m/s “Kari” rode the seas like a swan, only when the most evil waves of
the Atlantic ocean hit, did she flap her wings. Why was it she was crewed
by harbour dregs? Men who callously walked on her deck and were ready
to leave her at the next port of call, for booze, cigarette and whores?
Often she had to sail understaffed because her crew had succumbed to
the bleak pleasure of a harbour bar. We officers loved her, even though
for most of us she was the last chance before being barred and losing our
tickets, walk the shores and beg a shipping clerk for a opening.
She carried everything in her hull, trucks, tanks, jeeps and even hats for
some South American dictator’s wife. Then she was sold to Bangladesh
too old and cumbersome the owner said, it was all about container ship,
in and out of harbours, quickly. In Hatiya the captain cried his home was
being dismantled in front of his eyes. For us too it was the bitter end, old
and grizzled, no one needs a sailor who thinks of his ship as home.