Insight into ship-board life

Following Yachting Monthly’s article on the demands put upon container ship sailors (YM March 2014) who are expected to work an 80-98 hour week, the current issue of The Spectator magazine carries a fascinating insight into life aboard these leviathans.

Those 20 ft metal boxes carry anything from 138,000 tins of cat food, 12,300 MP3 players to 350 tonnes of African seaweed to Polish grass and moss.

Most of the crews are Filipinos, who make up a third of the world’s seafarers. Off duty they sit in their cabins to watch DVDs on teetotal ships and eat meals in ‘monkish silence.’

Down to the Sea in Ships, by Philip Marsden, reviewed by Spectator Books & Arts.