CYCLONE PHAILIN(Sunday 13-10-2013) :- Thankfully the damage to life is not extensive due to the preventive measures taken by the Government in evacuating people from “COASTAL AREAS”.The port of Paradip in Orissa was on the Cyclone radar and ships in that port were told to hoist anchor and sail into the “High Seas” to avoid the Cyclone.During my shipping career we were once anchored in Paradip port in 1983 for almost a month and hence the cyclone incidence of 2013 refreshed my memory.Later i was transferred to another ship named “M.V. Lok Vinay” and In 1984 our ship “LOK VINAY” was anchored in Madras Port(Chennai). Suddenly a cyclone warning was given. All ships were told to heave anchor and leave the Port for the “HIGH SEAS”.Our ship did the same and tragically we sailed right into the “NOVEMBER 1984 MADRAS CYCLONE” storm.We drifted in the “
HIGH SEAS” for approx 2 days with no contact with shore, the ship floating but not moving forward due to the “CYCLONE WIND SPEED”! Destiny was kind to us and we finally limped back to “Madras Port” in one piece, shattered, scared but alive. My co-batch mate and co -5th Engineer on “Lok Vinay” Mr Rajan.Vardhan is proof of this event in our sailing lives.Today in 2013 Mr Rajan.Vardhan is still in the Shipping Industry and when we last met, a Surveyor in “Bureau Veritas”.Yes , in the “SHIPPING INDUSTRY” we all have true life stories that is not related to our normal “ENGINE-ROOM” routine job.Now “Mittoo the Poppat” knows the reasons for my “Adrenalin Junkie” and the reasons for his “”MULTI-KHOKAH CAGE VALUE”! Adventure sports like “White Water Rafting” or “Rock Climbing” pale in comparison to sailing on month long voyages on the “High Seas” and still worse if you have a “Psycho Boss” or your boss considers you a “Psycho”, the worst court case scenario ! Worst is sailing on a “INSURANCE SINKING SHIP” where you spend your entire ship engine room service in plugging sea-leakages or preventing the ship from stalling due to “Engine Failure”.Akin to the “HARLEY DAVIDSON BIKER”, every “SHIPPIE” has a true life story to tell, irrespective of rank or status on the ship.My generation at Sea did not have the fear of “SEA PIRACY” unlike the sailing generation of the 21st century. WILL BE SEEING “CAPTAIN PHILLIPS” the movie at PVR Tomorrow !