SOS50 - Many Stories, One SOS: Bosun Haji Eusope shares seafaring wisdom

SOS member Haji Eusope, an active Singaporean Bosun

Brother Haji Eusope, an active Bosun, shares with Samudra his seafaring wisdom and his love for the deep blue sea.

“My love for the sea (and seafaring) really started out when I was young. I was drawn to the science of how a huge ship that’s made of metal from top to bottom, can float. Because ‘conventional science’ says metal isn’t denser than water compared to, say, plastic, wood, or cork. So, why? I then made up my mind—set out a career as a seafarer to find the ‘answer’. Here I am, twenty-five years later and still a seafarer, an active Bosun.”

“If you were to ask me how one can stay in the same vocation for his entire life, I’d say this, ‘Keep having the curiosity. Keep having the desire to learn.’ This mantra has kept me excited every day in my career. That said, this saying isn’t just for seafaring—it’s applicable to every job out there.

Of course, this motivation isn’t the be all and end all. The thing is, you still have to love what you’re doing. And I do. I love seafaring because: one, I can travel around the world. Two, with travelling, I can expand my social circle. Three, with travelling and a widened social circle, I can immerse myself into another country’s culture. That’s when you learn life lessons.”

Brother Haji’s longest voyage was 45 days, sailing from the US to China

“That’s the good part about being a seafarer. The bad? I guess it’s that consistent long and arduous journey we had to complete to keep the economy moving. My longest voyage was forty-five days, if I calculate it right. I was working in a merchant oil ship sailing from the United States—while transiting at Singapore— to China. You can imagine how tough it was on the seafarers back in the day. We had no access to WiFis then. Technology wasn’t ubiquitous.”

“Today, we have almost everything onboard ship. So much so, technology is slated to replace the current pool of seafarers in the coming future. A progress towards automation, people say. But as long you’re willing to improve yourself as a seafarer, be a ‘safe and quality’ one; a team player, and one who has good inter- and intrapersonal communication skills and empathy, there’s nothing to worry about.”

Visit e-Samudra or Issue 6 (20/21) for more stories.