 2nd Officer, 1st Officer, Chief officer, Staff Captain and finally the Captain.

My primary job is on the bridge, safe navigation of the ship, her passengers and/or cargo; in short, among other things, I drive the ship when on watch. And it's fun to drive 200-300m ships with 3000-5000 passengers or millions of dollars worth of cargo on board.

When I'm not on watch on the bridge I work on the deck. As a Cadet I worked as a deck hand (the lowest life-form on a ship :lol:) chipping in with, painting, cleaning, loading cargo, general deck maintenance. Now as a officer I do daily, weekly, monthly safety checks and inspections on deck. In short my responsibilities are to ensure that all fire fighting and life saving equipment is working and compliant with international law; so all fire extinguishers, fire hoses, life jackets, life boats, life buoys...

Also now on the cruise ship I'm in charge of some drills for passengers and all drills for crew. For example simulations of 'abandon ship' where we lower life boats in to the water, or fire on ship, man overboard and so on. That's at least once a week. The crew have to be ready if "s**t happens".

 

Working 14 weeks on and 14 off (ha, get a real Job you bum) does he ever get homesick?

First time as a Cadet on cargo ship was hard. I had to do 12 months in one go on the ship to get my Officer's license. I'll never forget my first day. Sitting in my small cabin and thinking 'f**k 364 more days in this prison'. And it really does feel like a prison - you are locked with 20 people in a metal box somewhere in the middle of the ocean doing hard labor and nowhere to go and the food is s**t :lol:. You start to work and get used to that life and are fine - but it's tough at first! The faster you forget about home the easier it gets. After that first 12 months you get a sense of pride and accomplishment because you know that lot of guys didn't make it, a lot of them quit after first few weeks or months...

This job is not for everyone.

 

This job is not for everyone... Apparently a lonely 12 months for d-a_BAT... hmmm

 

The Batman continues:

"After that I did 6 months (still long) as a 3rd Officer for the same company and am now 14 weeks on/off for one of the best cruise ship companies in the world. It's like going from Dinamo Zagreb to Real Madrid or Barcelona. Looking back, it was all worth it in the end!

 

You still have time for pes then?

"I play it when home all the time. Started during the ISS days but got bored a few years back until I found PEN. I actually bought my PS4 when I was in the USA with my first company :D. I got MGSV with it and bought PES too. I put it in the crew living room and we had a few games... unfortunatly  nobody had a lot of time to play though, including myself. Nevertheless, that PS4 and PES went around the world with me.

 

Taking the console with you, a man after my own heart :wub:

How did he find PEN though, and what does he think of the place?

"One word - well 2 actucally: Love it!!!

"I found it by accident looking for some PES option files, saw the setup and couldn't believe something like this existed. Something I was looking for all my gaming life playing PES and Football Manager. The perfect blend. Scouting players irl, testing them in PES, then negotiating with other managers to get your guy. Brilliant. But the community is great, you can always have a laugh be it in party chat or reading some crazy posts on the forum. Since joining I use my internet for PEN only :lol:. Check the forum in the morning, see whats up in the market, I don't even read the news anymore, I just go straight to Spragga's newspaper thread."

(Ah so your the one that reads it :shifty:)

"Wanna say a big thanks to you guys who let me get back in the league and accommodating me. Especially Riq who pushed to bring me back without me even asking him. I guess he knew I missed it".

And he means it too, signing up as a VIP member and making a frilly donation to a good cause even though he is still rather noobish here himself in PENland. 

But forget all that foreplay we all want to know what you really get up to when you're away from home because as you know 99% of PENners are sex starved lunatics who, if approached by a real woman, would have a mental breakdown and end up in A and E with a mild heart attack. 

 

 "She asked for directions, I replied with 4-3-3, Deadline Day, Auctions , Pro Evo Network, 16M . . . then passed out"

 

Alas we deide to keep it clean for the article but feel free to read all about it in his upcoming book 'There's something fishy about this lass' written under the alias Captain Birdeye (100% chicken choker)

Normally we would cut all the less important (boring :shifty:) parts  from an article but there is no need here, so stop scratching yourself, stick the kettle on, go grab a biscuit or ten and let the Batman give you a little insight into the life of a sailor:

 

"This last contract on the cruise ship, not much to say... But on the cargo ships it crazy. I'll keep it PG-13 :lol:"  

(Put all his FSL and pen privileges on hold till he changes this rating! all in favour say aye!)

 

"We were in Maputo, Mozambique..." the Bat recalls... 

"4 of us went out one night - when we got out of the port a guy looking like Adebisi from that TV show OZ was waiting for us. He even had a similar hat :lol: no joke!"

