As with just about every other time I post something, I am keenly aware that it's been a while since having done so. There's always a reason for the absence and this time it's just generically going to be The Baltic because that's where I've been and that's where I am. Popping in and out of ports between Reykjavik, Iceland to St. Petersburg, Russia is actually what bring me to the reason for my post here tonight.
You see, Russia is one of the countries in the world that requires a Seaman's Book to enter as a seafarer - these aren't necessarily difficult to come by if you work in the industry but unlike just about ever other certification, this one is not monitored by the company. Now, I'm not trying to place blame on the company, I should most certainly have been paying closer attention to the expiry date on this document. It's a tough thing to keep track of when you only use it three or four times per year and it's valid for a decade.
So so here I sit, onboard typing out this post and listening to the droning of a BBC news anchor somewhere behind me and the occasional burst of hot liquid from the coffee machine around the corner as people refuel to keep them going to the end of their shifts.
The moral of the story is to keep an eye on your certificate dates to avoid a rookie mistake.