 

Meet Alfred  

 

"Anyway... he said his name was Alfred and asked where we were from. After revealing that we were from Croatia, Alfred said he has a cousin in Zadar, Croatia (no way that was true but it was funny as hell :lol:) and that he will take us out to a good place to have some drinks because Maputo is dangerous at night. We said sure why not and started to walk with him. We were walking down a street and saw 7-8 people waiting in the dark; acting as our guide, Alfred told us they were dangerous and that we will go the other way. He took us to a club, got us a VIP table and the party was on!  "We all got drunk including Alfred who I called Adebisi for the rest of the night":lol:  But let's skip to the end of the night... Some guys were trying to get to our table to ask for money, drinks or sell us s**t and drunken Alfred couldn't stand it anymore and started to punch the guys. One by one they were falling to the floor. Out cold! The club security just picked them up and kicked them out. The night was almost over and we were going back to the ship drunk with Alfred escorting us. We passed by the "dangerous" looking street from earlier in the evening... and soon found ourselves surrounded with one guy, armed with a knife, yelling and asking me for money. Next thing I saw was Alfred punching the guy right on the chin and the guy was out (Cold) :lol:. Luckily I was also with some crazy Croatian hardcore sailors :lol: and it was on! After few of their guys were out, the rest of them saw they were no match for us and they just ran away. We went back to the ship almost untouched with barely any cuts or bruises. After that we went out 3 nights in a row and had no problems! :D 

I have seen some crazy places and met some crazy people but China is the craziest!

We went out in China, took a taxi, and told the guy to take us to a bar. After some bad Chinese-English communication he told us that with it now being 10pm everything was closed because this is a "small town" and that he can take us to a 'big city' 1 hour away for $100 :lol:. I asked how many people live here he said 3 million! Apparently a big city has a population nearer 10 million! FFS Croatia has 4.5 million people and a 'small town' in China has 3 million :lol:.

We told him to f**k off and went to find a place to have a few beers. In the end we found a guy who took us to a barber shop with chicken walking inside and small children spitting on the floor. We were like WTF is going on here? Like we were in some sort of bad movie. Then we saw the barber bringing out beers. It's a place where you can bring your kids and chicken, have a haircut and drink a beer - we need more places like this back home. :lol:

 

I remember when we were transporting grain from Portland, USA to Hondagua, Philippines - we arrived to what was basically a jungle with one pier to discharge... only grain. A small village with houses made from wood, no roads, no electricity, no running water but 5 basketball courts??!!! The locals rely on fishing to live. They told us that one ship comes every 3 months to deliver grain. And it's like a national holiday when it arrived! And it really was! The locals greeting us near the ship, brought fruit, fish and coconuts - all you can eat! I went out to have a drink and they took me to someone's home; that person had a generator so was the only one with a fridge and a TV... of course they'd be making best use of that vital electricity, right? They had a karaoke machine. :lol: That became the hotspot for us and the locals - beer, karaoke, and luckily there was a Manny Pacquiao fight on the TV that the whole village came to watch! They were also crazy for basketball; a few locals recruited me for their team and I would go out every day to play with them. We were playing at noon in 45 degrees celsius and one of them told us he will bring some water -20 minutes later he came back with small tied plastic bags filled with water. I was like WTF? How do you drink that? So he showed me you have to pierce one end with your teeth and drink before the water runs out of the bag. Who knows where he filled those bags with water so I gave him $5 to grab us something decent to drink. 30 minutes later he came back with one case of Fanta and one case of Coca-Cola.:lol: They were so grateful that they brought me a branch cut fresh from a coconut tree with 10 big green coconuts. 

We were there for 15 days and I met some wonderful people that don't have much but are always friendly and happy. Makes you think.

 But you don't want to hear about that, you want to hear about the pirates? Did I meet Johnny Depp? Yes I did. :lol:

As you probably know there are some zones in the world were pirate attacks are common, the most famous ones are close to Somalia and the Suez canal; there is also the Malacca Strait between Indonesia and Malaysia heading to Singapore. When navigating those zones you need to have some kind of pirate watch if you don't have a military escort.

When I was a Cadet and we were passing through the Malacca Strait, the captain would put me on the stern of the ship to guard against pirates. :lol: I had a fire hose and a broom to fight them off if they tried to board the ship. :lol: One time we were on a anchorage in Indonesia which is also known for pirates and robbers. I was on watch on deck with another guy. One night he heard something from the bow of the ship where our anchor chain is. He went up there and saw a hand reaching up to the deck through the gap which the anchor's chain goes through. It was Johnny Depp! He had climbed from his little boat (at sea level) up the chain all the way to the deck (some 20 metres!). My colleague started to shout which scared poor Johnny who jumped in to the sea and escaped. Unlikely that he would have kidnapped us - probably wanted to steal what he could find on board.

To give you an idea of the sort of distance he climbed:

 

 

A great read, and in all honesty I think we would all love to hear more from the adventures of Captain Bat, but for now we wrap this up and come back to earth with the gaming, the real love of our lives. 

So with all this time crusing, being celebate and PES do you play anything else?

 

"I like all sports games, I had a lot of fun with MGSV, Battlefield 1, GTA V, NBA 2K18 and my game of the year South Park: Fractured but Whole :lol: Give it a go. There are some older ones that I still need to finish like Witcher 3 and The Last of Us and can't wait for the new Red Dead Redemption"

 

Give your fractured but whole a go? Not sure I know you that well, but a cruise around the world may change my mind. :shifty:

In all honestly BAT is a  modest guy and a great addition to PEN and I'll leave you with these words:

"If it makes you sleep better I am batman"

- d-a_BAT

Read 455 times Last modified on Thursday, 23 November 2017 12:52